The intense music. The challenging questions. The memorable lifelines. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is arguably the greatest game show of all time. And, in the days of its infancy, one couple managed to cheat the system all the way to the top.

Major Charles Ingram and his wife, Diana, went down in history for their clumsy crime on live television. They almost got away with it — until viewers noticed one clue.

In 2001, the army veteran and his wife Diana were in tremendous debt. Months prior, on the U.K. version of the show, Diana won £32,000 ($42,000), making it seem like a lucrative opportunity to regain their financial footing. Ingram later depend on his wife to help carry out the operation.

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Originally, the plan was not to cheat. When the couple arrived on set, they were confident in Charles’ potential. However, after the first few rounds, it became obvious that their expectations were a bit too high.

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Charles nearly bombed the first few questions. He crawled his way to £4,000 ($5,300), using up two of his lifelines in the process. By the time filming wrapped for the day, it became apparent that they needed a plan.

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After day one of filming, Diana went to work to find a solution. She searched her contacts for someone nearby who could show up for the second day. She settled on a man with industry connections who could talk his way onto the set: Tecwen Whittock.

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Tecwen was a college lecturer whom Diana met while performing on other game shows. He had studied the kinds of offbeat questions Millionaire was known for. Together, the three devised a way to slip the correct answers to Charles without being discovered. Here’s how they (allegedly) did it.

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When Charles showed up on set the following day, his mood was different. He couldn’t keep a smile off his face, yet he continued to fidget. The host, Chris Tarrant, was baffled by the following showcase.

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According to their plan, Charles was meant to follow a very specific series of actions. While the host read the question, he was supposed to look pensive and ruminate on the answers. Next, Tecwen would use a secret, cheap tactic to reveal the answer.

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The plan was for Charles to spend some time thinking, then state each multiple choice answer aloud, very slowly. Then, when he read the correct answer, Tecwen would send him a signal. Simple, right? Except that the signal was embarrassingly obvious.

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Later, viewers noticed that each time Charles read aloud the correct answer, a mysterious audience member could be heard coughing up a storm. Naturally, this audience member was Tecwen, helping the Ingrams cheat. Yet, there was someone else coughing out there as well.

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With the scheme underway, Charles was whizzing through questions with an overblown confidence. Footage showed his wife was also feeding him answers with her coughs. But as the game went on, her demeanor changed. That’s how we know Charles messed up. Big time.

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Something switched inside Charles, as he went from nervous to completely batty. He poked fun at the host and gibed with the audience, all to the visible dismay of Diana. He claimed to have “never heard of” answers right before correctly choosing them, attracting far too much attention.

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By the time the final question came, Diana was fuming. She knew her husband all too well; he was hooked on the audience’s adoration. Charles was never supposed to go this far, but he just couldn’t contain himself. He was making their plan so obvious!

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At the end of the episode, Charles was like a cat in a room full of mice. He swatted back and forth between answers, waiting for the cue from his in-house hacker. The host even commented on Diana’s visible horror. After making an “unexpected” change of heart on his final answer, Charles hit the jackpot.

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Right after his historic win, Charles seems almost relaxed, unlike most guests in the hot seat. He immediately covered the smile on his face, as did his wife, who was asked to join him on stage. They sauntered off set and almost immediately into a courtroom.

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After winning, the Ingrams’ £1,000,000 was suspended, and they were investigated promptly. Charles’ head was on the chopping block with the law, the army, and his wife. The trio of cheaters were found guilty, and Charles was stripped of his title as Major. However, the court didn’t find their crimes terribly serious.

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After being found guilty of collusion, all three “criminals” had their roughly year-long prison sentences suspended. Still, they were left with some hefty fines, which would’ve pushed them even deeper in debt. But after Charles was dubbed the “Coughing Major,” his reputation skyrocketed.

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Charles was asked to come onto a slew of reality shows, including Hell’s Kitchen and Wife Swap, where Diana once again made a TV appearance. This convinced many that the duo cheated simply to attract media attention. Nevertheless, the couple maintain their innocence to this day. Now, a TV show might just exonerate them.

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A miniseries called Quiz centers around the entire Ingram controversy. In the three-part story, the jury, who at first finds the Ingrams guilty, has a change of heart once presented with the evidence. On the last day of the show’s airing, the real Ingrams announced they were fighting to overturn their guilty verdicts.

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According to a statement from the Ingrams’ lawyers, “There are some really weird anomalies” in the recordings that prove the coughing was all just a coincidence. As far as we’re concerned, we still find Charles and Diana guilty. That’s our final answer. But another so-called game show cheater would take their side.

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Terry Kneiss’ moment of truth came on an otherwise ordinary episode of The Price Is Right in 2008. Terry and his wife Linda cheered with the rest of the studio audience. He was smiling — but it wasn’t just for the cameras.

See, Terry felt like a Price Is Right ringer. He’d been mastering the art of guessing his entire life, actually. He began his career as a Nevada meteorologist and quickly set himself apart from phony weathermen by making startlingly accurate forecasts.


Earning two Emmys and promotions to bigger TV markets, Terry could’ve had a fantastic career in weather. But the travel and homesickness caught up to him and his wife. They shuffled back to Nevada, where Terry applied his skills to a different industry.

Back in Vegas, Terry landed a job in casino surveillance. Using his genius for pattern recognition, it was his job to watch the entire casino floor for cheats and card counters. Even the pros couldn’t get past him.

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He learned all the ways tricksters tried to exploit loopholes in casino games. Once Terry flagged them down, the cheats were strongly persuaded to never come back. Surprisingly enough, Terry soon became one of them.


He figured out how to count cards, his skills quickly surpassing those of lifelong gamblers. Nevertheless, Terry never tried to rake in a fortune at the casinos. He sought out a less exotic pastime.

Terry became obsessed with The Price Is Right, to the point where he rarely missed an episode. Apart from the more random games like Plinko, the repeating items and numbers in the show intrigued him. And he wasn’t alone.

He looped Linda into his hobby, and the couple developed into armchair Price Is Right pros. They tirelessly memorized the prices of various items and went back through tapes of old episodes to see which products appeared the most often.

Over hundreds of hours, Terry and Linda determined the game show used the same stuff over and over again — with the same prices. They figured out the patterns inside and out, and both swooned at the thought of actually competing themselves.


They wouldn’t be cheating, necessarily. They’d be taking an approach similar to Michael Larson, who memorized the prize sequence of Press Your Luck in 1984. He figured out which flashing squares were always safe, which won him over $100,000.

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By 2008, they were ready. Nabbing tickets for a live Price Is Right Taping wasn’t difficult, but Terry and Linda had no control if they’d be randomly called down to play. They held their breath as announcer Rich Fields called out the names.

Incredibly, Terry won that lottery. He faced down the challenge of guessing the price of a very familiar product: the Big Green Egg. Without a moment of hesitation, Terry wowed everyone by listing the exact retail price of $1,175.

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The audience cheered, but that home run made Drew Carey sweat. He’d seen plenty of good guesses before, but a contestant acing a challenge made him suspect a cheat. The host only grew more nervous as Terry advanced to the final showcase.

Terry faced a sterner test here. His showcase package included a camper, pool table, and karaoke machine, which his sharp mind quickly added up to $23,000. Then, for fun, he added on 743 — his and Linda’s PIN number.

Astonishingly, Terry was exactly right. Not only did he walk away with both showcases, but he also achieved a feat that most people thought was impossible. Despite the milestone, Drew ended the episode immediately. He smelled a rat.

Less than a year had passed since Drew took over for Bob Barker, and it had been a bumpy road. He couldn’t believe that Terry just did his homework. He couldn’t prove it, but he theorized Terry was being fed information from a notorious figure.


Ted Slauson emerged in the late 1980s as the most formidable Price Is Right contestant ever. When he wasn’t winning big bucks, he drove producers nuts by sitting in the audience and shouting out correct answers to other contestants.


By pure chance, Ted was in attendance that fateful day when Terry won it all. He didn’t get called down to compete — likely because the crew knew to avoid him — but he undoubtedly would have been in Terry’s corner.

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Was it possible that Ted made secret hand signals to Terry, and that they had a secret partnership going back months? That was Drew’s explanation, though Terry denied ever meeting this game show ace. He asserts that he won by his own merit.


Because of Drew’s reaction, Terry hasn’t watched a single Price Is Right episode since his big win. Still, he’s the foremost expert on the show. He’s written a book about his experiences and has tried to adapt it into a movie, which will surely touch on the biggest secrets of the show.

On a typical day, about 40 shiny new cars sit in The Price Is Right studio lot in Los Angeles, California. When you give out, like, four new cars every weekday morning, you have to be prepared.

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How many different games on The Price is Right can you name? Because the show airs five days a week, producers have created over 70 games to cycle through and keep episodes fresh.

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Winners fill out paperwork forever. Then they wait for the show to ship them their prizes (you don’t actually get to walk out the door with them). If you won a car, you have to go to a dealership to pick it up. If it doesn’t have the model, you wait until it does.

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To be a contestant, you wait in line for hours outside Bob Barker Studios; then, you and 9 others are led to a producer; the producer asks each potential contestant one question and selects those that provide energetic and sincere answers.

Potential contestants often offer Stan Blits, below, the producer in charge of selecting contestants for the show, bribes. A man of high integrity, he turns them all down.

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Hosts Bob Barker and Drew Carey carry an iconic, almost comically thin microphone on air — and for good reason. Producers believe this is less intimidating to nervous contestants than a big, fat microphone.

The biggest prizes The Price is Right offers are those showcases comprised of cars, trips, kitchen sets, and more, worth around $25,000. The biggest winner in the show’s history, Adam Rose, took home $1,153,908 during The Price Is Right Million Dollar Spectacular.

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The Price is Right features games where contestants guess the prices of everyday household products. To keep pricing consistent — groceries sell for different prices in every store, after all — the show bases numbers on a group of California retailers.

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The Price Is Right debuted the big wheel back in 1975 as means to catapult contestants into the Showcase Showdown. Producers wanted a wheel in the show because a competitor, the also-beloved Wheel of Fortune, had one.

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Bob Barker once had a thick, dark mane of hair, but over time it turned grey. Producers asked him to dye his hair — there was no room on daytime television for grey hair, they said. Barker had to get permission to eventually stop using dye.

Bob Barker first decided to go grey when he went on vacation and briefly stopped dyeing his hair. People actually complimented the grey locks! Oddly enough, the show’s ratings improved when Barker debuted the new look.

Some game shows allow winners to accept the cash value of prizes won rather than the prize itself. The Price is Right is different. If you win a boat — even if you live in a landlocked city — you’re taking home a boat or nothing at all.

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Those who’ve witnessed tapings of the show say, during downtime when the cameras stop rolling, Drew Carey will perform little jokes or dances to keep the crowd entertained.

CBS interviewed George Hamilton, John O’Hurley, Mario Lopez, and Marc Summers — and ignored Barker’s endorsement of Rosie O’Donnell — before choosing Drew Carey to replace Bob Barker after his retirement.

In 1976, announcer Johnny Olson called Patricia Bernard down to the stage…except she wasn’t in the audience. She was in the bathroom, so her husband had to run and get her! Barker said this was one of the funniest moments in the show’s history.

Over its decades-long run, the show has given away over 8,550 vehicles and $600 million in cash. In his time as host, Bob Barker received an estimated 22,000 kisses from elated female contestants

Uncle Sam considers the show’s prizes — both cash and otherwise — as taxable income. Winners must file tax returns for California where the show shoots, which often leads to contestants just declining the prizes altogether. Talk about a punch to the gut!

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The Price is Right debuted on CBS in1972. Over five decades, the show aired over 8,000 episodes and became the longest-running series on American network television, winning eight Emmys along the way. Of course, its famous host came from far less glamorous origins.


Most performers dream of winning an Emmy. Maybe they should ask Bob Barker for one — he’s got plenty to spare, with an astounding 19 awards decking out his trophy case. What’s even more incredible is that he started out as far away from stardom as possible.

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Due to his Sioux family roots, Barker spent his earliest years on a Native American reservation in South Dakota. He showed off his scrappy nature from an early age, which brought him opportunities to move up in the world.

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The talented showman first entertained crowds on the basketball court. Barker received an athletic scholarship to Drury College in Missouri, but to make a bit of money on the side, he also accepted a part-time job at a local radio station.

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The escalation of World War II, however, put Barker’s ambitions on hold. Trained as a Navy pilot, he was prepared to give his life for his country. But when the fighting ended before he was deployed, Barker saw he had a chance to follow his true calling.

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Barker moved to California and landed a job as a radio host. His beloved wife Dorothy Jo was his biggest supporter during those early years, but Bob’s work soon brought another champion to his corner.

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Influential producer Ralph Edwards became a big fan of Bob’s show, and he was sure Barker didn’t just have a face for radio. As a matter of fact, Edwards wanted him to join an explosive new TV trend: the game show.

In 1956, Barker made his television debut as the host of Truth or Consequences, which challenged contestants to perform wacky stunts for prizes. Not only was the show itself a hit; Bob established himself as one of the most likable personalities in entertainment.

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Before long, Barker found himself all over the small screen. He hosted big events, including the Pillsbury Bake-Off and Rose Parade, and guest-starred on hit shows like Bonanza. Of course, Bob’s biggest gig was yet to come.

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When the 1970s rolled around, producers approached CBS about reviving the short-lived game show The Price Is Right. The network agreed, but only if they hired Barker as host. With that, Bob came on down!

With its exciting games and lovably tacky aesthetic, The Price Is Right became an overnight success. Barker dropped his other regular hosting duties so he could put all his energy into the big hit. Tragically, he was struggling with family issues behind the scenes.

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Dorothy Jo passed away from lung cancer in 1981, and that loss would hang over Bob for the rest of his life. He knew he could never marry again, but Barker swore to honor her memory by carrying on a shared passion.


He and Dorothy Jo always loved animals, so Bob evolved into a passionate animal rights activists. Besides advocating for captive elephants, he also reminded Price Is Right viewers to spay and neuter their pets. That message became his signature catchphrase.

Viewers would wait until the end of every episode to hear it. Every one of Bob’s mannerisms became iconic in pop culture, though he didn’t take himself too seriously. The game show host actually enjoyed poking fun at his image.

Most memorably, he cameoed alongside Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore in a scene where they brawled after a celebrity golf tournament. That moment had fans rolling in the aisles, though some closer to Bob thought he was no laughing matter.

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While The Price Is Right was all smiles, many staff members had a miserable time on the show. Some alleged Barker was an uncaring boss, and a few models even accused him of sexual harassment. He had to grapple with multiple lawsuits in the 1990s.

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Longtime “Barker Beauty” Holly Hallstrom sued the host after her 1995 firing, saying that she got the axe because she gained too much weight. Bob eventually settled out of court and carried his program into the 21st century.

However, the octogenarian knew he couldn’t go on forever. Upon his 2007 retirement, Bob handed off the long, skinny microphone to Drew Carey. It was a bittersweet moment, but Barker was unquestionably proud of his long-running achievement.

With 35 years on The Price Is Right, Barker shattered Johnny Carson’s record for a continuous performance on a live TV show. As the years kept rolling by, Bob had time to contemplate his legacy.

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Bob joked that he most missed “the money” from his game show stint, but said he really enjoyed connecting with so many different people.