The story of a guy who nearly won a million pounds with a cough
For many people, their wildest fantasy is to somehow get a huge amount of money in order to do nothing. In 2001, the demoted major nearly won a million British pounds in a game show thanks to one of those present in the hall who was constantly coughing.
This major was named Charles Ingram. In the photo below, which, by the way, can be found on the Wikipedia page dedicated to this man, he poses for the camera with his wife.
The Wikipedia page we just mentioned literally exists only so that everyone knows that Ingram is a rare bastard who tried to fool the million-million British quiz show and was convicted of insurance fraud in 2003.
Most people tend to hide the fact that the only thingwhat they are known outside of the circle of their family and close friends is related to stupidity, but Ingram positively reacted to the negative attention he received since he was found guilty of trying to get a valuable prize by deception in 2001. He repeatedly became a member of various reality shows, trying to advance through his writing career.
But we ran ahead, and probably we should explain how Ingram became famous in the first place. You see, in 2001 he took part in the British TV quiz “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”, A show which, as you probably know, offers a million pounds as the main prize.
To win a prize (at least when Ingram participated in the show), all you had to do was answer 15 question and answer questions. Naturally, the complexity of the questions increased with each correct answer. The last question was often ridiculous, and only an experienced amateur of trifles could give him the correct answer.
Perhaps that is why Ingram, instead of studying literature, conspired with a teacher and a seasoned participant in the game shows called Tetsven Whittock, who was supposed to help him give the correct answers.
In particular, immediately before participating in the show, Ingram developed a series of coded cough sounds that would allow Whittock to prompt him the right answer to any question. Moreover, Ingram brought up to date his wife Diana (who was also present among the audience) so that she could help him, if anything happens.
The system worked as follows. Whenever Ingram was asked a question he wasn’t sure about the answer to, he tried to pull in time (the show participants were given an unlimited amount of time to answer questions), loudly repeating each answer out loud. Diana or Whittock helped him, coughing whenever he read the correct answer.
Whittock categorically denied all claims made later, claiming that he suffered from persistent agonizing cough and allergies his whole life and that he had no idea how it happened that he coughed three times in a row at the very moment when Ingram read out the correct answer to question. The version of Whittock sounded convincing, but it was refuted by the fact that he himself took part in the show a little later and never coughed in the entire time it went.(For those who are interested: the Whittock won only £ 1,000.)
After Whittock was pointed to this fact, providing a record on which he never coughed, he changed his tactics and began to argue that he actually did not know a single answer to the questions that Ingram asked. However, this version failed when they found records containing answers to questions that seemed to cause Ingram's difficulties during the quiz show.
Ingram's wife also denied her claims. Like Whittock, she claimed that she was tormented by a strong cough that day. Her version of the authorities was harder to refute, and they were forced to admit that perhaps this could be true. However, at the trial it was pointed out that Diana had previously participated in the show, therefore, she had insider ideas about how everything worked.
Yes it's true. Ingram's wife took part in the show before the incident and won 32,000 pounds - an amount the couple obviously thought was insufficient, prompting them to come up with a cunning, but damnly simple plan described above.
And although everyone who took part in the fraud denied his guilt, the judge disagreed with them, and Ingram eventually was found guilty of cheating.He was forced to return a prize of one million pounds.
Since then, Ingram has done everything possible to stay in the spotlight. He claims that the incident ruined his life, and actively uses his fame for financial gain. Fans of the quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Felt disappointed to learn that Ingram had not received any real punishment for trying to trick the million-pound television show. Incidentally, in 2003, Ingram was convicted of insurance fraud. The British army forced him to retire, and a few years later he accidentally cut off his three toes after slipping on an apple. So here it is.