History Teacher Bags the Who Wants to be a Millionaire Jackpot

A History teacher walked away with the jackpot on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire last night.

The episode saw 57-year-old teacher Donald Fear win the top prize of €1.2M (£1M) after seamlessly whizzing through the 15 questions. To win the jackpot, Donald correctly answered Blackbeard to the question: “In 1718, which pirate died in battle off the coast of what is now North Carolina?” He told ex-Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson that he had given a lesson to his pupils on that very subject 8 years ago! Clarkson quipped that he had filmed a documentary only last year on Pirates and Blackbeard etc but couldn’t remember ‘A single thing’ from it.

The first contestant to win Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? in 14 years celebrated his win by embarking on a caravan holiday around the UK. He now plans to spend some of his €1.2M (£1m) prize on a motor home.

History and politics teacher Donald Fear, 57, who lives in Telford, correctly answered the final 15th question about the death of a famous pirate in 1718. image: Credit ITV- Twitter

The winning question was…

The final question he answered correctly was: “In 1718, which pirate died in battle off the coast of what is now North Carolina?” The answer was Blackbeard. “I’m a dates man,” he said.

It runs in the family

Amazingly, his elder brother, Davyth, last year won €560,000 (£500,000) on the same programme. Following his win, Fear and his wife, Debs, set off on a caravan journey along the Northumberland coast. Originally, they had planned to visit Santander, Bilbao and Pamplona in Spain before heading for the Pyrenees but were thwarted by the COVID crisis.

“It’s Google, in a head.” – Clarkson

The show’s host, Jeremy Clarkson, said Fear was like “having the Encyclopaedia Britannica sitting opposite me” and added: “It’s Google, in a head.” I’m absolutely thrilled and delighted that we’ve found someone who seems to know just about everything.”!

Fear only used one of his available lifelines, 50:50, to win the jackpot, leaving his two ‘Phone a Friend’ options and ‘Ask the Host’ unused. The episode was pre-recorded without a studio audience due to COVID-19 restrictions. Contestants were given the option of a double ‘Phone a Friend’ instead of asking the audience as it was an empty studio apart from technicians.

Could you have answered the other questions?

As well as the Blackbeard question, other headscratchers included: “The construction of which of these famous landmarks was completed first? Empire State Building, Royal Albert Hall, Eiffel Tower, or Big Ben Clock Tower?

Correct answer: Big Ben Clock Tower

“Who is the only British politician to have held all four great offices of state at some point during their career? David Lloyd George, Harold Wilson, James Callaghan or John Major?”

Correct answer: James Callaghan

Recalling the moment the contestant answered the €1.2M (£1M) question correctly, Jeremy continued: “All of a sudden, confetti was falling from the ceiling and I was saying ‘You’ve just won £1 million’. I wasn’t sure I’d ever get to utter those immortal words. It was a little emotional — but, boy, did it feel good.”

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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