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ABC-Disney Photo Amber Cushing, the librarian at Allenstown Public Library was a contestant on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” in the episode which aired Monday, May 13. She won $25,250. (ABC-Disney Photo)

Allenstown librarian appears on 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?'


ALLENSTOWN - A big win would mean loans paid, a new house and help for family, said Amber Cushing, who appeared as a contestant on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" on Monday, May 13, winning $25,250.

Cushing, 31, the librarian for the Allenstown Public Library, has a Ph.D. in information and library science and became a librarian because she's always loved trivia and help people to find information. She said she hoped the five years she put into the doctorate program would pay off big on Millionaire so that she can finally get rid of her six-figure student loans.

Cushing never made it to the million-dollar question. On the seventh question, out of lifelines and unsure of the answer, she decided to not take a guess and walk away with half of her accumulated Millionaire Bank, which had risen to $50,500, taking home $25,250 in winnings. If she had guessed incorrectly on the seventh question, she would have fallen back to $1,000 in winnings.

The killer question?

Given the coin-friendly style was introduced in 1936, what might a "penny loafer" be called today if adjusted for inflation?

A: Dime loafer
B: Nickel, dime and two pennies loafer
C: Quarter loafer
D: Penny and three dimes loafer
The correct answer was B.

Cushing is the daughter of Sharon Wilson of Concord and Dan Cushing of Gig Harbor, Wash. She's a 2000 graduate of Concord High School. Her mother came to New York City with her and sat in the Millionaire audience as her on-air companion for the show.

Cushing said she's been waiting since September to be able to tell people how she did on the show. The process started months ago.

"Last summer," she said, "I saw a commercial that they were having tryouts. I had a weekend free, and saw a friend in New York." The line for contestants at the Apollo Theater "was around the corner."

She passed a timed multiple-choice test, then an interview and screen test.

"I naturally remember information and naturally encounter a lot of information," said Cushing. "I talk through what I'm doing, which drives my family crazy, but they like people who talk through things. In about a month, you get a postcard saying if you're in the contestant pool. A month goes by, and I started working at the library. That was the first week in September. One Friday afternoon, the 21st, I was sitting at the library and my cellphone rang. I saw the area code was weird, Googled it, and saw it was ABC studios. They wanted me in New York Tuesday night, just four days later!"

Cushing had to wait the entire day in the green room, with no books, phone, music or anything, but finally was called to play the game.

"All the other shows they taped that day have aired," she said. "Now I can finally tell people. It was a really fun experience! I can't believe I got this far!"

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