Ohio Among Leading States With Most TV Show Millionaire Winners

Fact Checked by Thomas Leary

If Ohioans fail to win the lottery, testing their luck and participating in prize money TV shows is not a bad alternative to reach the million-dollar dream. 

Reality TV shows with monetary compensation have produced millionaires across the United States, in which winners are often described as the most envied and talked-about individuals at the conclusion of these competitions.

With a life-changing fortune and plenty of fascinating stories that these contests offer, many of these winners hail from home states that are quite surprising and unexpected. And the Buckeye State is certainly one of them.

Ohio is home to the fifth most TV show millionaire winners in America with five, tied with Pennsylvania, proving that luck seems to favor the state and can ultimately encourage residents to pursue a chance at the ultimate prize.

Along with Ohio, which other places are associated with TV show millionaire winners? Below, BetOhio.com provides the states with the most prize TV show winners. 

Keep it here for more fun items like this, plus everything related to Ohio betting apps and sports gambling. 

States With Most Million Dollar Winners

Rank State Number of Winners Percentage of Winners (Per State)
2New York87.7%
T3Massachusetts & Texas65.8% each
T5Ohio & Pennsylvania54.8% each
7New Jersey43.8%
T8Florida, Illinois, Utah & Virginia32.9% each

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Ohio: TV Show Millionaire’s Winner Machine

Ohio, tied with Pennsylvania, is fifth on this chart with five TV show millionaire winners and accounts for 4.8% of winners nationwide. The Buckeye State is also home to the most winners of one of America’s most beloved and iconic game shows, “Jeopardy!” with two on this list. The winners, which include Dayton native Amy Schneider and Medina native Matt Amodio, have been fan-favorite presences that have generated historic winning streaks on the show. 

Due to their success and frequent appearances, both participated in this year’s “Jeopardy! Masters” tournament, along with four other contestants, for the right to claim bragging rights and an additional $500,000. Ohio’s other three TV show millionaire winners stem from “Survivor,” “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?” and “The Amazing Race.”

“Survivor” winner Chris Daugherty represented West Jefferson during the show’s 2004 season. That same year Robert Essig, from Ashtabula County, won the edition of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” One year later, the Linz family from Cincinnati won the season eight edition of “The Amazing Race,” splitting the $1 million prize money among the four siblings that participated in the contest. 

For the latest news on Ohio sports betting and Ohio sportsbook promos, stay tuned with BetOhio.com.

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BetOhio.com utilized Wikipedia.com and other sources to gather each contestant who has won a million dollars (in one or multiple attempts) from the U.S. versions of “Survivor,” “Wheel of Fortune,” all variations of “Jeopardy!” “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?” “Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?” “The Price Is Right,” “Deal or No Deal,” “The Amazing Race,” “Big Brother,” and “The Challenge.”  


Felix Veletanga is an experienced reporter who has covered local news, politics, and sports in Northern New Jersey, and now lends his expertise to the Ohio sports betting market. He previously covered the Saint Peter’s men’s basketball team’s 2022 NCAA Cinderella run for HudPost. Felix specializes in combat fighting and soccer betting analysis with a focus on the Premier League.

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