He failed dismally at first and then scammed his way to a small fortune in an illegal second attempt at "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" But now the fraudster who undermined the RTL quiz show is set to lose everything.
Presenter Günther Jauch didn't recognize the contestant
After going on the German version of quiz show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" twice -- once under a false name -- in a bid to defraud German broadcaster RTL and the show's production company Endemol, greedy Reinhold S. may very well finish up as the answer to one of the questions on the globally syndicated hit program.
If he does, it will be the only reward he gets from his illegal double-participation in the show. The contestant who first won 500 euros ($617) in 2003 under the name Luis Meyer returned to the show in April 2006 to win a more sizeable sum of 64,000 ($79,033) euros.
Unfortunately, although deservingly, Reinhold will not be allowed to keep any of his earnings due to a hole in what must have seemed like a well thought out scam. Contestants are required to sign a form before taking part, stating that they have not taken part in the show previously.
Super fan spots fraudster in second appearance
The fraudster might have gotten away with it had it not been for an eagle-eyed fan of the show who recognized Reinhold when he appeared on the show this month. Identifying an uncanny likeness to the hapless Luis Meyer, the fan contacted the show's producers and blew the whistle.
Reinhold pleaded his innocence even when faced with photographic evidence from the RTL files which clearly showed that he was Luis Meyer.
Not the same person?
The show in which Reinhold won 64,000 euros will be re-run according to show host Günther Jauch.
"The people who are at the most disadvantaged are the nine other candidates who were denied the chance to play," Jauch told reporters on Sunday. "They will get another chance to line up for the show and we'll be getting them in again as soon as possible." It is likely the show will be re-run in May. Sharp contestants will make sure to bone up on who the man was who tried to defraud "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?". It could be worth a lot of money to some one in the long run. It just won't be Reinhold S.