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Friday, 3 November, 2000, 14:27 GMT
Millionaire contestant wins 500,000
Kate Heusser and host Chris Tarrant
Mrs Heusser answered 14 questions correctly to win
Mother-of-two Kate Heusser became the biggest female prize winner in the history of British TV by scooping 500,000 on the quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

The 44-year-old celebrated her win by quitting her new job before she had even started it.

She had been due to begin work as a postwoman on Monday, but had to take a day off to attend the show.

And after her win she immediately handed in her notice to Post Office bosses.


I think I was more scared than she was

Chris Tarrant, show host
Mrs Heusser, who lives with husband Peter and children Edward, 14, and Greg, 11, near Brighton in East Sussex, said: "I'm still in shock.

"I don't think it will change what we as a family will do with our lives, but, my God, it will make it easier."

Mrs Heusser originally trained as a solicitor but gave up her career to concentrate on her family and writing.

On the ITV show - broadcast on Thursday - she made it to 64,000 without using a lifeline, then called her friend Ian Lawes, who rightly informed her that a cassowary is a bird.

Mrs Heusser used her other two lifelines on the way to 500,000, but decided to take the money as soon as she saw the million pound question.

She said she now hoped to buy a new home and take her husband to a Grand Prix.

Show host Chris Tarrant said: "Kate was absolutely brilliant. We are all so delighted for her.

"She was very brave and very cool under pressure. I think I was more scared than she was."

Peter Lee, a retired Royal Navy officer from Cardigan in Wales was the first to win 500,000 on the show, in January.

Last month contestant Duncan Bickley lost 218,000 when he gambled for half a million pounds on the game show.

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See also:

03 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Questions on the path to riches
23 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Who wants to lose a fortune?
13 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Tintin 'rescues' Millionaire contestant
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