WCU’s Bellon narrowly misses making Millionaire “hot seat”

3Western Carolina University faculty member Monica Bellon came oh-so-close, but couldn’t quite make the “hot seat” during her stint on the popular ABC game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.”

Bellon, head of WCU’s department of human services, appeared on the Millionaire episode that aired on Friday, April 6. She competed in a total of four “fast-finger” rounds, hoping to take the chair opposite show host Regis Philbin for a chance to win big money.

“I went through three fast-fingers and crashed and burned,” Bellon said after her return to Cullowhee. “During the last minute of the show, there was one more and I knew the answer to the question: ‘Put these authors in order of birth, starting with the earliest.'”

Bellon put the authors in the correct order, but another contestant beat her out by four-tenths of a second. “My brother assured me, though, that I got the most camera time based on those of us who didn’t get in the hot seat,” she laughed.

Some of the contestants were “quite competitive and very annoyed” that they didn’t get in the hot seat, but Bellon said she felt grateful to receive a free trip to New York to appear on the show. While in the Big Apple, she visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Times Square, “ate at some really nice restaurants” and shopped.

Since she didn’t make the hot seat, Bellon is eligible to be on Millionaire again — if she can once again navigate her way through the show’s tough qualification process, which requires contestant hopefuls to call in and correctly answer questions and survive random drawings. She plans to start calling in again when the show phone lines open up on May 31.