VANCOUVER - If it turns out Benn Millman is the last Canadian on the American quiz show "Jeopardy" for the foreseeable future, the B.C. man will look back at his appearance with pride, despite hitting the buzzer too quickly on a TV trivia question.
Millman, who lives in Port Moody, says he was the last Canadian applicant to squeak in after the show stopped accepting online applications over a change in Canada's privacy laws.
Millman says he was just reaching the 18 month expiry date on his application to be on the show.
"I have a sneaking suspicion they called me because just as I was exiting the system they saw I was Canadian," he said, although he added officials with the show didn't officially confirm that he was the last person from Canada to be a contestant.
The show confirmed that Millman was the last Canadian contestant for this season, but said other Canadians were in the pool of contestants and may be picked for next season. The show's publicist couldn't be reached for comment.
A note on its website from host Alex Trebek, who was born in Ontario, says they are in the process of bringing their online test site into compliance with Canadian privacy laws and hope to start testing and doing follow-up auditions with a focus on Canada later this year.
Millman, 36, answered the final jeopardy question correctly on the show that aired Wednesday, but he needed $200 more to outbid his competitor for the win.
He says his big miss was hitting the buzzer on the last name of the TV family in "Everybody Loves Raymond," starring comic Ray Romano.
"You're sitting there and you think 'Romano' and before your brain has a chance to shut that down your spinal cord has already made you press the button, and you go, 'Oh wait, no,'" he said with a chuckle. The answer is Barone.
Millman says there was no absolute way to prepare as a contestant, but he did review American trivia and hoped that he got some categories that matched up with what he knew.
"I have to look back on this with pride and say I still made it."
Millman is a banking operations manager with one of the big five banks, but is on a disability leave.
He says he wanted to use the opportunity on TV to talk about mental-health issues.
"I want other people to know that depression hits in people you wouldn't expect, you know people who can ham it up on TV and have a bit of personality and answer questions."
Contestants are asked to give five different stories to use as banter with Trebek, and Millman says he asked to talk about mental illness. Instead, Trebek questioned him about his time carrying an Olympic torch leading up to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games.
Millman adds that perhaps the mental-health question would have been brought up if he had won.
"It's a good story for a returning champ," he said.