Last August, Kitanna Belnap Taylor attended a conference for her business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi, in Las Vegas. Since Taylor has family there, she flew in a day early and went to a taping of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” with her aunt.
Less than two weeks later, Taylor, who is an admissions advisor and student at Idaho State University, was a contestant on the show.
“As an audience member, you can take a test to be considered a contestant,” Taylor said. “And so I thought, ‘why not? I’m probably not going to be selected as a contestant anyway.’”
But Taylor passed the test and was asked to do a video audition and was then placed in the contestant pool.
“This all happened on like a Tuesday, and the following day they called me and said, ‘hey, how do you feel about taping on Friday?’” Taylor said.
Although she wasn’t selected that Friday, Taylor ended up taping the following Monday.
“It was all just completely right place, right time,” she said. “And knowing way too much about random trivia facts.”
The first part of Taylor’s episode aired Monday at 12 p.m. on CBS, and the second part will air Tuesday at the same time and on the same channel.
Taylor said her experience on the show was “completely overwhelming, but in a good way.”
“They just throw you into this world of TV magic,” she said. “And you just kind of hang on as tight as you can.”
Though Taylor could not comment on how much she won overall, at the end of the first part of her episode, she had won a guaranteed $5,000.
“Watching from an armchair’s standpoint, you think the questions are so easy,” Taylor said. “But it definitely changes once you get to the stage.”
However, she said that, in her experience, everyone on the show, from the production crew to the audience members, was rooting for her to win.
“You always feel like on a game show, they don’t want you to win,” Taylor said. “But everybody on (“Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”) genuinely wanted every single person there to win a million dollars.”
Taylor said her experience on the show was overwhelmingly positive, and she would absolutely do it again.
“I think everybody should go on game shows,” she said, “cause I had a really great time.
As for her winnings, Taylor said that when she and her husband finish their summer classes, they plan to take a long vacation.
“It’s just an overall fun experience, even if you don’t win any money,” she said. “But it kind of helps that you do.”