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Sam Murray

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Sam Murray, from Philadelphia, PA, became the U.S. version's first millionaire since 2003 after winning the Million Dollar Tournament of Ten, and also being the only contestant in the tournament to correctly answer his million dollar question. Coincidentally, he was also the last contestant to play for admittance into the tournament.

His prize was not confirmed until the final contestant on the tournament, Jehan Shamsid-Deen, walked away.

Sam's Run to the MillionEdit

$500 (1 of 15) - 15 seconds
Category: Health
The common infection known as "swimmer's ear" is a result of what getting trapped in the ear canal?
• A: Pollen • B: Water
• C: Insects • D: A Black Eyed Peas song


$1,000 (2 of 15) - 15 seconds
Category: It's the Law
In the U.S., "right-to-dry" laws protect homeowners who want to hang what outside their homes?
• A: Wind chimes • B: Clotheslines
• C: Birdfeeders • D: State flags


$2,000 (3 of 15) - 15 seconds
Category: Junk Food
What chocolate snacks were named after the bells heard in Hostess' original TV commercials?
• A: Ho Hos • B: Kit Kat bars
• C: Nutter Butters • D: Ding Dongs


$3,000 (4 of 15) - 15 seconds
Category: Rock Bands
A tribute band to a popular '70s rock group, Lez Zeppelin features members who are all what?
• A: African-American • B: Teenage boys
• C: Women • D: Asian-American


$5,000 (5 of 15) - 15 seconds
States of the Union
The Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail commemorates a famous 1965 civil rights march held in what state?
• A: Alabama • B: Louisiana
• C: North Carolina • D: Tennessee


$7,500 (6 of 15) - 30 seconds
Category: Cartoon Characters
In the cartoons in which he stars, Tweety Bird is often portrayed as the pet of a woman simply referred to by what name?
• A: Auntie • B: Momma
• C: Granny • D: Sis


$10,000 (7 of 15) - 30 seconds
Category: Celebrities
In 2009, "30 Rock" star Alec Baldwin said he considered moving to what state to run against Joe Lieberman for his U.S. Senate seat?
• A: Maine • B: Pennsylvania
• C: Rhode Island • D: Connecticut


$12,500 (8 of 15) - 30 seconds
Category: South America
Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego is a national park in what South American country?
"Ask the Audience" lifeline used.
• A: Peru • B: Brazil
• C: Argentina • D: Venezuela
Ask the Audience Results: A: 14% • B: 17% • C: 53% • D: 16%


$15,000 (9 of 15) - 30 seconds
Category: Economics
In a 2007 book, Wall Street guru NAssim Taleb popularized what "animal" term to describe rare and unpredictable events?
"Ask the Expert" and "Phone-A-Friend" lifelines used.
• A: Flying pig • B: Short giraffe
• C: Land whale • D: Black swan
First, Sam asked the expert, Joel Stein, who was not sure, so Sam phoned his friend, Daulton, who knew the answer.


$25,000 (10 of 15) - 30 seconds
Category: Automobiles
Used to "decommission" automobile engines, sodium silicate is better known to mechanics as "liquid" what?
"Double Dip" lifeline used.
• A: Glass • B: Wood
• C: Steel • D: Velcro


$50,000 (11 of 15) - 45 seconds
Category: Insects
To defend against predators, certain moth species have organs called "tymbals" that do what?
• A: Make ultrasonic sounds • B: Absorb heat
• C: Produce dark pigments • D: Release toxic venom


$100,000 (12 of 15) - 45 seconds
Category: Advertising
Before becoming a bestselling novelist, which of these men came up with the ad slogan "I'm a Toys "R" Us kid!"?
• A: John Grisham • B: Elmore Leonard
• C: James Patterson • D: Carl Miaasen
Sam didn't know the answer, and he was sure he had banked enough time to make it to the tournament, so he decided to walk with $50,000. He guessed C: James Patterson, which would have been correct. He was also right about making it into the tournament.

The categories for Sam's $250,000 and $500,000 questions would've been "Literature" and "Broadcast History" respectively.

Million Dollar QuestionEdit

$1,000,000 (15 of 15) - 3 minutes, 23 seconds
Category: Genetics
According to the Population Reference Bureau, what is the approximate number of people who have ever lived on earth?
• A: 50 billion • B: 100 billion
• C: 1 trillion • D: 5 trillion
The correct answer was actually 106.5 billion, but it was rounded down to 100 billion for the question.
Million Dollar Tournament of Ten contestants
10. Alex Ortiz
9. Tony Westmoreland
8. Sam Murray
7. Robin Schwartz
6. Ralph Cambeis
5. Tim Janus
4. Matt Schultz
3. Jeff Birt
2. Keilani Goggins
1. Jehan Shamsid-Deen
Preceded by
Nathan Kaplan
U.S. contestnts
Sam Murray
Succeeded by
Unknown
Preceded by
Nancy Christy
U.S. Top Prize Winner
Sam Murray
Succeeded by
N/A

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