Watch: Australian Marriage Equality Campaigner Wins $1M Game Show Prize

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday November 30, 2021

A longtime advocate for marriage equality won a $1 million prize on Australia's "Millionaire Hot Seat" game show, Junkee reported.

Junkee related how Antony McManus "was a contestant on 'Millionaire Hot Seat,' " where he became only the second contestant in the show's history to win the grand prize of $1 million.

UK newspaper the Daily Mail filled in the details, noting that McManus, a "retail worker," and his husband, "Ron Van Houwelingen spent 30 years fighting for gay marriage — and were among the country's first to be wed when marriage equality was legalized four years ago."

In an interview with TV Tonight, McManus related that his appearance on the game show was at the suggestion of his husband's mother, who noted that he consistently answered the show's questions correctly while viewing at home.

McManus' victory capped a nail-biting round, reports noted. "Facing off a series of increasingly difficult questions, he made it all the way to the very final challenge, a doozy of a head-scratcher which asked him to correctly identify which of four classic novels was published first," Junkee related. "Carefully, McManus chose 'The Count of Monte Cristo' — and won big."

McManus credited advice from the show's host, Eddie McGuire, with his having answered correctly, TV Tonight reported.

"To be honest with you, I wasn't sure of the answer," he said, going on to add, "Eddie always says, 'If you're not sure, which ones can you knock out?' So I thought the other three all sounded more contemporary."

"So that's why I chose that one," McManus added. "But that question was the one that I was the least sure of."

Viewers were treated to the sight of McManus' joy upon achieving the victory, Junkee related.

"I can buy a house now," the outlet quoted McManus as saying. "I can just breathe a sigh of relief, knowing we'll be okay now."

The longtime equality advocate also suggested that his win might have been a karmic payoff for his years of work in trying to secure marriage rights for Australia's same-sex families.

"Maybe it's a little reward for the shit we had to put up with, what we had to go through," McManus told McGuire. "It's absolutely life-changing," he added of the prize money.

Watch the moment of McManus' victory in the Twitter post below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.