The first contestant to win Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? in 14 years vowed to give 70 per cent of his winnings to his family and stay in his teaching job until the end of term despite scooping the £1million jackpot.
History and politics teacher Donald Fear, 57, who lives in Telford, correctly answered the final 15th question about the death of a famous pirate in 1718.
The father of four, who has been married to his wife, Debs, a nurse, for 33 years, is the sixth champion in the ITV programme’s 22-year history.
The lucky streak runs in the family as his elder brother, Davyth, last year won £500,000 as a contestant on the same programme.
Mr Fear has revealed that he plans to buy a motor home with his winnings, but he said that he will give 70 per cent of the jackpot to members of his family and spend the rest on a ‘comfortable retirement’.
‘I’m not going to be a millionaire for very long because I’m giving loads of it away!,’ he said.
Following his win, Mr Fear and his wife embarked on a caravan trip along the Northumberland coast.
Donald Fear, 57, from Shropshire, scooped the £1 million prize during a sensational run on last night’s show, on which he only used one of his lifelines and knew the winning answer within a ‘microsecond’
Donald Fear spotted in public for the first time as he returns home from work. Donald’s brother won 500k last year on Who wants to be a millionaire and 12 months later Donald is the first person in 14 years to win the million. His mother and father pose with him and his youngest daughter as they settled down to watch the episode on Friday night
Mr Fear, who is currently Head of History at Haberdashers Adams Grammar school in Shropshire, handed in his notice a day after his win but will see out the school term
‘We went on holiday to Whitley Bay in a caravan the day after the show. We went to an Italian restaurant and lashed out on a bottle of Prosecco in the restaurant!,’ he said.
They previously planned to visit Santander, Bilbao and Pamplona in Spain before heading for the Pyrenees, but were thwarted by Covid-19.
Asked how he would be spending his next holiday, Mr Fear revealed he intended to buy a motor home and visit ‘wonderful Britain’.
He said: ‘Much as I’d love to jump on the next plane to the States or something like that, it’s just not an option.
‘So for the moment it’s wonderful Britain, probably Wales first of all – so a motor home in Wales is what I’m going to spend my million pounds on.’
Donald Fear is spotted in public for the first time as he returns home from work
Donald Fear’s mother posed with him and his youngest daughter as they settled down to watch the episode on Friday night
Mr Fear said that he plans to give 70 percent of his winnings away to family members and to charity and leave himself with just enough for a ‘comfortable retirement’
In another interview, Mr Fear said that since the episode was recorded, he had ‘bought a new TV to watch the show on’ and ‘spent a night in a posh hotel near Chester’ with his wife, brother and his wife, Rhiannon.
Despite the momentous win, Mr Fear said it had been a ‘very sad time’ since he scooped the jackpot, as his father-in-law passed away at the end of August.
The show’s host, Jeremy Clarkson, said Mr Fear was like ‘having the Encyclopaedia Britannica sitting opposite me’ and added: ‘It’s Google, in a head’.
Describing himself as ‘a bit of a democratic socialist’, Mr Fear said he planned give at least 70% of his winnings to members of his family and spend the rest on a ‘comfortable retirement’.
He also rubbished the idea of buying an Aston Martin sports car or moving house, saying: ‘It’s in a lovely area and I’ve been there for 27 years.’
After winning the second Fastest Finger First round of Friday’s show, Mr Fear said he was ‘in the zone immediately’.
However, he admitted: ‘Then my next thing to negotiate was getting on the chair because I was a bit worried I was going to fall off… because I’ve got quite short legs.
‘I was concentrating, I was sitting as absolutely still as I can, so this thing about (me being) cool and calm is actually me trying not to make a complete idiot of myself on national television.’
The final question he answered correctly was: ‘In 1718, which pirate died in battle off the coast of what is now North Carolina?’
The answer was: Blackbeard.
‘I’m a dates man,’ he said.
‘You don’t be a history teacher for 33 years without knowing a few dates, and the date 1718 and Blackbeard leapt out at me instantly.’
Mr Fear only used one of his lifelines, 50:50, to win the jackpot, leaving his two Phone A Friend options and Ask The Host unused.
The episodes were pre-recorded without a studio audience due to Covid-19, with contestants given the option of a double Phone A Friend in place of asking the audience.
He said he was able to answer the £1million question – ‘In 1718, which pirate died in battle off the coast of what is now North Carolina?’ – before he’d seen it properly
Mr Fear, who was born in Bristol, said he had since resigned his job as a teacher at Haberdashers’ Adams Grammar school in Newport, Shropshire, whose alumni include former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
But he said: ‘The rules are you have to go at the end of a term.
‘Actually, I never investigated the possibility of whether it would be possible not to go back at all – but how unfair to my A-level students that would be?’
Mr Fear added: ‘I was planning to go in two years anyway just before my 60th birthday.
‘As it is, I’m going just after my 58th.’
Haberdashers’ Adams Grammar shared their congratulations on Twitter.
A message said: ‘Wow what a performance from as cool as a cucumber Mr Fear! Congratulations from everyone at Adams! ‘I taught it to Year 8 kids!”
Mr Fear celebrated his win with his brother, who he claimed was the more intelligent sibling.
He said: ‘He is so pleased for me.
‘We went to spend a night in a hotel with our wives last week and got absolutely plastered and he kept poking me saying how pleased and how overjoyed he was by it.’
Ingram Wilcox was the last winner of the top prize, going all the way in 2006.
In all, five contestants previously won the £1 million prize on the UK version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
The first was Judith Keppel in November 2000.
For her final question, then-host Chris Tarrant asked: ‘Which king was married to Eleanor of Aquitaine?’
Ms Keppel correctly answered Henry II.
Brother of tonight’s winner had previously scooped £500,000 on Who Wants to be a Millionaire
Last year Davyth Fear, 60, from Caernarfon, Wales, who flew through the questions and secured an impressive £500,000 with his phone-a-friend lifeline still available, was left stumped when reaching the final round by a question dubbed as ‘easy’ by fans of the quiz show.
The retired geography teacher – whose episode first aired in September 2019 – decided to walk away with half a million pounds – and says that helping his family out with his winnings has been ‘the best bit.’
Speaking of the first thing he spent his money on, Davyth exclusively told FEMAIL: ‘I helped my family out. I’ve got a brother, two sisters, nephews and nieces and helped them. I gave them a cash sum.’
‘One of them spent it on new windows for his new house, I’ve got one in university and they’re keeping it safe for afterwards just in case, while my sister likes diving, so spent it on a motor home.’
He continued: ‘I’m not interested in big cars, or fancy watches. I bought myself a nice camera. The money takes the pressure off.
‘We’d already bought a house and so on, so I didn’t need to prove anything by buying this, that and the other. It’s just a matter of being able to enjoy life and not necessarily spend stupidly and enjoy what we have.’
‘My life isn’t too different to anyone else I would think, since we’ve all been in lockdown.’
‘I’m enjoying being at home and taking the dog for a walk in the morning, not meeting anyone else. We had three months of glorious sunshine, so I’ve been spending time in the garden.
But while he hasn’t splashed his cash on materialist items, Davyth, who has always loved travelling, did take a dream trip to Uganda.
‘My wife needed a new hip and two new knees,’ he explained. ‘She had the hip done but is still waiting for her two knees, so I did go on holiday to Uganda to see the chimpanzees.
‘I went by myself to see the gorillas and so on because you’re in the mountains she wouldn’t have been mobile enough to make it.’
‘Which of these people was born the same year as Queen Elizabeth II?’ host Jeremy Clarkson (pictured) asked before presenting Davyth with the options: ‘Audrey Hepburn, Judy Garland, Julie Andrews and Marilyn Monroe.’
Retired geography teacher Davyth Fear, from Caernarfon, Wales, flew through the questions – securing an impressive £500,000 with his phone-a-friend lifeline still available. But he was stumped when reaching the final round by a question dubbed as ‘easy’ by fans (above)
As for the future, he added: ‘I’ve always liked travelling. It’s not on the agenda for the next year or so because my wife still needs two knee operations, but she’s always wanted to go to Antarctica, so we would like to go on the cruise to see the penguins.’
‘My wife also wants to go to Canada to see polar bears, so perhaps that’ll happen in the next couple of years.’
Davyth went on to explain that he retired full-time as a teacher around four years ago, and was a supply teacher from then on.
‘I was thinking about giving up being a supply teacher anyway last year, but after winning all this money, I didn’t need to make that decision, did I?’ he said.
However, after the episode aired last night, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire viewers were left ‘screaming at the TV’ after Davyth walked away from an ‘easy’ £1million question.
Speaking of the viewers reaction, Davyth said: ‘It’s easy if you know it. I was guessing at the £2, 000 and £4, 000 question.
‘The question about goosebumps I didn’t know and that was probably the hardest question for me. I didn’t want to risk a lifeline and I didn’t know the answer. It was an educated guess.’
Jeremy Clarkson read the question: ‘Which of these people was born the same year as Queen Elizabeth II?’ before presenting Davyth with the options: ‘Audrey Hepburn, Judy Garland, Julie Andrews and Marilyn Monroe.’
Davyth won the £500,000 after using his second to last lifeline and asking the audience for help with the penultimate question (seen above)
Having thought the correct answer was Audrey Hepburn before ringing a friend who claimed it to be Judy Garland, Davyth decided not to risk it and walked away with half a million.
Queen Elizabeth II was born in 21 April 1926, which was the same year as Marilyn Monroe.
Judy Garland was born four years earlier in 1922, while Audrey Hepburn came along in 1929 – making Julie Andrews the youngest with a birth date of 1 October 1935.
Viewers watching the episode yesterday were left sunned with the uncomplicated question, worth £1million.
One person wrote: ‘Easy question for the £1million,’ while another said: ‘Screaming at the TV! For a million pounds!’
A third boasted: ‘When you get a million pound question right before the answers are revealed!’, as a fourth viewer added: ‘I knew the answer to the million pound question before the options came up.’
Davyth was a contestant on the 4th episode of the 33rd Series of the UK version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and the 10th contestant to win £500,000.
He was praised by the audience at home for his intelligence after flying through the first couple of questions without assistance.