ITV's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire contestant KNOWS the answer to million pound question, but DOESN'T win

Retired doctor Andrew makes it to the £1m question! Will he win? (Picture: ITV)

He does win £500,000, though - not bad for a night's work!

Tonight's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire on ITV was an extra special episode, because it saw the final contestant of the evening answer his way to the coveted million pound question.

Andrew Townsley, a 53-year-old from Glasgow, wowed the studio audience, and gameshow host Jeremy Clarkson, by getting all the way to £125,000 without using any lifelines.

The retired GP got off to a confident start when he was asked for £100 which products Colgate, Sensodyne and Oral-B all make.

TV tonight Who wants to be a Millionaire?

Jeremy was asking the questions in tonight's nerve-racking episode (Picture: Stellify Media) (Image credit: Stellify Media)

Andrew was given the options of shampoo, deodorant, sun cream and toothpaste - with toothpaste obviously being the answer.

Andrew didn't even set his safety net until he answered his way to the £64,000 mark, which he also breezed through by remembering that Robinson Crusoe was the book that had been inspired by real life Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk after learning it when he was at school.

Andrew used his first lifeline at £125,000 by going 50/50 when asked which toxic substance is obtained from the pressed seeds of the caster oil plant.

Thankfully the computer took away two wrong answers that helped Andrew work out that the answer is Ricin thanks to the process of elimination.

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He then gave host Jeremy the unenviable task of helping him to answer the £250,000 question, which was: The Twelve Apostles is a series of peaks connected to which mountain?

The four options were Aoraki Mount Cook, K2, Table Mountain, and Mont Blanc.

Jeremy, who is clearly well-travelled thanks to his job on TV, managed to answer the question fairly confidently with Table Mountain, and Andrew went happily on to his half a million pound question.

For £500,000 Andrew was asked which historical figure was Beethoven's Eroica Symphony dedicated to.

Despite being fairly sure of the answer Andrew decided to ask the audience and, although the answer they gave was far from unanimous, he went with their response of Napoleon Bonaparte and bagged himself £500,000.

However, it was at the £1,000,000 question that Andrew hit a stumbling block. Jeremy asked him: "In the history of motorsports which iconic races were held first?"

He was given the options of Le Mains 24 Hours, Monaco Grand Prix, Indy 500 and Isle of Man TT - and in the end Andrew decided to phone a friend.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire ITV

Andrew Townsley got to the million pound question in Who Wants To Be A Millionaire tonight (Picture: ITV)

Sadly his friend, who had no idea she was answering that infamous £1,000,000 question, had no idea what the answer was, leaving Andrew to go with his gut and take the half a million pounds he had already won.

But, after confirming that this was where Andrew's journey on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire came to an end, Jeremy asked him what his answer would have been.

And, little did Andrew know, he actually knew the answer!

Jeremy told him: "Had you given me Isle of Man TT as your answer, you'd have tinsel falling down on your head right now!"

Despite getting so close to becoming the show's next millionaire, Andrew did remarkably well.

Contestants have struggled to reach the final question, with only five people winning the grand prize.

Matthew Macfadyen and Michael Sheen in Quiz

Matthew Macfadyen and Michael Sheen as Charles Ingram and Chris Tarrant in Quiz (Picture: Leftbank Pictures for ITV)

The last winner was Ingram Wilcox in 2006. Other winners were Pat Gibson in 2004, David Edwards and Robert Brydges in 2001 and the first ever millionaire Judith Keppel back in 2000.

Of course, Charles Ingram managed to "win" £1m in 2001, but found himself at the centre of a huge scandal after being accused of cheating.

This story was dramatised recently in ITV series Quiz (opens in new tab), starring Matthew Macfadyen and Michael Sheen and proved a huge hit with TV fans around the country.

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.