February 13th, 2013 | University

Spaulding ’13 wins $1,000 on ‘Millionaire’

SAM SPAULDING, MEREDITH VIEIRA
Photo by Disney*ABC Domestic Television.

Sam Spaulding ’13 — the computer science major and trivia enthusiast who won $50,000 from “Jeopardy!” in 2010 — took away $1,000 on Tuesday’s episode of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”

The Yale senior wrangled categories vaguely outlining the course of a failed relationship – “Chance Encounters,” “Leisurely Battles” and “Bad Breakups,” to name a few – with ease. On others of which he was unsure, he flashed a boyish grin at host Meredith Vieira and deigned to use his lifelines.

“My mom would always say, ‘I wish there was some way that you could turn trivia into a useful skill, like … math, or writing novels,’” Spaulding said. “Well, I’m here now, Mom,” he added, as his mother smiled proudly from her front-row seat.

Sadly, Sam did not end up a millionaire. The $25,000 question he missed, the 10th and last in the first round of the game, required him to identify the gem whose Spanish name means “stone of the loins.” Though given the option of declining to answer and walking away with half his cash, he risked the $21,600 he had earned so far on D) Topaz, the wrong choice. (The correct answer was C) Pearl.) Spaulding went home with $1,000.

Fortunately, he won’t need a million dollars, at least not to cover the cost of his dream crib. When asked how he’d like to spend his winnings, Sam said he hoped to buy a bouncy house castle.

Hey Sam, the Bounceland Castle Bounce House retails for $269.09 at Target.