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Gorham woman wins $25,000 on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire"



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Gorham’s Sue Ann Sidell, left, won $25,000 on the popular game show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, hosted by Meredith Viera. Sidell taped the show in October but it did not air until Jan. 28 and 31, leaving her to keep her winnings secret for months. (click for larger version)
February 02, 2011
GORHAM — Sue Ann Sidell is a chiropractor at the Riverside Wellness Center and she just recently got her fifteen minutes of fame. Sidell, 57, was on TV's "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" on Jan.28 and Jan.31. She made it to the $250,000 question, but answered incorrectly and left with $25,000.

Sidell was cheered on by her husband Chuck, who went with her to New York City for the taping last October. Both husband and wife both work at the Riverside Wellness Center in Gorham as chiropractors.

Sidell is a 1997 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic and she is also a certified animal chiropractor. She has volunteered for Loki Clan Wolf Refuge in Fryeburg, Maine, and has worked on many injured, non-sedated wolves. She said that the wolves who want to be worked on are like eager four year olds, all pushing forward to go first, while the ones who don't want to be worked on will simply go back into the woods. She said that only wolves who want to be worked on will be worked on.

Until three years ago when Sidell and her husband rescued three horses, she had never ridden horses. Since she has been to the ER several times because of riding mishaps, Sidell said she would like to invest some of her Millionaire winnings in riding lessons, even though she says all three horses have sent her to the ER once, so she thinks they are done. In early May, the couple plans to go to a dude ranch in New York State where they have lessons every day.

The big investment that Sidell has in mind for her $25,000 is to buy a "poop vac." She said that each of the three horses produce 50 to 75 pounds of manure per day. Cleaning it up "it's one of my least favorite things to do," she said.

Another goal Sidell had for her money was to build a log home with an attached barn and windows cut into the living room so that the horses can join her and Chuck when they are relaxing. However, since she did not get the $250,000 question correct, she said that that dream may need to be put on hold.

For several months, Sidell had to keep her performance on "Millionaire" secret. She auditioned in July 2010 and got a postcard in August telling her she would be on the show. She appeared on the show in October, but the performance wasn't aired until Jan.28. "Millionaire" makes the contestants agree to not disclose their winnings until after the show has aired (and they do not send checks until 30 days after the episode is aired), so Sidell had to keep her staff and patients at the Wellness Center in suspense until this week. She said "it drove my staff crazy."

Sidell said her appearance on the show was a blast and added that she recommends auditioning for anyone who has an aptitude for trivia. She said that she met some "really neat people" who she has been staying in touch with.

About her blunder on the $250,000 question, Sidell said, "if I had been in my correct mind, I'd have realized that at that level you can't logic it [the question] out." However, she does not harbor anguish over missing the question, saying that she had come in with nothing and left with $25,000, so that missing the $250,000 question was alright.

"Who Wants to be a Millionaire" is in it's ninth season and is currently hosted by Meredith Vieira. This season has seen changes made to the show, with the first half of the questions being randomized in terms of difficulty and monetary value. The lifelines have also changed, with the three lifelines available being "ask the audience" and two "jump the question."

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