How we lost £162,500 – Part 1

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We are willing to go to any lengths to realise our travel dreams, and are constantly thinking of ways to make more money. As long as it’s legal and doesn’t involve nudity, we’ll give it a go. We’ll even apply for game shows. And that’s exactly where Lee found himself; broadcast live across the nation on one of the UK’s top TV shows.

I’ll let him tell you all about it…

It started late one night back in February, having just watched some lucky devils win a small fortune on TV. Fuelled by my passion for travel and a good bottle of red wine, I decided to apply myself.

The game show in question is The Million Pound Drop, where contestants start off with £1,000,000 in cold hard cash, and gamble the prize fund over 8 multiple choice questions, keeping what they have left at the end – if any.

I watched this show for a few weeks while at home in the UK dreaming about travelling, and became convinced that I could get on it. I imagined how I would spend my winnings; I pictured Hannah and I kicking sand between our toes, or clambering our way through a rainforest filled with exotic animals, or helping the under privileged in some far away land. As soon as this fantasy harvested itself, I found myself already having downloaded the application form and readily filling it in with witty answers.

It took hours. Literally. Fed up with waiting around for me, Hannah took herself off to bed, mocking me for my stupidity. “You’re wasting your time, you’ll never actually get on” she smirked. To which I responded, a little merry thanks to my bottle of Saturday night Merlot, “I’m going to get on this show, and then we are going travelling ba-beeee!” (ba-beeee like a drunken Austin Powers might say). At this point I heard Hannah mutter something like “Get lucked” but that didn’t make any sense so I presumed it must have been “Good luck”. Always supporting me is my Hannah.

Now, the game show requires a pair of contestants to apply. Obviously my first choice of partner was Hannah, but when I asked her she replied with the same “Good luck”, or whatever it was she had actually said. I therefore put my fun loving brother Lindsay in the application; something I neglected to tell him about as he was in Australia at the time.

Weeks passed. I daydreamed about getting on the show for a while, and wished it would happen, then gradually forgot all about it.

16:45 and getting set to finish work one day, my mobile vibrates. I wouldn’t usually answer it at work but, for some reason, that day I did. I clicked the green phone icon, ducked down under my desk and whispered quietly, “Hello?” A voice with a massive smile clearly attached said “Hello Lee, it’s ‘The Million Pound Drop’ here!”

As the female voice rolled out this sentence I think she got as far as “Mill…” before I knew who it was and panicked at my hesitant and weak answer. By the time she said “here” I had made the decision; to hell with what my bosses thought, this was our opportunity to travel and never stop. “Hi!” I shouted, “It’s Lee here, are you calling to tell me I’m not far from being a millionaire?” Suddenly I was joking and laughing, discussing the chance of me being on the show, and answering personality questions. Then she said “We want you to join the audition process after I call your brother and he passes the telephone prerequisites too. Please don’t phone, text or email him in regards to what we just asked you, we will be calling him straight away.” As soon as she put the phone down I had my brother on speed dial, telling him as fast as I could spit the words out that he was going to be called, and to act like he knew what they were talking about. I hung up as quickly as I had called and, as instructed not to, proceeded to text him as much information as I possibly could.

A week later we were at the auditions in London, playing up to the camera, fooling around and showing brotherly love way beyond what we would ever normally show. Sure enough, we sailed through the auditions and were soon invited to appear on the live show. It really was that simple.

Although I always truly believed I would get on the show, I never dared believe that I could really win big money until I was officially invited on. It is at this point you have the strangest thoughts and feelings. It’s difficult to explain. It’s a fear of winning, it’s a fear of not winning. You are afraid of messing it up; will you ever get such a chance again? What if you win? What if you lose? How will this affect me either way?

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarahsomewhere November 24, 2011 at 06:04

Nice blog! Sounds like we have a LOT in common! Can’t wait to read Part 2, but I fear from the title of this post that things are not going to go well. That’s always been my biggest fear of doing something like that, but I will read on, in hope that you at least came away with something!

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Hannah November 25, 2011 at 03:44

I know, the title does give you a hint but I’m hoping it will be like the movie Titanic – everyone knows it sinks in the end but they still want to watch it! Let me know what you think after reading Part 2 🙂

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Claire November 24, 2011 at 13:10

♥♥♥ I wish I didn’t know the end of this story! Or that maybe you have an alternate ending… Have tweeted… =)

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Sebastian @ Off-The-Path.com November 25, 2011 at 13:39

Nice post guys and great website you have! I look forward to more!

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Hannah November 25, 2011 at 18:58

Wow, thanks! It’s a work in progress but it’s great to hear comments like that. Thanks for taking the time to stop by 🙂

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Kim November 29, 2011 at 04:32

I am loving your blog already! Why did I never think to join a gameshow to save money for our travels? Brilliant!

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Hannah November 29, 2011 at 13:14

Thanks Kim! That really means a lot 🙂 It’s still very early days but I am really enjoying navigating my way through blog land. I definitely recommend giving the game show route a go to help boost your savings – you’ve got to be in it to win it! Hopefully you will have better luck than we did. Thanks so much for stopping by xxx

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