“Who Wants to be a Millionaire” is a television game show that has been franchised by many countries all over the world. The mechanics of the show along with the huge cash prize offer is simply tempting that everyone else can relate to the contestants’ situation and struggle. This may also be why the game show recorded some of the biggest audiences in history all throughout the dates of its airing.
However, there are also controversies surrounding the game show and the one that still haunts viewers is this case of cheating that occurred back in 2001. The center of this controversy is a contestant named Charles Ingram. On 9th and 10th September 2001, Ingram was a contestant on the television game show.
By the time recording ended on the first day, Ingram had reached £4,000 and used two of his three “lifelines”. The production team doubted he would proceed much further when recording resumed, but he went on to win the top prize of £1 MILLION.
Ingram flipped between answers erratically, appearing to settle on one answer before suddenly moving to another. For example, when asked who recorded the 2000 Craig David album Born to Do It, Ingram said he had “never heard of” David and appeared to go for a different option before moving to the correct answer. That alone may not be considered grounds for cheating.
But, the show’s production company Celador suspended the £1 million payout after they suspected Ingram had cheated. Production staff accused Ingram and his wife of defrauding the show by having an accomplice in the audience, lecturer Tecwen Whittock. Whittock reportedly “coughed” when Ingram read out a correct answer.
In a Youtube video uploaded by the TV Show, clips of the “coughing” tactics can be heard from time to time. This situation led the producers of the show to file a legal case against Ingram, his wife and their accomplice. As a result, the Ingrams were sentenced to 18 months and Whittock was sentenced to 12 months), each fined £15,000, and each ordered to pay £10,000 towards prosecution costs.
Well, this just proves that nothing good will come out of cheating. So, better not do such a thing at all.
Watch the full video here: