Robby Roseman, an employee at Chicago Commodities Exchange from Chicago, Illinois, was a contestant who appeared on the U.S. version of Millionaire on August 22, 1999 after he incorrectly answered on his $100 question, becoming the first person to leave with nothing on the American version of the show. For added irony, he mentioned before the game started that he was wearing his lucky shorts.


Fastest Finger Question

Fastest Finger Question
According to their titltes, put the following movies in geographical order from the west to the east.
• A: Viva Las Vegas • B: Memphis Belle
• C: Fargo • D: Beverly Hills Cop
From the 10 contestants, 3 got it right, but Robby (with a time of 5.25 seconds) was the fastest to correctly answer D-A-C-B, making it into the Hot Seat.

Robby's Run to the Million

$100 (1 of 15) - Not Timed
Hannibal crossed the Alps using what animals?
'50:50' lifeline used
• A: Rhinoceri • B: Elephants
• C: Llamas • D: Chihuahuas
Robby didn't know, but said that he wasn't going out on the first question so he used his 50:50 lifeline. It removed the option he was initially going to go for, he then took a guess on C: Llamas but this was incorrect so he left without winning any money.

Regis' words put it best: "Robby is gone before he's here! Take those lucky shorts off and BURN THEM!"



  • It was after this event that the term llama was coined. It is currently used by the Millionaire's fans to refer to a person who leaves the show empty handed.
  • As Roseman left the studio, the graphic message of "Total Prize Money: $0" was noticeably absent. The reason why it did not appear was because the producers of the show never anticipated such an incident ever occurring. It turned out to only be the first of many unfortunate incidents of contestants flunking out on one of the first five questions and leaving with nothing on both the primetime and the syndicated versions, and after this, every subsequent contestant who flunked out prior to winning the $1,000 safe haven level would receive the unfortunate graphic message of "Total Prize Money: $0". Brian Fodera was the first contestant to receive this unfortunate graphic message.
  • While Robby's luck on Millionaire was as bad as could be, don't feel too bad for him because things ended up turning around for him in a big way. He'd go on to win over $500,000 playing poker on the WPT.


Preceded by
Doug Szafran
U.S. Contestant (Season 1)
Robby Roseman
Succeeded by
Tom Colletta