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University of Kentucky employee Heather Chapman to appear on ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’ Friday

By Meg Mills
University of Kentucky

Who wants to be a millionaire? Trivia lover Heather Chapman does. Chapman, a Lexington native, will test her chances on ABC’s show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” this Friday.

But Chapman isn’t a rookie at game shows. She competed on “Jeopardy!” 11 years ago, though she says she did poorly then as a result of giving birth three weeks before she went on the show. “Millionaire,” she says, offered her a chance at redemption.

A photo of Heather Chapman from the production of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” (Photo: Ronda Churchill Disney/ABC Home Entertainment and TV Distribution)

“I wanted to see if I could do better than I did on ‘Jeopardy,’” Chapman said. “It seemed like a fun and easy way to win money. The first couple of questions are easy, and then you really get to see what you can do.”

The way the game show works, a contestant tries to correctly answer a series of 14 multiple-choice questions. As the questions increase in difficulty, so does the money value of the questions.

“You have to be strategic with your choices on the show,” Chapman said. “If you answer a question wrong you go back to the last safety net. So, if you are at $30,000, even though you are closer to $50,000, if you answer wrong you will fall back to the $5,000 safety net.”

Contestants have three “life lines” during the game. This includes an ask the audience option, a 50/50 option where two incorrect answers are eliminated, and a plus one option where the contestant may invite a friend on stage to assist with the question.

Chapman’s plus one was her cousin, Jason Pennington. Describing him as her partner in crime, Chapman and Pennington play pub trivia together every week.

The show is set to air at 1 p.m. on The CW.

Chapman is currently a freelance writer and the chief blogger for the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues within the College of Communication and Information. Previously she was a journalist for the Lexington Herald-Leader and WUKY. She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in integrated strategic communication in 2015.

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