Tonight, a special episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire will look back at the first contestant to ever win the grand prize – Judith Keppel, who left with almost a million pounds almost exactly 20 years ago.
Since that win, a further five quizzers have answered all 15 questions accurately, including history and politics teacher Donald Fear, who earlier in 2020 became the first person to win with Jeremy Clarkson as a quizmaster.
Of course, famously there was another contestant who technically gave the right answer to every question: Charles Ingram, aka the Cough Major, whose victory was revoked after he was accused of relying on the help of his sister and another quizzer in the show, a story that is dramatized earlier this year in ITV’s hit drama Quiz (Ingram was finally declared Ingram convicted on one count of fraudulently securing the execution of a precious security).
We look back at each of the legitimate winners here, ahead of tonight’s program. In addition, below are all of their £ 1 million questions – can you answer them?
The hit quiz started in 1998, but it was two years before someone won the grand prize – and that person was former garden designer Judith Keppel, who left on November 20, 2020 with a million pounds apparently before “struggling for money” “her appearance on the show. Keppel has since remained a familiar face to TV quiz fans, joining the Eggheads team back in 2003.
Million pound question: Which king was married to Eleanor of Aquitaine?
- A) Henry I
- B) Henry II
- C) Richard I
- D) Henry V
It took only five months for the second millionaire on the show, and Welsh former physics teacher and 1990 Mastermind champion David Edwards on April 21, 2001 answered all 15 questions correctly. Edwards used all three of his veins in one question – the £ 125,000 question – and used his son, who would later win £ 125,000 on the show himself, as a phone friend. After the win, Edwards almost followed Keppel’s path to the Eggheads – competing in two series Are You an Egg Head? 2008 and 2009, but failed to win on any occasion.
Million pound question: If you were to plant Quercus robur seeds, what would grow?
- A) Trees
- B) Flowers
- C) Vegetables
- D) Grain
The next contestant won the award also in 2001, and banker Robert Brydges, educated at Oxford, became the third millionaire in the show’s history. The victory came in live show time – just 11 days after the Coughing Major scandal, and Brydges happened to be in the audience during the appearance of Charles Ingram, reportedly one of the few people to notice anything suspicious.
Million pound question: Which scientific unit was named after an Italian nobleman?
- A) Pascal
- B) Ohm
- C) Volt
- D) Hertz
After Brydges ’victory, there was a gap of almost three years to the next millionaire, with Irish quizzer world champion Pat Gibson finally ending the drought on April 24, 2004. Gibson is something solid in the world of quizzes, having also won the 2005 Mastermind and Brain Britain Radio 4 2006. Like Edwards, Gibson competed in both the first and second series Are You Eggheaded? and defeated his fellow millionaire in the 2009 final to become a member of the Eggheads team.
Million pound question: Which of these isn’t one of America’s Triple Crown horse races?
- A) Arlington Million
- B) Belmont stakes
- C) Kentucky derby
- D) The role of proreactivity
Perhaps no name has been more prominent in the history of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire than Ingram – and on September 23, 2006, civil servant Ingram Wilcox became the fifth grand prize winner and the last millionaire of the original series. Wilcox has previously been a losing finalist in a range of quizzes, including Mastermind, Fifteen to One and Brain of Britain. He answered the last question correctly after having already used all three of his life lines.
Million pound question: Which boxer was known for hitting the gong in the introduction to the J Arthur Rank movies?
- A) Bombardier Billy Wells
- B) Freddie Mills
- C) Terry Spinks
- D) Don Cockell
It was 14 years before another contestant became a millionaire – although it’s worth noting that the show aired between 2014 and 2018. History and politics teacher Donald Fear became Jeremy Clarkson’s first winner in a presenter term earlier this year, the top prize On September 11, 2020, his victory was all the more impressive as he was the first contestant to win without using all available lifesavers – in fact, he took advantage of just one, 50:50 on a £ 32,000 question.
Million pound question: Which pirate was killed in a battle off the coast of present-day North Carolina in 1718?
- A) Calico Jack
- B) Blackbeard
- C) Bartholomew Roberts
- D) Captain Kidd
Judith Keppel – B) Henry II
David Edwards – A) Trees
Robert Brydges – C) Volt
Pat Gibson – A) Arlington Million
Ingram Wilcox – A) Bombardier Billy Wells
Donald Fear – D) Captain Kidd
Who wants to be a millionaire: The Million Pound Question is airing tonight at 8pm on ITV. Looking for something else to watch? Watch our TV guide.