Major Charles Ingram – Coughing scandal (4/5)

The British TV game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire was an incredibly popular general knowledge game show where contestants could win cash prizes by answering questions correctly. It had millions of British viewers glued to their seats, as they watched whoever was in the hot seat try and answer their way to the £1 million prize, which happened on seven occassions throughout the shows history. It was often incredibly tense, and at its peak, the program drew in a third of the UK population.

However, one of those who managed to win the £1 million top prize was an army major named Charles Ingram, who, along with the help of his wife Diana Ingram and fellow contestant Tecwen Whittock who were both sat in the studio, cheated his way to the £1 million prize by listening for a cough from Whittock or his wife, which would signal the correct answer if Ingram himself didn’t know it.

Ingram was the shows third £1 million winner, however he was denied the winnings due to the suspicion of cheating, and was eventually, along with his wife and Whittock, charged with “procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception” and was handed a two-year suspended sentence and fined £15,000. The judge also eventually ortdered the Ingrams to pay additional defence costs which totalled £115,000.

What to watch

The ITV three-part drama called Quiz, starring Matthew Macfadyen and Sian Clifford as Charles and Diana Ingram




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