BYU senior Daniel LeFevre walked away with $100,000 on ABC’s “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” Tuesday, Oct. 7.
LeFevre ended up with the chance to win millions by accident. He was interning in Washington, D.C., when he decided to visit a friend in New York City. While there, LeFevre tried to get tickets to the “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.” He couldn’t get the tickets, so he signed up for the “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” tryout instead.
More than 100 other people auditioned for the show. LeFevre said the first portion of the two-phase tryout was a scantron test of random trivia questions. Fewer than half the applicants passed that test. The “Millionaire” hopefuls then went through a series of interviews.
Only a handful of the remaining applicants, including LeFevre, made it through. Interviewers told him that if he was chosen, he would know in a few months. What happened next came as a surprise to him. “The next day I got a call from them saying I was chosen,” LeFevre said. “People always told me I should try out for the show. It taught me to just put yourself out there and try crazy things.”
LeFevre didn’t feel nervous for the competition, finding support from the show’s cast. “They had a lot of people there to make me feel comfortable and confident,” he said. “The host, Terry Crews, was crazy.” The “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” contestant also found a great deal of support at home and work. LeFevre now teaches Portuguese at the MTC and recently asked some missionaries to pray for him “to make a bunch of money.”
LeFevre attributes his vast trivia knowledge to his interest in nonfiction materials. “I’ll read newspapers, magazines, books, encyclopedias and more,” LeFevre said. “I love watching the news. I’m able to remember pointless facts pretty easily and recall them quickly.”
Those pointless facts landed him some serious money.
LeFevre was anxious to watch his performance on the show. His girlfriend is currently serving a mission in Thailand, but before she left, they made a goal to save a certain amount of money before her return.
The Bountiful native will graduate in April with a major in geography. LeFevre plans to attend law school.