Rachel Mendes da Costa, from Middlesex, was the first female contestant (and second overall) to appear on the the UK version of the show and worldwide on 4-5 September, 1998. She was also the first ever contestant to use the "Ask the Audience" lifeline and the first to use any lifeline before the second milestone question. She walked away with £8,000.


Fastest Finger First Edit

Fastest Finger First Question
Which singer's only UK No. 1 hit was "Wherever I Lay My Hat" in 1983?
• A: Joe Cocker • B: Paul Young
• C: Elvis Costello • D: Damian
From the 9 remaining contestants, 7 got it right, but Rachel (with a time of 0.69 seconds) was the fastest to correctly answer B: Paul Young, making it into the Hot Seat.

Rachel's Run to the Million Edit

£100 (1 of 15) - Not Timed
If you are in your "birthday suit", what are you wearing?
• A: Your best clothes • B: Your work clothes
• C: A nappy • D: Nothing

£200 (2 of 15) - Not Timed
As what did Dr. Crippen find fame earlier this century?
• A: Surgeon • B: Murderer
• C: Dentist • D: Psychologist

£300 (3 of 15) - Not Timed
At what temperature on the Centigrade scale does water boil?
• A: Zero degrees • B: 32 degrees
• C: 100 degrees • D: 212 degrees

£500 (4 of 15) - Not Timed
Who was Bonnie's famous partner in crime?
• A: Langford • B: Clyde
• C: James • D: Butch
The klaxon called time and Rachel would return the next day on £500 with all 3 lifelines still available.

£1,000 (5 of 15) - Not Timed
Which fish, spelt backwards, gives the name of one of the Seven Dwarves?
• A: Pike • B: Cod
• C: Haddock • D: Eel

£2,000 (6 of 15) - Not Timed
What is an abacus?
• A: A counting device • B: A bird
• C: A female abbot • D: A tree

£4,000 (7 of 15) - Not Timed
What is the name of the cafe owner played by Humphrey Bogart in 'Casablanca'?
'50:50' and 'Ask The Audience' lifelines used.
• A: Sam • B: Kyle
• C: Jack • D: Rick
Ask the Audience Results: A: 31% • B: 0% • C: 0% • D: 69%
This marked the first use of the 'Ask the Audience' lifeline as Graham Elwell did not use it in the first episode.

£8,000 (8 of 15) - Not Timed
What is the most common bird of prey found in the United Kingdom?
• A: Kestrel • B: Red Kite
• C: Golden Eagle • D: Barn Owl

£16,000 (9 of 15) - Not Timed
Which English county has a border with only one other?
'Phone-a-Friend' lifeline used.
• A: Devon • B: Norfolk
• C: Cornwall • D: Kent
Rachel wasn't sure, so she phoned her father John, who advised her to walk away as he too didn't know the answer.


  • In the documentary "Is That Your Final Answer", the Executive Producer, Paul Smith, said that Rachel's appearance on the show during the second programme was "the most exciting and dramatic piece of television and it has rarely been matched in the rest of the programmes that we've [Celador] had."


Preceded by
Graham Elwell
U.K. Contestant (Season 1)
Rachel da Costa
Succeeded by
Arlene Harper