Friday, May 11, 2001

Judge sees 3 of his former law clerks on TV's 'Millionaire'

The Associated Press

        LOUISVILLE — It seems that working for Judge Danny Boggs is perfect training for a game-show spot.

        Three former law clerks of the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge say it's no coincidence that they have appeared on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

        Judge Boggs has been a “Phone-A-Friend” lifeline for two contestants on the popular television game show — and another clerk has been a contestant.

        A Boggs law clerk “is not the stereotypical law nerd,” said former clerk Henry Olsen, who on April 3 won $250,000 on the show.

        The ABC game show allows contestants to win up to $1 million by correctly answering increasingly difficult questions of all subjects. The clerks say Judge Boggs' vast storehouse of general knowledge and a quiz he gives to his potential clerks are reasons he attracts people likely to succeed on the show.

        Judge Boggs said he goes out of his way to find clerks with broad interests and that's one reason he gives the 100-question quiz, which features questions about geography, mathematics, literature, history, art and science.

        Brian Kalt, a former Boggs law clerk, appeared on the show in March and won $32,000 after using Judge Boggs as his lifeline.

        “He knows so much about so many different things,” said Mr. Kalt, 29, now a professor at the Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University.

        For Mr. Kalt, Judge Boggs came through as a lifeline after Mr. Kalt was stumped by a question about what military organization was featured in the books of the late Patrick O'Brian. Mr. Kalt placed a call to Judge Boggs, who knew the answer: the Royal Navy.

        But Judge Boggs couldn't help when Mr. Olsen got stumped on the question of how many actors have played The Three Stooges.

        Judge Boggs said he was forced to admit he had no idea. (The answer is six.)

        Judge Boggs said he didn't even know about the show until a former clerk, Joel McElvain — now a tax attorney with the U.S. Justice Department — appeared on Millionaire in November 1999. He won $32,000.


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