Debora Gossett Rivers Wins Disney Vacation and $250,000 on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” Thumbnail

Debora Gossett Rivers Wins Disney Vacation and $250,000 on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”

Amazingly, and despite all odds, we somehow had another $250,000 winner this season on Who Wants to be a Millionaire.  Debora Gossett Rivers, a caseworker from Philadelphia, PA, took away the quarter million dollar prize on yesterday’s episode.  Debora became the fifth person during the 2012-2013 season to win it, tying the record for the most quarter million dollar wins-per-season ever dating back to the first season.  Not only that, Debora became the season’s biggest winner by picking up a trip to the Walt Disney World Resort during “Magical Family Getaway Week,” where one Round One question has the vacation attached.  What made Debora’s run so exciting?  She, literally, guessed her way through Classic Millionaire to claim the giant prize.

Debora Gossett Rivers entered Classic Millionaire with $57,600 and no Lifelines.  Her $100,000 question asked:

In an interview, rocker Alice Cooper revealed that he once babysat what future star?
A: Brad Pitt
B: Keanu Reeves
C: Rob Lowe
D: Johnny Depp

With no explanation Debora gave B, Keanu Reeves, as her Final Answer. This was correct and her bank moved to $100,000. For $250,000 Debora was asked:

In an early version of badminton, the birdie was known as a “shuttlecock” and the racket or paddle was called a what?
A: Battledore
B: Farringham
C: Giddlemore
D: Cottleturn

Guessing yet again, Debora gambled $75,000 on A, Battledore. This was the correct answer for $250,000. She bowed out at this $500,000 question:

Everyone knows the first three words of “Moby-Dick” are “Call me Ishmael,” but what are its epilogue’s last three words?
A: Padlocked from above
B: Found another orphan
C: The black bubble
D: With sheathed beaks

Not wanting to gamble $225,000, Debora walked. The correct answer was B.

Debora is, again, the fifth person to take home the $250,000 prize this season. Four civilians and one celebrity teams took away the show’s third biggest prize.  I have to imagine that will do it for the giant, newsworthy wins this large but with Meredith Vieira’s final episode coming towards the end of the month could we possibly see someone else get here or higher? Stay tuned.   Congratulations again.

Photo courtesy Disney-ABC.

Alex Davis

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Alex Davis is an award winning writer and producer based out of Pittsburgh, PA, who works out of New York, Los Angeles, and London. Alex is the head writer and editor for BuzzerBlog and is the president and head of development of 5Hole Productions, specializing in unscripted formats for television and internet play.

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9 responses to "Debora Gossett Rivers Wins Disney Vacation and $250,000 on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”"

  • CJS says:

    WWTBAM is broken. There should’ve already been a $500,000 winner already (maybe even 2), but the upper level questions are too difficult, there’s too much money to risk & the contestants are too conservative for my liking.

    Maybe once Meredith finally leaves, we can restore WWTBAM to finally restore some lost glory & FINALLY have a $500,000 (and eventually a $1,000,000) winner.

    • wayne says:

      Considering the 250K winners have tied the record from the first season when the show wasn’t broke, I’d say things are just fine. Merideth doesn’t write the questions, she only reads them.

  • Julia says:

    I have to tell ya, this was fun. I love this show and the contestants they have gotten this year have been great. I was surprised, though, that she took the chance at guessing the last two questions. After seeing her use the jump on that question within the first round, I never saw her jumping right in, taking blind guesses like she did. Well done!

  • Douglas in TN says:

    She’ll need the 250K just for the expensive food and souvenirs at Disney, where a chicken dinner costs $40.

  • CarShark says:

    It just seems that with the questions being so weird, the only way to win is just to guess. I have no idea how she knew the $100,000 or $250,000 questions. There’s no real way to reason them out. Just spray and pray. I have grown to like the SuperMix format, especially when they mix in the extras (2x$, attached prizes), but my main problem remains with these questions. The celebrity ones are the worst.

    • Wayne says:

      I think the questions are just fine this season.

      From the shows I’ve seen this season, 57 people made it to round 2, we have seen 6 $500K questions and 28 $250K questions. Personally, I’ve had a 51.65% success rate in round 2.

      Last season, I saw 50 go to round 2, 4 $500K questions and 22 $250K questions. I had a 44.74% success rate in round 2. I felt this was the best season in a while with the questions not always being so ridiculous as they were before.

      In the three seasons COMBINED before the mix format, we saw a total of 190 contestants make it to the $100K question, with only 8 $500K questions and only 31 $250K questions. My success rate was 36.24%

      Over the past two seasons, the writing has been better, allowing contestants to have a shot at these answers. I’m not saying they couldn’t do better, there are some really out there questions; but it has been better.

      For the record, I knew her $100K & $250K question. For the $500K question, I would’ve had a hard time deciding if I wanted to answer or not (but I wasn’t there with the check in hand, so who knows, I may have took the money and ran). I would’ve been wrong, but I felt I had a logical choice in answering A.

      • Poochy.EXE says:

        It’s not that the questions are bad this season, it’s that there’s been one terrible question per stack for many years. And I agree with CarShark that the celebrity ones are the worst. It’s become a staple of Millionaire to see $100K+ questions on arcane details from celebrities’ pasts which (a) nobody cares about, (b) nobody could possibly be expected to know, and (c) are practically impossible to reason out, so either you know it or you don’t. Debora’s $100K question is a perfect example of this. It’s trashy, brainless, worthless, and downright mind-numbing content in what is supposed to be a game based around brains and skill.

      • Nick says:

        Wayne, I think there’s been around 35 250K questions this year. WWTBAM.Biz hasn’t updated in a bit so that’s why the numbers you have may be slightly off. Regardless, this has been the best season of Millionaire in years. Season 9 was awesome…but before that, season 4 was probably the last memorable one.

  • Shawn Sutherland says:

    To be fair, they’ve cast quite a few contestants who were willing to take bigger risks this season. If anyone is going to win this, they’re probably going to have to have that level of guts to guess at a “before the celebrity was famous” question and more than my luck at answering it correctly.

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