Actually, there are at least two other times when it is not random trivia. During Super Soap Weekend, they have soap opera trivia and I believe you get help from two soap opera stars. During ESPN weekend, it is all sports trivia and you get help from sports stars. On one of the days of ESPN weekend earlier this year, three people won the grand prize.
I've always thought that if someone were particularly knowledgeable in sports, soap operas, or Star Wars, it would be much easier to win on one of these special days.
DH was in the hot seat once and he lost it on a high level (forgot which one) It was about something in french. I knew the answer and I still tease him about it when it comes up.
He was also on the original WWTBAM with Regis but didn't make it to the hot seat there. Only 2 guys got in that night and 1 went on to win $120,000? (or whatever the level is before the million) The other finished the next night and won the million.
I had no idea there was another former TV show contestant connection on the board. I'd love to hear more about it Figaro. Based on the fact that you mentioned a million dollar winner began his run on the episode your DH was on, I'm assuming it aired quite a bit before mine. There were no million dollar winners around my air date. Is he trying to get back on the show?
I've made it into the Hot Seat from just about every section of the audience at one time or another and I have been on the leaderboard from every section, so I wouldn't dwell on your conspiracy theory.
Obviously the answer to your first question is yes. As to your second question, I'm not certain. I think the answer is probably 8. I've missed at 32K once, 500K twice, 250K once, and 64K and 125K each at least once or twice. Of course, I've also hit the million once.
While playing with one of the kids, we've missed at 16K twice and hit the million once.