Teacher, 36, walks away on the Who Wants to be a Millionaire? £1million question

It has been 13 years since a contestant last reached the £1million question.

And last night, a Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? hopeful almost scooped the top prize – but decided to walk away with £500,000 after stumbling over a question on British politics.

English teacher John Robinson raced through the general knowledge questions on the ITV programme in what the show’s host Jeremy Clarkson described as an ‘extraordinary’ round.

English teacher John Robinson, 36, from Birmingham, almost scooped the top prize 

English teacher John Robinson, 36, from Birmingham, almost scooped the top prize 

English teacher John Robinson, 36, from Birmingham, almost scooped the top prize on Who Wants to be a Millionaire

Mr Robinson  raced through the general knowledge questions but stumbled over a question on British politics

Mr Robinson  raced through the general knowledge questions but stumbled over a question on British politics

Mr Robinson  raced through the general knowledge questions but stumbled over a question on British politics

For his £1million question, Mr Robinson was asked who out of Winston Churchill, Alec Douglas-Home, Anthony Eden and Harold Macmillan had not served as Foreign Secretary. (Scroll down for the correct answer)

For his £1million question, Mr Robinson was asked who out of Winston Churchill, Alec Douglas-Home, Anthony Eden and Harold Macmillan had not served as Foreign Secretary. (Scroll down for the correct answer)

For his £1million question, Mr Robinson was asked who out of Winston Churchill, Alec Douglas-Home, Anthony Eden and Harold Macmillan had not served as Foreign Secretary. (Scroll down for the correct answer)

But the contestant, of Birmingham, took the second-highest prize of half a million rather than gamble his winnings on a question about former prime ministers.

Mr Robinson, 36, who has worked at Bishop Challoner Catholic College for five years, was asked for the £1million question who out of Winston Churchill, Alec Douglas-Home, Anthony Eden and Harold Macmillan had not served as Foreign Secretary.

Contemplating the poser, he said: ‘I think it’s probably between B and C but to be honest I’m not prepared to risk £436,000. 

‘I think it would take several years of teaching to take £500,000 home so I think I’m going to take the money, final answer. Considering I didn’t know the £2,000 question I think I’ve done ok.’

Congratulating him, Clarkson said: ‘What a player, what a fabulous player. Well done. That was incredible. There’s a lot you can do with that. It really does set you up, which is tremendous.’

Following his huge win, Mr Robinson was seen embracing his girlfriend of three years, Chloe Hancox, 28, who was in the audience.

The last time a contestant answered a £1million question correctly was in 2006 when Ingram Wilcox won the show’s top prize.

Mr Robinson said, had he been forced to pick an answer, he would have opted for Anthony Eden. But Clarkson revealed the correct answer was Winston Churchill.

Mr Robinson soon found out that the correct answer to the £1million question was Winston Churchill

Mr Robinson soon found out that the correct answer to the £1million question was Winston Churchill

Mr Robinson soon found out that the correct answer to the £1million question was Winston Churchill

ITV host Jeremy Clarkson commended the contestant and described  his round as  'extraordinary'

ITV host Jeremy Clarkson commended the contestant and described  his round as  'extraordinary'

ITV host Jeremy Clarkson commended the contestant and described  his round as  ‘extraordinary’

After taking his huge win, Mr Robinson embraced his girlfriend of three years, Chloe Hancox, 28

After taking his huge win, Mr Robinson embraced his girlfriend of three years, Chloe Hancox, 28

After taking his huge win, Mr Robinson embraced his girlfriend of three years, Chloe Hancox, 28

When asked by host Jeremy Clarkson what answer he would have gone for Mr Robinson said Anthony Eden. But Clarkson revealed the correct answer was Winston Churchill

When asked by host Jeremy Clarkson what answer he would have gone for Mr Robinson said Anthony Eden. But Clarkson revealed the correct answer was Winston Churchill

When asked by host Jeremy Clarkson what answer he would have gone for Mr Robinson said Anthony Eden. But Clarkson revealed the correct answer was Winston Churchill

Clarkson, 58, had initially been unimpressed by Mr Robinson after he used a lifeline to answer a question about bees early on in the game for just £2,000. 

Although he otherwise appeared a natural, it was not the first time Mr Robinson had appeared on a quiz show. In 2017 he won his round of Channel 4’s 15 to One, but lost out in the grand final. 

He has also competed in Radio 4’s general knowledge show Brain of Britain.

Following his win, Mr Robinson said he and Miss Hancox ate a ‘very cheap’ meal of burger and chips at the Holiday Inn where they were staying.

After deciding to walk away with £500,000, fans took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the the teacher's unlucky stumble

After deciding to walk away with £500,000, fans took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the the teacher's unlucky stumble

After deciding to walk away with £500,000, fans took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the the teacher’s unlucky stumble

He said of his quiz show windfall: ‘My plan is to carry on working for a little bit to keep a bit of stability… At some point over the next year buy a new house and go travelling maybe.’

Mr Robinson credited his general knowledge prowess to playing Trivial Pursuit as a child as well as memorising flags of the world and capital cities. 

He explained: ‘I think I’ve always quite liked learning facts and fortunately some of the facts that I learnt came up on the show. It might lead to kids I teach teasing me for my geeky knowledge about how much stuff I know.’

Mr Robinson, who has had to keep his success secret for two months, held a viewing party last night with a group of 18 friends and relatives.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? continues tonight and all this week at 9pm on ITV.

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