Nebraskan wins $58,600 on 'Who Wants To Be a Millionaire' - Omaha.com
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Beth Forney of Alliance stands with Cedric the Entertainer after winning $58,600 on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” Forney taped the show last November, and it aired on Tuesday.


Nebraskan wins $58,600 on 'Who Wants To Be a Millionaire'
By Bart Schaneman / World-Herald News Service


SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. — She’s been keeping it a secret since November.

Alliance resident Beth Forney won $58,600 on TV’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” which aired Tuesday.

She was under orders from the show to tell only her husband how much she won until the show aired.

“My mother was anxiously waiting to hear how I did,” Forney said.

Last June, Forney’s husband, a doctor in Alliance, was in New York City for meetings and Beth went along. She went for a walk and saw ABC advertising for open auditions.

“I said, ‘That sounds like fun,’ ” Forney said.

Of about 50 people, 10 made it to the next round. A week later, Forney received a postcard saying she made the cut for the contestants’ pool. Contestants can remain in the pool for up to two years, Forney said, but on Friday, Nov. 1, she received a call saying she had been selected. The show producer asked if she could be in New York City on Tuesday morning.

Forney said she would see if it was possible, explaining that getting a flight on short notice might be difficult.

“The producer said, ‘Where do you live?’ ” Forney said. After a Google search, “the producer said, ‘You live way out there?’ ”

She made it to her 6:45 a.m. Tuesday taping appointment. She met with the show’s attorneys, accountants and producers to go over paperwork, rules of the game and to see the set.

Then it was back to the green room to wait her turn. The producers told her she might have to wait until as long as the next day for her number to be called, but her luck held and she was called third.

For those that didn’t see the show, Forney performed well, making it all the way through the first round, asking the audience for help with a “Ghostbusters” question, then coming to a question for $250,000 that only someone with a healthy love of baseball history would have known.

The question was how many runs had baseball great Hank Aaron scored when he hit his 715th home run to break Babe Ruth’s home run record. The answer was 2,064, and her other multiple choice options were all close to that number. Forney chose to walk with the money rather than guess.

Host Cedric the Entertainer asked her about the Forney family’s Sandhills ranch she and her husband run in Sheridan County and life in Nebraska.

Forney mentioned that calving season is coming up.

“There’s a season for calving?” Cedric asked.

During a commercial break, she said Cedric’s producer asked, “ ‘Do you go out and milk these cows?’ I said, ‘They’re not dairy cows.’ ”

She asked the producer if he was a vegetarian. “But he said he ate meat,” Forney said. “So I told him we raise beef cattle, this is your hamburger, this is your steak. He’s lived in New York City his whole life, and this had never dawned on him. I think I was something of an anomaly to them.”

At one point Cedric asked her “Would you name a cow after me?”

“I thought, ‘He wouldn’t want me to name one after him if knew what happens to a steer,’” Forney said.

But if they decide to keep a calf for a bull, she agreed to name one after him and send him a photo of Cedric the Bull.


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