Tom Pajak, an international banker from Oakland, California, was a contestant on season 1 of the U.S. version of the show on November 13-14, 1999. He walked away with $32,000 after incorrectly answering his $250,000 question.


Fastest Finger QuestionEdit

Fastest Finger Question
Put the following non-fiction books in the order in which they were published, starting with the earliest.
• A: Angela's Ashes • B: Roots
• C: In Cold Blood • D: Private Parts
From the 8 remaining contestants, 4 got it right, but Tom (with a time of 4.82 seconds) was the fastest to correctly answer C-B-D-A, making it into the Hot Seat.

Tom's Run to the MillionEdit

$100 (1 of 15) - Not Timed
According to the classic tongue twister, who 'picked a peck of pickled peppers'?
• A: Peter Piper • B: Porky Pigs
• C: Patti Page • D: Pablo Picasso
$200 (2 of 15) - Not Timed
In what time zone would you find New York City?
• A: Pacific • B: Mountain
• C: Central • D: Eastern
The klaxon called time, and Tom would return on $200 with all lifelines still available
$300 (3 of 15) - Not Timed
The title of what Judy Blume book is also the term for what fat?
• A: Back • B: Blubber
• C: Superfudge • D: Cushion
$500 (4 of 15) - Not Timed
What ice cream compnay promises '31 Flavors,' but actually serves more varieties?
• A: Baskin.Robbins • B: Haagen-Dazs
• C: Breyers • D: Ben & Jerry's
$1,000 (5 of 15) - Not Timed
In what position does the winged mammal known as a bat normally rest?
• A: On its side • B: On its back
• C: On its stomach • D: Upside-down
$2,000 (6 of 15) - Not Timed
By profession, what does a cobbler make?
• A: Hats • B: Watches
• C: Shoes • D: Jewelry
$4,000 (7 of 15) - Not Timed
Gorgonzola is a type of what?
• A: Meat • B: Cheese
• C: Fruit • D: Car
$8,000 (8 of 15) - Not Timed
What does the 'B' stand for in the acronym 'SCUBA'?
• A: Blowing • B: Basic
• C: Breathing • D: Binary
$16,000 (9 of 15) - Not Timed
What ballet traditionally features the Sugar Plum Fairy?
• A: The Nutcracker • B: Coppelia
• C: Giselle • D: Sleeping Beauty
$32,000 (10 of 15) - Not Timed
What boxing champ's youngest daughter just won her first professional boxing match in 31 seconds?
'Ask the Audience' lifeline used
• A: George Foreman • B: Muhammad Ali
• C: Mike Tyson • D: Sugar Ray Leonard
Ask the Audience Results: A: 7% • B: 78% • C: 4% • D: 11%
$64,000 (11 of 15) - Not Timed
In 1978, which actor recorded a single with his co-star that reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart?
'Phone a Friend' lifeline used
• A: Patrick Swayze • B: Bruce Willis
• C: Don Jonhson • D: John Travolta
Tom did not follow pop music, so he decided to call his friend Sue, who was pretty sure it was Travolta. He went with her and won $64,000.
$125,000 (12 of 15) - Not Timed
What president was in office when the voting age was reduced from 21 to 18?
'50:50' lifeline used
• A: John F. Kennedy • B: Richard Nixon
• C: Gerald Ford • D: Lyndon Johnson
$250,000 (13 of 15) - Not Timed
Which of the following is a novel by author Toni Morrison?
• A: Tar Baby • B: The Color Purple
• C: The Heart of a Woman • D: Waiting to Exhale


  • Tom was the first contestant to miss a $250,000 question, making him also the first to lose $93,000.


Preceded by
Rick Grimes
'U.S. Contestant (Season 1)
Tom Pajak
Succeeded by
Andres Rivera

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