Emily Guskind was running late for her 11 a.m. class on May 9. She had a final tern paper to turn in. The reason for the delay: She was at home, watching “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”
It’s an addiction that hasn’t diminished since the 2002 Walt Whitman High School graduate was herself a contestant on “Millionaire.” She was selected last year to be part of the show’s “College Week” and went on the show in January. Her appearance will air May 10 and 11 at 10:30 a.m. on WUSA, channel 9.
“My dad and I both love game shows and love trivia and we’re both standard ‘Jeopardy’ watchers,” said Guskind, a Potomac native now finishing her senior year at the University of Maryland College Park. “It’s pretty natural for us.”
Guskind’s father David Guskind registered them both as potential contestants while Emily Guskind was studying overseas last summer.
When Emily Guskind got tapped in the fall, she was thrilled, and not just because she might win a million dollars.
“It was kind of an excuse to study stuff that I wanted to study,” she said. “Instead of studying for finals, I’d read books on presidents and look at maps because that’s so much more interesting than ancient and medieval rhetorical theory, which is one of the classes I’m taking now. … Granted none of the stuff that I studied came up.”
At the taping at Walt Disney World, the college contestants — who do not compete against one another — became fast friends, Guskind said: “We had a lot of fun. We hung out all the time. … We all wanted each other to win.”
GUSKIND IS PROHIBITED from telling how much money, if any, she won until after the show airs. But she doesn’t mind dropping a few hints.
She has to be careful because, “I haven’t gotten paid yet,” she said. And while she would definitely be happy she’d been on the show even if she had won nothing, “I would have been probably more disappointed.”
As for the money, “I’d probably put a good chunk of it into a stock or a mutual fund,” she said. The million-dollar dream: “To be able afford to live in Montgomery County.”
Guskind will graduate from Maryland next week with a double degree in Government and Politics and Communications and then move on to a job working for the Carl M. Freeman Foundation in Olney.
She’s interested in politics, teaching, and going on to graduate school. She keeps any game show winnings in perspective.
“I can definitely do a lot more with my college degree than money in the bank,” she said.
Still, she won’t rule out future game show appearances. She can’t go on “Millionaire” again, but that leaves plenty of shows.
She joked, “'Price is Right,' here I come.”