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Contestant Interview with Timothy Sternberg

$16,000 Millionaire Winner.

Tim in the Ring of Fire

Toeth: First off, congratulations on your appearance on the show and winning $16,000.

Tim: Thank you, Jason! It is a major accomplishment getting on the show and I feel anything above and beyond that is just icing on the cake. I would have been happy just to get the $150.00 per diem that they gave me. So the $16,000 was just awesome. The experience itself is worth a million bucks.

Toeth: What was the most difficult part of the show?

Tim: There was one point as I am sitting in the hotseat when everything became very real. At that point I realized that everyone was staring at me sitting in the hotseat across from Regis Philbin! That is when the nerves kicked in. I would say that was the most difficult part for me.

Toeth: Have you ever been on any other Game shows prior to WWTBAM? Or have plans to appear?

Tim: Yes and no. I was on a Game Show Network interactive game a couple of years ago called "Super Decades" and I won a phone card. I enter sweepstakes and I recently won the Hollywood Squares Secret Squares Sweepstakes which was over $17,000 in prizes, so I guess that could be called a game show win. In September when I am eligble again to try out for gameshows, my wife and I plan a trip out to California. The shows I am interested in are Hollywood Squares, the new Pyramid with Donny Osmond, Wheel of Fortune, The Price is Right and Jeopardy! I also heard that the Game Show Network is bringing back Press Your Luck with a show called "Whammy!", that would interest me as well.

Toeth: Did any of the shows special effects, such as the lighting or music interfere with your consideration of the questions?

Tim: Well in the fastest finger you actually use the music as a guide or cue to answer the question. You can not follow Regis because you can barely hear him and he is slower. As soon the light cues go, the question appears on the screen in front of you. Once in the hotseat, I did not really notice the music or sound effects too much.

Toeth: How was Regis, and what really happens during a commercial break that TV viewers may not see?

Tim: Regis seemed genuinely warm. He did not talk to me too much during the breaks. Mostly, I spoke with the floor manager during the breaks. Regis just asked me what I did so he could go into that after the break. There is a lot o scrambling on the floor, getting cameras set up for the next shots. Also, the floor comedian "Q" entertains the audience with TV Theme song trivia and awards Millionaire T-shirts throughout the breaks to lucky audience members.

Toeth: What do you think of how ABC has been handling WWTBAM?

Tim: I am so disgusted. It is really sad, actually. The straw broke when they overdosed us with celebrity show after celebrity show. It just got old really fast. I sure hope they salvage it and bring back the regular folk. That is the heart and soul of Millionaire. I also hope they bring back the phone game. I was a product of auditions, so I obviously do not hate them. The phone game however interjected a spirit into the show that I think is now gone.

Toeth: If you could, would there be anything you would want to change about your outcome from the show?

Tim: Well we all make our mistakes. I think my mistake is that I went to my lifelines too hastily. I really did not know the Data question that I used the Ask The Audience on. I think I could have worked out the Acetylene question if I spent more time on it instead of phoning Steve. I do not regret anything though in retrospect.

Toeth: Has your life become better since your $16,000 win?

Tim: I decided to go back to school and I am using the $16,000 minus taxes to take care of that.

Toeth: What are your thoughts on Rival shows such as "Weakest Link" and other reality shows?

Tim: Well I do not care too much for Anne Robinson. But, I love the Daytime Syndicated version with George Gray. I love Survivor and Big Brother. I am in the process of sending in my application for Big Brother 3. We shall see what happens.

Toeth: And finally, what was your favorite moment on the show?

Tim: On my show the best moment was when Regis said and the winner is TIMOTHY STERNBERG! I only won the FF by like .04 seconds. -

It was really close. I am very grateful. I also enjoyed the teasing I took from Regis about the movie premiere I attended for "Planet of the Apes". I told Regis that "I thought it was inappropriate for me to approach you as I was going to be a contestant on the show". He said with a smile, "Your right, It was inappropriate".

Toeth: Thank you for taking time to do the interview.

Tim's Full Story

On March 1 2002, this interview was completed via e-mail.

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