Josh Darby of Richland is a movie savant. It earned him a spot on tonight's Who Wants to be a Millionaire show.
It all started last year while surfing Facebook.
"It's kind of a crazy fun story how I got on the show," said Darby, an educational coordinator at the Academy of Children's Theatre in Richland. "Being a fan of the Oscars (and movies), I noticed they were holding a contest and the winner would get a chance to appear on Millionaire."
All he had to do was answer three questions correctly and be entered into a drawing.
"Well, I knew the three questions, got entered and then about a week later I got a phone call saying I had won and was going to be on the show," Darby said.
When he got the news he'd been chosen over thousands of other contestants, his excitement knew no bounds.
"I was like OH ... MY... GOODNESS! I get to go to NYC and be on the show," he wrote in an email to the Herald. "And see my first Broadway show! Needless to say I was very psyched."
He'll answer more questions -- this time posed by Millionaire host Meredith Vieira -- at 6:30 p.m. today and tomorrow on NBC.
"We very rarely give away contestant spots on the show," said Trisha Miller, a Millionaire publicist. "Josh was the only winner for this particular sweepstakes (sponsored by the Academy of Motion Pictures and Science) and the only contestant on the movie-themed week who won a spot. Everyone else had to audition for the show."
The audition process includes a multiple-choice written test, she added.
"If you pass the test, you move on to part two of the audition process, which involves a one-on-one interview with one of the show's producers," Miller said. "We audition our studio audience every day in NYC. Our producers also travel to several cities every year to hold open auditions."
Darby said he originally was scheduled to make the all-expense-paid trip to the New York City taping of the show on Oct. 31, but Hurricane Sandy stalled that trip and it was rescheduled for Nov. 7.
He can't reveal how well he did on Millionaire, but he does advance past the first day's show to the second day.
"I am a huge fan of the Oscars, so this was an exceptionally thrilling opportunity for me," Darby said. "The trip was very fun. I spent three days in NYC, one to get there, one to film, and one to head back. Everyone at the show was amazingly kind and supportive."
Darby took in the Broadway show Newsies during the trip.
"It was so awesome," he said. "About the only negative thing about the whole trip was that United Airlines lost my bag, and most of my (souvenirs) from the trip. But overall it was an amazing experience, and I am so excited that the shows are finally airing so I can share this with other people."