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Seminary grad is 5th winner of ABC’s ‘millionaire’ prize


FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Do you know who dubbed in Audrey Hepburn’s singing parts in the movie “My Fair Lady?”

And can you name a landlocked country that’s entirely within the boundaries of another country?

High school math teacher — and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary graduate — Kim Hunt nailed down both questions on his way to winning the million-dollar prize on ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”

Hunt, who received a master of divinity in 1989 from Southwestern in Fort Worth, Texas, became the show’s fifth millionaire winner on a July 6 telecast. A portion of his winnings, Hunt said, will be used for ministry.

“When I was at Southwestern, I was a member of Hope Community, so I called pastor Harold Bullock when I won the money to find out about some church planting projects I could help out,” said Hunt, now of Collierville, Tenn., in suburban Memphis.

For the $500,000 question, Hunt had to use his 50/50 and phone-a-friend “lifelines” to make sure it was Marni Nixon’s voice singing the part of Hepburn’s Eliza Doolittle character.

“The last two choices were Shirley Jones and Marni Nixon,” Hunt said. “I really didn’t think it was Shirley Jones, but I didn’t know for sure. My phone-a-friend said she was about 65 percent sure it was Nixon, so that’s what I went with.”

That left Hunt without a lifeline to decide that Lesotho is the nation that’s entirely contained within another nation. That nugget of geographical knowledge made Hunt a millionaire.

“I instantly knew it wasn’t Mongolia or Luxembourg,” Hunt said. “And I had a friend who served as a missionary in Burkina Faso, so I knew that was in one part of Africa. That meant the little round country within another country had to be Lesotho. I was about 95 percent sure when I told Regis it was my final answer.”

As for host Regis Philbin, Hunt says he’s friendly and seems to be the same on and off camera.

“The first time you see him is about 15 minutes before the show begins,” Hunt said. “He was nice and talkative when I was in the hot seat. When we went to break before my million dollar question he started telling me all about Marni Nixon and what a great singer she was.”

Hunt said he’s trying to keep his life as normal as possible after winning the big prize. He had the million-dollar check sent to his parents’ address because he was heading out on a three-week trip to the western United States.

“This is a trip I was planning before I even went on the show,” Hunt said. “Actually winning the money has made the trip shorter. It was going to be two to three months. But going back and forth to New York for the show and being on ‘Good Morning America’ kind of delayed my trip.”

Hunt intends to use most of the money for retirement, which means no big-money shopping sprees.

“The only thing I have bought is a laptop computer and some hardware and software to go with it,” Hunt said. “I may go buy a car today, but it will probably be a used SUV of some kind.”

Before he left for the show, Hunt told everyone at his school he would quit his job there if he became a big winner. But they have talked him into staying at least for another year.

“I won’t be in the classroom as a teacher anymore,” Hunt said. “I will be helping out with school sports and public relations. They are giving me quite a bit of flexibility, so I couldn’t really turn that down.”

Hunt hopes to move out west in another year. Seattle and Montana are at the top of his wish list of places he’d like to settle down. But, he said, don’t expect him to spend his money on a big house.

“I’m staying in my apartment right now. But when I move out west I plan to get a nice house but nothing too huge,” Hunt said.

Hunt is hoping the millionaire hype will die down while he’s on his trip.

“That’s kind of my strategy of getting back to a normal life,” Hunt said. “I have already seen the people I need to see, and I think by the time I get back and school starts up it will be old news and things can just get back to normal.”
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  • Adam Myrick