On Wednesday afternoon, the game-show viewing world will watch ninth-grader Hayley Minter flex her trivia muscles on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” and – fingers crossed – haul home a wheelbarrow of cash.
The freshman at Enloe High School in Raleigh cleared a questionnaire and a Skype interview last summer, then flew with her family to Las Vegas for an August taping, the results of which air both Wednesday and Thursday.
She and the family have kept mum on her performance since then, under an obligation not to let loose any spoilers. Dad Wade Minter, who is the PA announcer for the Carolina Hurricanes, notes that no one should make any assumptions about her two-day appearance on the long-running ABC quiz program.
Neither should anyone draw conclusions about the lack of a new family yacht. All winnings are held until the show airs.
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Hayley drew the show’s attention through the TiP program at Duke University, a nonprofit that supports gifted students in grades four through 12. Her questionnaire boasted science skills and theater experience – Hayley has a technical role in Enloe’s “Ragtime” production – but also this nugget of experience that raised the show’s broadcast eyebrow:
“She’s the official DJ for local GOUGE wrestling,” her dad said. “I’m the ring announcer, and we needed a DJ. They definitely asked her about that on the show.”
She competed as part of the show’s Whiz Kids week, and to the best of her family’s knowledge, she was the only contestant from North Carolina. To prepare, she built a study guide based on what she’d already been asked and what questions she could see on other episodes.
“I knew I’d have trouble with geography,” Hayely said, noting her practice maps. “I listed the presidents in order and parties they were with, what years they served.”
But this gesture showed even stronger commitment.
“We canceled the driver’s ed class she was scheduled to take,” Minter said.
Looking back, Hayley said the quiz proved tougher than she expected – not impossible but still surprising. The show airs at 2 p.m., while the Wake Forest teen’s day is winding down at Enloe. Will the school air its star’s broadcast? Will she name the Enloe principal as a lifeline? Will she remember the Archduke Ferdinand and the Wilmot Proviso?
Tune in and bite nails for Raleigh’s cleverest.
How to watch
“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” airs weekdays at 2 p.m. on ABC11.