WCU’s Monica Bellon Tries for the Loot on ABC’s “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”

Here’s a sure-fire way of getting on the television show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.”

Become head of Western Carolina University’s department of human services.

Monica Bellon, a Cullowhee resident and current head of WCU’s department of human services, jetted to New York City on Tuesday, March 20, to make her bid for fame and fortune on the popular ABC game show. Bellon was following in the footsteps of Cullowhee resident William E. “Bill” Harn, who was head of that same department at WCU when he appeared on the show in May of last year. Harn, now associate dean of WCU’s Office of Research and Graduate Studies, won $1,000.

Bellon hopes to best the other nine contestants in the “fast-finger” round, take the “hot seat” across from show host Regis Philbin, and win a sum of money with a lot more zeros.

“I think it will be fun, and an adventure few people get to do,” Bellon said prior to her departure for New York.

A native of Louisiana, Bellon earned master’s and doctoral degrees at Louisiana State University, and taught in Texas public schools before joining the WCU faculty in 1996. She has a son, Hunter Bradshaw, a fourth-grader at Sylva’s Fairview Elementary School.

Bellon said she had tried many times to qualify for “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” through the show’s arduous qualification process. Millionaire hopefuls must first call in to the show and try to answer three questions. Of prospective contestants who answer those correctly, 40 people across the country are chosen at random to have a chance to answer five more questions. From the group that answers those questions correctly, 10 people are chosen at random to play the game on television.

Bellon found out just five days before her departure that she was going to be on the show. To try and prepare, she bought the Millionaire board game, and has been trying her hand at the online game.

Bellon’s “phone-a-friend lifelines” for the show will include Harn, who accompanied Bellon to New York; her father, Charles Bellon of Lake Charles, La.; Carrie Harn, a WCU nursing major from Asheville; Karl Rohr of Cullowhee, a lecturer in WCU’s department of history; and Dale Bradshaw, a WCU graduate who lives in Atlanta, Ga.

Bellon’s brother, Anthony Bellon, planned to fly in from his home in Chicago to be her friend in the show audience.

Bellon was scheduled to participate in a show taping on Wednesday, March 21. The episode she is on will air Friday, April 6.