German Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Contestant Tries to Phone-a-Friend Angela Merkel, Gets Voicemail Twice

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 3 2014 5:25 PM

German Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Contestant Tries to Phone-a-Friend Angela Merkel, Gets Voicemail Twice

This guy, again?

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The first rule of phoning-a-friend—in the Who Wants To Be a Millionaire context—is you really need to give your brain trust a heads up about when the show is taping. When your alleged friend is the leader of a country, you might want to submit that heads up a bit earlier than usual.

German politician Wolfgang Bosbach learned this the hard way. Bosbach, a member of parliament, was a contestant on Who Wants To Be a Millionaire and had managed to win 125,000 euros using his own brainpower, but when facing the 500,000 euro stumper, he decided he need to phone in some intellectual support. Bosbach chose to dial up German Chancellor Angela Merkel to see if she could help.


The question: why was the East German WM66 washing machine legendary? The answer, by the way, is because people also used the washing machine to stew fruit in, according to the BBC. Bosbach hoped Merkel, who is a member of the same political party and grew up in that part of the country, might lend a helping hand, but all he got on air was the leader of Germany’s voicemail. Twice.

At the end of the show, Bosbach got a text message from Merkel, who was clearly screening her calls, saying: "Ok whatever it was, warm greetings from am."

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.



Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?


Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
Oct. 21 2014 8:38 AM An Implanted Wearable Gadget Isn’t as Crazy as You’d Think Products like New Deal Design’s UnderSkin may be the future.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 21 2014 7:00 AM Watch the Moon Eat the Sun: The Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.