The first person to win big on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was John Carpenter. No not the director, this John Carpenter.
But before him there was another big game show winner that wasn’t supposed to crack the jackpot, Joyce Brothers.
The $64,000 Question became the first big-money television quiz show during the 1950s. In 1955, Joyce Brothers first earned fame by becoming the first woman to earn the $64,000 prize. It was revealed later that the show was “controlled”; the producers did not want her to win and deliberately gave her questions perceived to be beyond her ability, which she answered correctly anyway. The $64,000 Question was one of the game shows ultimately implicated to be fixed in some fashion.