Everybody is asking teacher Bob House -- the latest millionaire winner on the hit ABC show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? -- whether he's going back to teaching in the fall.
"It never even crossed my mind to quit," House told Education World. The 36-year-old House plans to continue teaching world history at Pike County (Georgia) High School. His wife, also a schoolteacher, plans on going back to her teaching job in the fall. They are the parents of two children.
"Teaching is the best job in the world," House said. "It's different every day. It's great to be with the kids. They keep me young."
House said the greatest reward is inspiring the students. "After you've taught for a while, when they come back and tell you that you've made a difference in their lives, that's the gravy."
One lesson he will bring back to the classroom this fall is that knowledge is a real benefit in life. "I'll say, 'See, kids, all this useless information may pay off in the future,'" he said.
The only question that really stumped House during the show was the $32,000 question: What kind of books does author Suze Orman write? Now that he's met financial writer Orman in person -- they appeared together on the Today show -- he knows the answer to the question. House is grateful that the audience bailed him out on that one, but he credits his broad-based knowledge as a history teacher for making him a debt-free man.
Although he said he was lucky that the audience could help him out, House told Education World that it's better to be educated than lucky. "It's always better to be educated because sometimes luck runs out," he said. In fact, the five "call a friend" lifelines that he was allowed to have waiting as a resource were all fellow teachers. He called colleague Donna Cates during the show to confirm the answer to a science question.
His advice to other teachers: "I would just like to say, Do what I did. Even if you don't win, it is a fun trip." So much fun, in fact, that he said winning the money was icing on a terrific time. "The staff of ABC treats you like royalty," he said.
Diane Weaver Dunne
Copyright © 2000 Education World
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