Edward "Ed" Earl Toutant (December 27, 1951 - November 6, 2018), a resident from Austin, Texas, was a contestant on the U.S. version of the show on January 28-31, 2001. After originally winning only $1,000 due to a bad question, he was invited back to the show on September 7, 2001 and he would then walk away with $1,860,000, the amount he was playing for on his first run, because at that time the show had an increasing bonus of $10,000 on top of the $1,000,000 top prize for each episode there was no millionaire, as there had been a drought of top-prize winners for five months.

Ed died of brain cancer at the age of 66, but family and friends remember the life of the local trivia champion and active member of Austin’s arts scene.


Fastest Finger Question

Fastest Finger Question
Put these U.S. states in order of their total land area, starting with the smallest.
• A: Wyoming • B: New Jersey
• C: South Carolina • D: Texas

From the 8 remaining contestants, 6 got it right, but Ed (with a time of 3.68 seconds) was the fastest to correctly answer B-C-A-D, making it into the Hot Seat.

Ed's Run to $1,860,000

$100 (1 of 15) - Not Timed
By definition, what shape is a traditional wreath?
• A: Ring • B: Triangle
• C: Square • D: Reindeer-shaped
$200 (2 of 15) - Not Timed
What part of a car normally makes skid marks?
• A: Bumper • B: Wheels
• C: Windshield • D: Insurance premium
The klaxon called time and Ed would return on $200 with all 3 lifelines still available.
$300 (3 of 15) - Not Timed
What word means both "to silence" and "a silly trick"?
• A: Wiggle • B: Goose
• C: Gag • D: Gallagher
$500 (4 of 15) - Not Timed
By definition, an abridged dictionary differs from an unabridged one in what way?
• A: More entries • B: Fewer entries
• C: Larger type • D: Paperback
$1,000 (5 of 15) - Not Timed
In January 2001, the U.S. Postal Service raised the price of a first class letter from 33 cents to what?
• A: 34 cents • B: 35 cents
• C: 40 cents • D: 43 cents
$2,000 (6 of 15) - Not Timed
In the U.S., which of these everyday objects frequently bears the name "Otis"?
• A: Fluorescent lamp • B: Elevator
• C: Refrigerator • D: Typewriter
$4,000 (7 of 15) - Not Timed
Since 1995, who has been the permanent bandleader for "The Tonight Show"?
• A: Max Weinberg • B: Paul Shaffer
• C: Doc Severensen • D: Kevin Eubanks
$8,000 (8 of 15) - Not Timed
In the late 19th century, who were the Mugwumps?
• A: Baseball team • B: Political faction
• C: Army cavalry • D: Journalists
$16,000 (9 of 15) - Not Timed
Scientists in England recently genetically altered what vegetable so it glows when it needs water?
'Ask the Audience' lifeline used
• A: Potato • B: Tomato
• C: Cabbage • D: Carrots
Ask the Audience Results: A: 12% • B: 64% • C: 22% • D: 2%

Originally, Ed was deemed to have given the wrong answer, having to walk away with $1,000. However, after his run was over and doing some research, he discovered that the experiment had been done in Scotland, not England; and that an Oxford professor, Dr. Marc Knight, had been doing research glowing tomato plants, thus rendering his original answer valid.[1]

After sending the show an email detailing this, they decided to bring him back, to give him a new $16,000 question, and to re-award him the 'Ask the Audience' lifeline he used in his flawed question. Furthermore, during his original run, there was an accumulating jackpot that increased by $10,000 for each successive show in which none of the contestants could answer all fifteen questions correctly. So, to be fair, the show gave him a chance to win the million dollars plus the $860,000 jackpot bonus he was at that time playing for; for a grand total of $1,860,000.

$16,000 (9 of 15) - Not Timed
Emmentaler is a type of what food?
'Ask the Audience' and 'Phone-a-Friend' lifelines used
• A: Chocolate • B: Cheese
• C: Bread • D: Sausage
Ask the Audience Results: A: 16% • B: 41% • C: 9% • D: 34%
Ed did not waste any time, and used his Ask the Audience lifeline right away, who voted 16-41-9-34, being torn between Cheese and Sausage. Therefore, he decided to call his friend and humour columnist Dan, who was very, very sure it was Cheese. He decided to go with him and won $16,000.
$32,000 (10 of 15) - Not Timed
What is the name of the main character in Rossini's opera "The Barber of Seville"?
• A: Figaro • B: Faust
• C: Don Juan • D: Fiorello
$64,000 (11 of 15) - Not Timed
Which of these US States borders both Lake Superior and Lake Huron?
• A: Wisconsin • B: Illinois
• C: Michigan • D: Ohio
$125,000 (12 of 15) - Not Timed
In the Arthur Conan Doyle book series, what is the first name of Sherlock Holmes' smarter brother?
• A: Wendell • B: Thaddeus
• C: Sherman • D: Mycroft
$250,000 (13 of 15) - Not Timed
Who is the subject of the Oscar-winning 1994 documentary subtitled "A Strong Clear Vision"?
• A: Simon Wiesenthal • B: Harvey Milk
• C: Maya Lin • D: Nelson Mandela
$500,000 (14 of 15) - Not Timed
Reverse Polish notation is commonly used in which of the following fields of study?
• A: Mathematics • B: Cartography
• C: Linguistics • D: Music theory
$1,860,000 (15 of 15) - Not Timed
During WWII, U.S. soldiers used the first commercial aerosol cans to hold what?
'50:50' lifeline used
• A: Cleaning fluid • B: Antiseptic
• C: Insecticide • D: Shaving cream
Ed decided to try to reason it out before using his 50:50, and arrived to Insecticide and Shaving cream. He decided to use it, and eliminated A and D. After ruling out Antiseptic, and thinking about becoming either the first person to miss the ultimate question or the last person to win more than a million dollars, he decided to go with Insecticide, and won $1,000,000, plus the $860,000 bonus he was playing with on his first run.

Ed Toutant: Millionaire



  • Ed Toutant's $1,860,000 win made him the second biggest winner on a game show at the time, just behind Kevin Olmstead, a contestant who played in the interim between Toutant's flawed and final run who won $2,180,000 ($1,180,000 came from the progressive jackpot that kept on going after Toutant's flawed question).
  • He was a FF contestant on January 2000. This means that Ed Toutant has appeared on the show on 4 different episodes.
  • He won $11,401 in his solitary Jeopardy! victory in 1989, finishing second the next day.
  • He was a contestant on GSN's game show Grand Slam in 2007. Seeded fourth into the tournament, he lost to Leszek Pawlowicz in the first round.
  • Ed appeared on Millionaire a second time in 2005, as the Phone-a-Friend lifeline for Kelly Buszek.
  • Ed appeared on Millionaire a third time (and the final time before his death in November 2018) on September 22, 2016 as the Plus One lifeline for Wayne Schiff.
  • Ed was the last top prize winner in the original primetime series, as well as the last contestant to see the final question, until Ken Basin's fatal $1 million question flunk out incident on the final episode of the 10th Anniversary Celebration event in 2009.


Preceded by
Alex Rachmiel
U.S. Contestant (Season 2)
Ed Toutant
Succeeded by
Amy Turner
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