Rob Gelbman, a computer programmer and member of Mensa from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, was a contestant on season 1 of the primetime U.S. version of the show on August 19th, 1999. He walked away with $1,000 after incorrectly answering his $32,000 question.


Fastest Finger Question Edit

Fastest Finger Question
Put the following fractions in order from the largest to the smallest.
• A: 1/2 • B: 7/16
• C: 3/8 • D: 1/3

From the 10 starting contestants, 4 got it right, but Rob (with a time of 7.58 seconds) was the fastest to correctly answer A-B-C-D, making it into the Hot Seat.

Rob's Run to the Million Edit

$100 (1 of 15) - Not Timed
Who painted the Mona Lisa?
• A: Rembrandt • B: Leonardo Da Vinci
• C: Leonardo DiCaprio • D: Sherwin Williams

$200 (2 of 15) - Not Timed
Which of the following is not a Disney animated feature film?
• A: Fantasia • B: Cinderella
• C: The Little Mermaid • D: Godzilla

$300 (3 of 15) - Not Timed
In which of these countries is bowing a customary greeting?
• A: Canada • B: Japan
• C: Australia • D: England

$500 (4 of 15) - Not Timed
Who plaed the title character in the movie 'Rain Man'?
• A: Jack Nicholson • B: Danny DeVito
• C: Dustin Hoffman • D: Harrison Ford

$1,000 (5 of 15) - Not Timed
In what month is Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday celebrated?
'Ask the Audience' lifeline used
• A: February - 21% • B: January - 68%
• C: December - 1% • D: March - 10%

$2,000 (6 of 15) - Not Timed
Cloned in Scotland in 1996, what type of animal is Dolly?
• A: Sheep • B: Goat
• C: Cow • D: Mouse

$4,000 (7 of 15) - Not Timed
What was the last name of the starring family on the sitcom 'Roseanne'?
• A: The Conners • B: The Huxtables
• C: The Taylor • D: The Buchmans

$8,000 (8 of 15) - Not Timed
Who is the current commissioner of the National Football League?
• A: David Stern • B: Bud Selig
• C: Pete Rozelle • D: Paul Tagliabue

$16,000 (9 of 15) - Not Timed
What is the profession of Robert Kincaid in the novel 'The Bridges of Madison County'?
'Phone-A-Friend' lifeline used
• A: Farmer • B: Writer
• C: Photographer • D: Auto Mechanic
Rob decided to phone his mother Eileen, who said Photographer before Rob even read it and was sure about it. He decided to go with her and won $16,000

$32,000 (10 of 15) - Not Timed
Beginning in January, which of the following signs of the zodiac comes last?
'50:50' lifeline used
• A: Aquarius • B: Aries
• C: Leo • D: Scorpio
Rob decided to use his 50:50, and eliminated B and C. He then decided to go with Aquarius, but the correct answer was D: Scorpio.


After his run, Rob tried to sue the show for breach of contract and negligent and intentional infliction of severe emotional distress as a result of his elimination from the game caused by incorrectly answering a question which, according to Gelbman, was ambiguous. According to him, Aquarius is the second-to-last sign in the Zodiac calendar (followed by Pisces). However, since Aquarius happens to start on January, it is the first Zodiac sign if one follows the Gregorian calendar (ignoring Capricorn, which starts on December and spans two thirds of January). Hence, by taking Rob's interpretation—assuming that the question followed the Zodiac calendar—and the show's interpretation—assuming that the question followed the Gregorian calendar—the question could be interpreted in two ways, as it did not specify what type of calendar it used as reference.

However, Celador refused to bring him back to the show. Moreover, because Rob had signed a contract long before his run began stating that Celador had the final say on everything on the show, the court dismissed Rob's action.[1]


Sources Edit

Preceded by
David Honea
U.S. Contestant (Season 1)
Rob Gelbman
Succeeded by
Doug Van Gundy

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