North Huntingdon woman wins program's contest for second time
Belva Gilbert always figured that winning a trip to Orlando, Fla., by answering a trivia question on a morning TV talk show would be a once-in-a-lifetime event.
“I'd been entering the contest on ‘Live! with Regis and Kelly' for about eight years before I won in 2011,” said Gilbert, 60, of North Huntingdon. “Even though they get thousands of entries, I always had a positive attitude and thought I would eventually get a chance to participate. So I wasn't really shocked when it finally happened.”
What Gilbert didn't necessarily anticipate was winning a second time.
In addition to being a daily viewer of the show, Gilbert takes time each day to go online to enter the show's contest.
“I enjoy the show a lot and was happy to win, so I thought, ‘Why not keep entering because you never really know if you'll get another chance unless you try,'” she said.
Since winning the first time, one of the show's hosts — Regis Philbin — retired and was replaced by NFL Hall of Famer Michael Strahan.
To win, entrants, who are selected randomly, must correctly answer a question about the previous day's program when they get a call from one of the show's hosts.
At about 8:20 a.m. Feb. 12, Gilbert got a call from one of the show's producers asking if she wanted to play the game.
“I was a little worried when I finally went on the air, and Michael asked me the question: ‘What animal is (actor) Colin Farrell afraid of?' ” Gilbert said.
“I had watched the previous day's show but was hesitant to answer,” she said. “I knew Colin Farrell said he was afraid of spiders, and Michael said he was deathly afraid of snakes. But I didn't know if they considered a spider an animal.”
Despite her reservations, Gilbert answered the question correctly.
Gilbert's prize is an all-expenses-paid trip to the Trade Winds Resort in St. Petersburg, Fla., that includes meals, a pair of spa treatments and a dolphin-spotting cruise.
She and her husband, Chuck, are planning to take the trip, which is valued at $4,300, in November.
“I don't really have a secret to winning this contest,” said Belva Gilbert, adding that she continues to enter the contest daily. “But I guess I would say I'm persistent and very lucky. I still have this feeling that before long, I'm going to get a call from the show to play again.”