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Monday, 23 October, 2000, 15:39 GMT 16:39 UK
Who wants to lose a fortune?
Duncan Bickley
Duncan Bickley said 'It's only money, innit?' then got it wrong
How does it feel to have 250,000 within your grasp, only to see it slip away moments later?

Not so bad, if Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? contestant Duncan Bickley is to be believed.


I will be back on 'Millionaire' some day and I'll finish the job.

Duncan Bickley
Having won 250,000 on the hit ITV quiz show, the 40-year-old pilot gambled on his luck and played for the ultimate prize: 1m.

"I don't regret my decision at all - I didn't want to say I bottled out of my big chance," he said after losing his gamble.

Speaking to BBC News Online he said money was not his motive and he had not planned to win 250,000: "I'd only thought about going all the way."

Chris Tarrant
Chris Tarrant: 'A top bloke' according Mr Bickley
"I wanted to be the first person to win 1m on the show. That way you make your mark on history," he added.

Faced with the 500,000 question: "What was the name of Amy Johnson's plane in which she flew solo to Australia in 1930?" he asked for a 50-50 lifeline, giving him two choices instead of four.

'Pegasus' or 'Jason'

Mr Bickley, a helicopter pilot and flying instructor from Brentwood, Essex, was faced with a choice between Pegasus and Jason.

After telling host Chris Tarrant: "It's only money, innit?" he chose Pegasus.

He lost a record 218,000, with his total winnings plummeting to just 32,000.


I don't have anyone to nag me. I could afford to be a bit more cavalier.

Duncan Bickley, on being single
The programme was recorded last Tuesday and Mr Bickley invited friends to a local pub to watch it when it was shown on Saturday night.

"My friends are all immensely proud of me. They think I've got a lot of guts."

And how did his wife or girlfriend react?

"I don't have anyone to nag me. I could afford to be a bit more cavalier," he said.

Referring to the question that halted his winning run, he said: "Trust a woman to name her aircraft after a man who used a boat - rather than a winged horse," he said.

The hit quiz show, which has been running in Britain since September 1998, has so far only paid out a top prize of 500,000.

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See also:

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19 Apr 00 | South Asia
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