And so, after winning his way through 14 questions on the Australian version of ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’, Martin Flood finally makes it through to the Million Dollar Question. And as you’ll see, even at this high pressure moment, all the homework and tactical preparation that Martin has done is still front and centre in his mind…
MF: I concluded what the answer was, I said something like “to me the answer is Mao Zedong”. His response, I knew – I would have bet a million bucks on this – was going to be “are you prepared to go for that for a million bucks?” or “are you prepared to lock it in?”. And that’s exactly what he said! “Are you prepared…”
MF: I didn’t hear anything else. I knew he was going to say that, because that’s exactly what he said to Rob Fulton (when he won the million) a month before. I liked seeing Rob getting that, because I thought ‘now I know exactly how he’s going to say it’.
Then I locked it in, he went to an ad break, came back. I just sat there thinking… For a moment there I nearly had a teary eye thought come to my mind, but then I said ‘forget that, I’m not going to cry here – I knew this was going to happen all along’. This has happened in my dreams for years. He waited till they calmed down and stopped clapping and he handed me the cheque. I just looked at it and sort of thought “so what?”. It just looked like a big oversized silly cheque. Because when I looked at it, I thought “that was so easy”.
MF: The previous five years wasn’t easy. Especially when you never know you’re actually going to get on the show. Leading up to it, I thought “God, if I never get to go on that show, all this effort I put in….” That was the most stressful thing, but I put it out of my mind. I can’t do anything about it. All I can do is things I can do about. In the actual Hot Seat itself, it was just wonderful.
It felt easy, it felt so natural to do it. I could have sat there forever. Not many people would understand that, but I was talking shortly after to Loretta Harrop who’s a triathlete who got the silver in the Olympics. She said she finds training incredibly hard, but actually running the triathlon is really enjoyable; she loves it. That’s the same as me. The five years was really tough at times but actually sitting in the Hot Seat… it was just the most enjoyable thing.
SH: When you won, how did you feel?
MF: Good question. Nobody has really asked me that before.
MF: No one…. I don’t know if you get this, because yours was different when you won. You were obviously elated and overwhelmed and it looked unreal because you couldn’t have been certain that you were going to win it.
SH: A little bit of fear and doubt crept in, in that last game.
MF: Whereas I had no question in my mind that I was going to win it. I didn’t feel the elation of winning; it was so guaranteed in my head. That’s one thing I kind of regret – that I missed out on that incredible excitement of winning.
SH: But afterwards, when the money appeared in your account… surely that’s a new chapter, because then you start thinking of all the possibilities that can bring.
MF: Well, it’s funny, because about 6 months before I won, I was going through my assets and liabilities and what loans I had, and when I logged off, I already imagined that I had the million bucks there; I’d included that in the calculations in my head. So it was already in my head, it was already in my bank account. So when I did finally get it, I thought ‘well, there it is – it’s already in the bank; now it’s cleared, it’s all finally over’.
SH: Just a formality?
MF: Somewhat. Liam (Martin’s son) said to me, when I was at home studying between episodes “How come you’re at home, when you’re supposed to be at work? Have you won a million dollars or something?” He was suspicious, because I didn’t tell him that I went down for the first episode. Only Robyn (Martin’s wife) knew that I went down. I wanted to surprise everyone. And I said to Liam “Oh yeah, I have. I’ve just won a million dollars, I’ve just gotta go down to Melbourne soon and pick up the cheque.” So I had that sort of attitude. It was like just going down there to pick it up.
SH: Telling the truth in advance.
And there, on that note of supreme confidence, is where we leave our chat with Martin Flood. I’d like to thank Martin so much for his time, his recollections of his amazing game show adventure, and of course for the many, many useful tips he shared with us along the way.
It was obviously a vast and wide-ranging discussion, but if there’s anything you were curious to know more about, just let me know, and I’m sure we could persuade Martin to have another chat. Thanks so much once again to Martin for sharing his invaluable experience with www.howtowingameshows.com!