Hello! Just a quick heads up, and an invitation today.
Hello! Today sees the first part of a three-part interview with Markos Hasiotis, who’s one of the winners of the Australian game show Hard Quiz; a show that requires its contestants to have great general knowledge and outstanding knowledge of their own specially selected subjects. Or to put it another way, they need to know a little about a lot, and a lot about a little. And in November 2017, Markos absolutely nailed it. Let’s meet him!
SH: Markos, thanks so much for talking to me today for HowToWinGameShows.com. By way of background, what was your life like before going on the show? I’m assuming you’ve always been interested in trivia (especially since your trivia handle is @FactBuffet)!
MH: Thank you, Stephen. Well, my life was pretty normal: I grew up in Melbourne, went to school, had fun with friends. I graduated from university in 2014 where I studied media, and since then have worked in different media roles. Hard Quiz was probably the most out-there thing I had done up to that point!
Facts have definitely been a constant throughout my life. As a kid, we didn’t have a TV in the house, so I read fact books instead and fell in love with facts. That love manifested itself into an enjoyment of trivia nights, my fact-based Twitter account and, eventually, the aforementioned quiz show.
SH: Had you watched Hard Quiz from its beginning in 2016?
MH: I’d actually auditioned for the show in 2016 but wasn’t successful, so I didn’t watch the first season… because it hurt too much! After I auditioned the second time in 2017 and got the green light, I binged on all the episodes that I’d missed and I very much enjoyed doing so.
SH: Some regular visitors to this site may be unfamiliar with Hard Quiz‘s format, so could you please give them a quick description of how the show works?
MH: Sure. Well, each episode has four contestants, each with an expert subject. (The show’s host) Tom Gleeson briefly chats with / insults each of us and then the game begins:
Each contestant is asked 5 questions about their expert subject, they get 5 points for a correct answer and 5 points off for a wrong answer. Other contestants are allowed to buzz in and answer a question on someone else’s subject; if they’re correct, they receive 10 points and they lose 5 points if they’re incorrect.
After that, it’s a round called ‘Tom’s Subject’, where you’re asked 5 multiple-choice questions on a random subject. In my case, it was Indonesia. You receive 5 points for a correct answer and lose 5 points for an incorrect answer… except on the 5th question where correct answers get 10 points.
The contestant with the lowest score after that round is eliminated.
Then it’s ‘The People’s Round’, where Tom asks general knowledge questions for 30 seconds. 5 points for a correct answer, 5 points off for an incorrect answer. The person with the lowest score after that round is also eliminated.
In the Final Round, the 2 remaining contestants go Head to Head. They’re each asked 5 questions on their expert subject, one tick for a correct answer and one cross for a wrong answer. Whoever gets the most ticks, wins the mug.
SH: What made you decide that you wanted to go on the show?
MH: I couldn’t resist! It seemed like an exciting chance for me to put my knowledge to the test, and the fact that Tom Gleeson was hosting indicated that it’d be a funny experience. I had no work or study commitments either, so the timing felt just right.
SH: Your special subject was James Bond – and I could see why it would be! (I’m something of a fan myself) How did you train for going on the show?
MH: Bond-A-Rama! looks great, I wish I’d gone to see it.
SH: Haha! Thank you!
MH: I trained by doing lots of James Bond quizzes online. I also had several James Bond books and a James Bond board game at my childhood home, so I looked through them which was helpful. I wanted to watch the movies but my DVD player broke after From Russia with Love which threw a spanner in the works. However, there’s an online channel called Haphazardstuff which has detailed video reviews of James Bond movies, so watching them was a worthy alternative.
As for general knowledge, I’m quite lucky that I essentially train for it daily, through my tweeting. I also scanned newspapers and encyclopaedias often and also quizzed myself with every Carlton Draught bottle cap I could find!
And that’s where we’ll leave it for this week. For our overseas visitors, I should explain that Carlton Draught is an Australian brand of beer. The caps on the 375 mL bottles always have a trivia question (and answer) printed on their underside. Loads of paradoxical quizzing fun to share with friends over drinks in the pub; why not exercise a few brain cells while simultaneously killing a few off?
I’ll be back next Tuesday with Part II of my chat with Markos. See you then!
And so now here we are at the climax of Judd Field’s Millionaire Hot Seat journey. The top prize amount on offer in Judd’s episode has turned out to be $50,000, and Judd has now battled his way through several questions to get here. He started the game in the Hot Seat, he’s been out of the Hot Seat, and is now back in it again, and he’s just about to have a crack at the big one…. ==============
SH: Before the final question, Eddie made you sing for your supper, literally. Presumably, this was something you’d worked out beforehand?
JF: Haha, yeah that was the song I sung down the barrel of the camera in my audition to stand out, for a bit of fun. I knew they would ask me to do something, so was ready to bust it out. In the recording of the show, they actually showed part of a clip of the song I helped write for a UK RAF war widow charity, that ended up being filmed in Westminster Abbey as the only song ever allowed there. After they played that, Eddie asked me to sing something else. The video clip part of the conversation never made it to air, which is a shame cause I might have got 10 seconds of royalties as well. Haha.
SH: Your final question – for $50,000 – was
“Well, nobody’s perfect” is the final line of which classic film?
A) Some Like It Hot
C) A Clockwork Orange
You hadn’t seen any of them recently… but you were leaning towards A. Why was that?
Which of these rice varieties is named after a town in Italy?
You seemed sure it was Arborio. Of course, it WAS Arborio, and that answer earned you $4,000.
SH: For the question after that…
Which of these current model motor vehicles is not produced by Holden?
At first you seemed unsure, but you then locked in “Ford Mondeo”. That was correct, and you were now sitting on $6,000.
JF: Haha, yes! That was one of those questions where the words of the producer’s pre-show talk were ringing in my ear; “Read the question properly”. I remember working through which of the options it wasn’t; “Holden Captiva”, “Holden Trailblazer”, “Holden Captiva”… they all sounded kinda right. Or at least not wrong. “Holden Mondeo”? No, that did sound wrong – it’s “Ford Mondeo”. Also, I used to have a Captiva and my Ford-mad uncle used to have a Mondeo (I used to tease him….haha!) So I was sure… once I had read the question 5 times haha.
SH: Central to the format of Millionaire Hot Seat is the contestants’ option to ‘Pass’ on a specific question, and go back to the queue, hopefully to have a another turn in the Hot Seat later in the episode. Did you have a particular strategy about how and when to use this?
Which of these is not the name of a Melbourne Cup winning jockey?
(3 names + the joke answer “Anita Winn”)
A cultural phenomenon beginning in the early 2000s were impromptu group performances known as what?
Your answered both of these easily, but then your third question was….
The options being:
C) Macaroni and cheese
D) Garlic bread.
Judd, when you passed at that point, were you thinking that your ‘Hot Seat’ journey was over? Or were you thinking that the other five contestants would all cycle through, and you’d get a chance to get back into the Hot Seat again before the episode was done?
JF: As I mentioned earlier, I’d always wanted to pass early – in fact, the earlier the better – so as soon as I had the slightest hesitation in my answer I decided I’d pass. Almost as soon as I left the chair, “Pizza” dropped into my head, but I was completely happy with the pass.
SH: And lo and behold… the other five contestants DID all cycle through, and you found yourself back in the Hot Seat again, with a shot at the new top prize of $50,000. What were you thinking at that moment?
JF: I can only reiterate this calm feeling I had that I was going to win. In my head It was like someone is watching over me and “it was all just meant to be.”
Aha! But WAS Judd’s win actually ‘all meant to be’?** You’ll have to check back here next Tuesday to find out!
Hello and welcome to my latest EXCLUSIVE interview, and this time it’s with Judd Field, a contestant who recently had a very good run on Millionaire Hot Seat, here in Australia. It’s a multi-parter, and Judd goes in to a lot of detail about the entire adventure… so let’s get right into it!
SH: Judd Field, hello and welcome! Thanks so much for talking to me for HowToWinGameShows.com today. You, sir, are a certified, genuine brand new game show winner, so firstly – congratulations! Now, the show that you were on – Millionaire Hot Seat – is an offshoot of the original Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? format, but it has some significant differences, doesn’t it? Some regular visitors to this site may be unfamiliar with its format, so could you give us a quick description of how the show works?
SH: No worries at all, love that detail! To begin with, I’d like to establish the timeline for your Millionaire Hot Seat adventure. When did you initially register your interest, or apply to go on the show?
JF: June 2018.
Look, I get it. At first glance, this week’s post may look like some shameless self-promotion for something that has nothing to do with winning game shows.
I mean, yes, okay – I was one of Sam Petersen’s guests this week on his most excellent podcast Confessions Of The Idiots.
If you haven’t heard it, Confessions of The Idiots is about….. well, some confessions of some idiots. Each week, Sam invites a couple of comedians / actors / interesting people to examine, dissect and give advice on some confessions that have been posted online. It’s a great idea, that Sam executes beautifully, and he’s also nabbed some great guests in previous episodes.
Anyway, in this week’s episode, Sam paired me up with the brilliant young comedian Dave Warneke who – I think it’s fair to say – also has quite an interest in game shows, and we looked at the latest confessions that Sam had unearthed from his treasure trove.
BUT (and here’s the thing)… before we got to the ‘Confessions’ part of the show, both Sam and Dave* were quite curious to hear about various game show adventures of mine. So, for the first 17 minutes or so of this podcast, that’s what most of the chat is about. (There are even a few game show winning tips in there). So, if you don’t have the time to go back through the HowToWinGameShows.com archives to find the “official” versions of these stories (which are here and here, by the way) you can just listen to the first 17 minutes of this podcast!
I would recommend staying till the end, though… just because I think it’s kinda fun! But I should point out, there is some M-rated language. But not much.
So there’s my tip – download and listen to this week’s episode of Confessions of the Idiots, for some handy bite-sized game show advice, followed by some pretty funny and bizarre confessions talk. And once you’ve listened to that, why not try some others in the series? I must admit, I’m quite a fan; it’s given me quite a few Laugh Out Loud moments. And I never laugh at anything.
Until next time!
* Not THIS Sam & Dave.
… Just to be clear.
Just a bit of an update today, on one of the first ever Game Show Winner interviews I did for this site!
Back in August 2013, I interviewed Australia’s first ever Who Wants To Be A Millionaire millionaire, Martin Flood. Martin gave me a very detailed and thorough account of his whole WWTBAM adventure, covering all his preparation, the homework he did, the tactics he employed, the mental exercises he did, and the methods he used to keep the right attitude…. which culminated in him winning the ultimate prize – $1,000,000! The interview ran over 9 instalments, and I think it’s ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL READING for anyone contemplating going on that particular show.
Martin got in touch with me recently to let me know that somebody has now uploaded his two episodes to YouTube. So you can watch them right now, by clicking on the image below…
BUT I’d suggest reading my interview with Martin alongside watching the episodes on YouTube… that way, you can see (and hear) the exact moments from the show that Martin describes in the interview, as he describes them. A fully immersive HowToWinGameShows multimedia experience!
So, here are the links to my interview with Martin:
And once more, here’s the link to his two episodes on YouTube….
And while we’re on the subject of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, you might also be interested to visit (or re-visit) my exclusive interview with the show’s Executive Producer Steve Gilbert. You can find that right here.
… And that’s it for this week! And while we’re on this subject, if you’re an aspiring Who Wants To Be A Millionaire contestant – or a former Who Wants To Be A Millionaire contestant – please do drop me a line, and let me know how your WWTBAM experience compares to Martin’s!
Until next time!