Retired doctor just misses out on million dollar TV show prize because of this question

Sarah Carty
Features & Style Editor

A retired doctor has missed out on the top prize on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, despite the fact that he knew the correct answer. 

Andrew Townsley, who hails from Glasgow and uses a wheelchair due to progressive multiple sclerosis, decided to play it safe and take home the $948,708 (£500,000) cash prize after being unsure if he knew the answer to the £1,000,000 question.

Andrew Townsley decided not to risk his winnings because he wasn't certain of the answer to this question. Photo: ITV

However, he was left looking visibly disheartened when he took a guess at the million pound question after locking in his decision to take home the penultimate prize, and discovered he would have got it right. 

The question read: “In the history of motor sport, which of these iconic races was held first?'

The options were A. Le Mans 24 Hours B. Monaco Grand Prix C. Indy 500 or D. Isle Of Man TT.

Andrew decided to phone a friend, who didn’t know the answer to the question and apologised. 

After a bit of deliberation with host Jeremy Clarkson, Andrew decided to take home the money he’d already won, saying his plan is to visit Niagara Falls. 

“I don’t know the answer and it’s just too much money to lose. Having gotten so far and to go on a whimn, I think would be foolish. Niagara Falls is looking very nice,” he said. 

When asked what answer he would have given, Andrew said he would have guessed that it was Isle Of Man TT. 

It turns out that was the correct answer, meaning he would have taken home the top prize if he’d taken a chance on it. 

Andrew plans to use his winnings to visit Niagara Falls. Photo: ITV

 “I was actually 50/50. If I still had the 50/50 lifeline I would have,” Andrew told The Sun. 

“I thought it probably was the TT. But was I prepared to risk it?

“The show went very quick. That was my abiding memory of it. I found myself suddenly running out of questions in no time at all.”

If Andrew had guessed correctly, he would have become the sixth person in the show’s history to scoop the top prize.

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