Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Wiki

Joe Trela, from Gilroy, California, was a contestant on the U.S. version of the show on March 23, 2000. He became the third American contestant to win $1,000,000, and did so after using all of his lifelines by question 10.

Later he appeared on Champions edition on May 21, 2000 and answered the 10th question wrong and won $1,000 ($500 goes to his charity and the other $500 went to him).


Fastest Finger Question

Fastest Finger Question
Put these novels in the order in which they were first published, starting with the earliest.
• A: The Perfect Storm • B: The Satanic Verses
• C: Timeline • D: The Celestine Prophecy

From the 10 contestants, only Joe (with a time of 5.22 seconds) correctly answered B-D-A-C, making it into the Hot Seat.

Joe's Run to the Million

$100 (1 of 15) - Not Timed
According to an Aesop's fable, you shouldn't count what before they are hatched?
• A: Fingers • B: Chickens
• C: Snakes • D: Guppies
$200 (2 of 15) - Not Timed
What adjective best describes a type of reaction that is automatic and unthinking?
• A: Head-kick • B: Neck-twist
• C: Knee-jerk • D: Ankle-swing
$300 (3 of 15) - Not Timed
Which of the following describes the extrasensory ability to communicate from one mind to another?
• A: Telepathy • B: Therapy
• C: Tsunami • D: Typhus
$500 (4 of 15) - Not Timed
What culinary staple traditionally comes in two species: arabica and robusta?
• A: Split peas • B: Coffee beans
• C: Cola nuts • D: Sunflower seeds
$1,000 (5 of 15) - Not Timed
What company uses a "dog" named Sock Puppet in its current ad campaign?
• A: PETCO • B: Barnesandnoble.com
• C: AOL • D: Pets.com
$2,000 (6 of 15) - Not Timed
Which of the following is the symbol sometimes placed over the "n" in the Spanish language?
• A: Tilde • B: Umlaut
• C: Circumflex • D: Cedilla
$4,000 (7 of 15) - Not Timed
What actor is the voice of Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Story movies?
• A: Michael J. Fox • B: Tom Hanks
• C: Tim Allen • D: Robin Williams
$8,000 (8 of 15) - Not Timed
Which profession completes the Shakespeare line, "The first thing we do, let's kill all the" what?
• A: Doctors • B: Lawyers
• C: Bankers • D: Chefs
$16,000 (9 of 15) - Not Timed
Ernest Hemingway's novel "Death in the Afternoon" concerns what sport?
'Ask the Audience' lifeline used
• A: Mountain climbing • B: Deep-sea fishing
• C: Boxing • D: Bullfighting
Ask the Audience Results: A: 11% • B: 17% • C: 6% • D: 66%
$32,000 (10 of 15) - Not Timed
What baseball player has played in the most number of World Series games?
'Phone-a-Friend' and '50:50' lifelines used
• A: Reggie Jackson • B: Yogi Berra
• C: Mickey Mantle • D: Pee Wee Reese
Joe did not follow the Yankees that much, so he decided to phone his brother Nate, who would guess Jackson, but was not sure. So, he decided to use his 50:50, eliminating C and D. Surprisingly, he decided to go with Yogi (against his brother's choice of Jackson), and won $32,000.
$64,000 (11 of 15) - Not Timed
How many people are depicted in Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper"?
• A: 10 • B: 12
• C: 13 • D: 15
$125,000 (12 of 15) - Not Timed
Which of the following was never a colony of Portugal?
• A: Thailand • B: Brazil
• C: East Timor • D: Angola
$250,000 (13 of 15) - Not Timed
Minus 40 degrees Celsius converts to what temperature Fahrenheit?
• A: 0 • B: -22
• C: -40 • D: -58
(-40℃ x 9/5) = -72 + 32 = -40℉
$500,000 (14 of 15) - Not Timed
In the movie "The Exorcist", what spirit does young Regan talk to through a Ouija board?
• A: Zool • B: Azazel
• C: Damien • D: Captain Howdy
$1,000,000 (15 of 15) - Not Timed
What insect shorted out an early supercomputer and inspired the term "computer bug"?
• A: Moth • B: Roach
• C: Fly • D: Japanese beetle
He narrowed it down to Moth and Roach, and thought he knew it. He was leaning towards Moth, and decided to make it his final answer. After some tense seconds, Regis announced "He just won a million dollars!"

Joe Trela: Millionaire


Queen Latifah

Joe Trela was one of the friends Queen Latifah had on her call list during her appearance in the first Celebrity Week. She called him during her $500,000 question, but Joe did not give an answer within the allocated time.

WWTBAM - Champions Edition

On May 21, 2000, Trela appeared in the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Champions Edition, in which previous contestants, who won $250,000-$1,000,000 played again, with half their winnings going to their favorite charities. Trela played for the Family Alliance.

Fastest Finger Question

The Fastest Finger question was:

Fastest Finger Question
Put the following singers in the order of their birth, beginning with the most recent.
• A: Patti LaBelle • B: Pat Benatar
• C: Patsy Cline • D: Pat Boone
After 5 contestants got it right, Joe Trela makes it into the Hot Seat by answering B-A-D-C in a time of 4.02 seconds.

Joe's Run to the Million:

$100 (1 of 15) - Not Timed
Which of these letters is most associated with fictional character "Zorro"?
• A: S • B: Z
• C: Q • D: Rejection
$200 (2 of 15) - Not Timed
According to an old saying, a person who fusses over a little thing "makes a mountain out of" what?
• A: Sandcastle • B: Molehill
• C: Rabbit hole • D: Mashed potatoes
$300 (3 of 15) - Not Timed
What is the name for both a breed of dog and a 1950s women's hairstyle?
"Ask the Audience" and "50:50" lifelines used
• A: Terrier • B: Beagle
• C: Poodle • D: Bouffant
Ask the Audience Results: A: 1% • B: 2% • C: 47% • D: 50%
Joe wasn't sure so he decided to ask the audience. After the results came back in a near tie (with half choosing the option he thought it wasn't) he used the 50:50, which eliminated B, and the audience's choice, D.

He then locked in C which was the right answer.

$500 (4 of 15) - Not Timed
The glue on what country's postage stamp is certified kosher?
• A: Turkey • B: Hungary
• C: China • D: Israel
$1,000 (5 of 15) - Not Timed
Which of the following magazine covers traditionally features a red border?
• A: Time • B: Rolling Stone
• C: Cosmopolitan • D: TV Guide
$2,000 (6 of 15) - Not Timed
On what continent would you find the Amazon river?
• A: North America • B: South America
• C: Africa • D: Asia
$4,000 (7 of 15) - Not Timed
What television sitcom popularized the phrase "Kiss my grits!"?
• A: Alice • B: One Day at a Time
• C: All in the Family • D: WKRP in Cincinatti
$8,000 (8 of 15) - Not Timed
In the 20th Century, Walter Winchell gained influence over the American public through what medium?
• A: Political office • B: Union leadership
• C: Gossip column • D: Religious preaching
$16,000 (9 of 15) - Not Timed
Where did abolitionist John Brown's famous raid on a federal arsenal take place?
• A: Fort Sumter • B: Chancellorsville
• C: Gettysburg • D: Harper's Ferry
$32,000 (10 of 15) - Not Timed
How many people currently make up the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff?
• A: Four • B: Six
• C: Seven • D: Eight
He mentions the secretaries of the U.S. army, navy, air force, and marines, so he chose A: Four, but the correct answer was Six (he forgot about the Joint Chiefs Chairman and Vice Chairman) and he lost $15,000 and left with only $1,000.

Total Prize Money: $1,000


  • In 2002, Bill Harris had Joe Trela as Phone-a-Friend. Additionally, Queen Latifah called Joe during her appearance on Celebrity Millionaire in 2000
  • In the Champions edition shows, this was the first of two times where the audience gave a million dollar winner the wrong answer. Dan Blonsky asked the audience on his $32,000 question, and was steered astray.
  • When Regis Philbin announced Joe had won a million dollars on his first run, the confetti drop that accompanies any Top Prize win was unusually large for any of the shows, as the confetti filled the backdrop of the studio when he shook hands with Philbin and when his friend came to hug him.
Preceded by
Matt Murray
U.S. Contestant (Season 1)
Joe Trela
Succeeded by
Jason Stirnaman
Preceded by
Champions Edition Contestants
Joe Trela
Succeeded by
David Forman