Doug Van Gundy, from Marlinton, West Virginia, was a contestant who appeared on the U.S. version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? on August 19 & 20, 1999. He walked away with $250,000, being the first American to do so. He was also the first contestant in Worldwide WWTBAM to use four lifelines in a single run (due to a bad question).


Fastest Finger Question

Fastest Finger Question
Put the following Winter Olympic host cities in order from most recent to earliest.
• A: Innsbruck • B: Lillehammer
• C: Nagano • D: Albertville
From the 9 contestants, 4 got it right, but Doug (with a time of 4.33 seconds) was the fastest to correctly answer C-B-D-A, making it into the Hot Seat.

Doug's Run to the Million

$100 (1 of 15) - Not Timed
What mode of transportation was once nickname the 'iron horse'?
'Ask the Audience' lifeline used
• A: Motorcycle • B: Locomotive
• C: Mechanized Plow • D: Automobile
Ask the Audience Results: A: 8% • B: 77% • C: 8% • D: 7%
Doug knew of the existence of a motorcycle magazine called 'Iron Horse', and because he also knew that Locomotives were nicknamed Iron horses, he decided to Ask the Audience, from which 77% answered Locomotive, and 8% motorcycle. He went with the audience and won $100.
$200 (2 of 15) - Not Timed
Which of the following is not a comic book hero?
• A: The Human Torch • B: Green Lantern
• C: Spider-Man • D: Underpants Man
$300 (3 of 15) - Not Timed
Tony the Tiger is a trademarked character for what breakfast cereal?
• A: Apple Jacks • B: Frosted Flakes
• C: Frosted Mini-Wheats • D: Corn Flakes
$500 (4 of 15) - Not Timed
Who founded Playboy magazine?
• A: Hugh Hefner • B: Bob Guccione
• C: Larry Flynt • D: Hugh Grant
$1,000 (5 of 15) - Not Timed
In what state was former president Jimmy Carter born and raised?
• A: Georgia • B: Alabama
• C: South Carolina • D: Tennessee
The klaxon called time, and Regis points out that Doug was right about there being a motorcycle magazine named "Iron Horse", so Doug will return with his Ask the Audience lifeline restored.
$2,000 (6 of 15) - Not Timed
What is another name for a human being's lower jaw bone?
• A: Cranium • B: Ulna
• C: Maxilla • D: Mandible
$4,000 (7 of 15) - Not Timed
What rock star was born Gordon Sumner?
• A: Sting • B: Flea
• C: Donovan • D: Marky Mark
$8,000 (8 of 15) - Not Timed
Which of the following is the nearest translation of the French fashion term, 'pret-a-porter'?
• A: Height of Fashion • B: Out of Fashion
• C: Ready to Wear • D: Easy to Wash
$16,000 (9 of 15) - Not Timed
What object is the man holding in the famous painting 'American Gothic'?
• A: An Axe • B: A Pitchfork
• C: A Saddle • D: A Scythe
$32,000 (10 of 15) - Not Timed
What is the name of the coffee shop in the television series 'Friends'?
• A: Christine's Latte • B: Java Man
• C: Perk Square • D: Central Perk
$64,000 (11 of 15) - Not Timed
Which American poet wrote, 'The Road Not Taken'?
• A: Robert Frost • B: Ezra Pound
• C: T.S. Eliot • D: Carl Sandburg
$125,000 (12 of 15) - Not Timed
On November 22, 1963, where was Lee Harvey Oswald arrested?
'Ask the Audience' lifeline used
• A: Department Store • B: Movie Theatre
• C: Book Depository • D: Drugstore
Ask the Audience Results: A: 2% • B: 85% • C: 8% • D: 5%
$250,000 (13 of 15) - Not Timed
Since 1973 the annual Iditarod dogsled race has started in Anchorage and ended where?
'50:50' and 'Phone-a-Friend' lifelines used
• A: Juneau • B: Nome
• C: Barrow • D: Fairbanks
Doug saw two possible answers, so he decided to use his 50:50, eliminating A and C, apparently leaving the two possibilities Doug thought as the answer. Doug then decided to phone his friend Russ, who was absolutely positive it was Nome. He decided to go with him, and won $250,000.
The very first $500,000 question in the U.S. and the first penultimate question worldwide (14 of 15) - Not Timed
Which English king does William Shakespeare refer to as 'Bolingbroke?'
• A: Richard III • B: Henry IV
• C: Henry V • D: Henry VIII
Doug did not know, so he decided to walk away with $250,000. The correct answer was B: Henry IV.

Total Prize Money: $250,000


Preceded by
Rob Gelbman
U.S. Contestant (Season 1)
Doug Van Gundy
Succeeded by
John McClain