Reality TV, Screw-Ups, Television

Who Wants To Be a Millionaire Embarrassed?

Going on game shows offers up the possibility of great reward or eternal humiliation in the form of YouTube’s infinite archives. An Oregon lawyer by the name of Paul Galm experienced the latter, when he appeared on “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?” in 2006. (This is admittedly old, but sometimes we like to exhume Internet classics.)

Galm started off by telling Meredith Viera about how he and his wife — both attorneys — quit their jobs and blew their savings traveling around the world, and how he was appearing on WWTBAM hoping to get his nest egg back. Instead, he epically wound up with egg on his face:

Says the tipster who sent it along: “This guy must have gone to a TTT.”

Well, we did a little research. As it turns out, Paul Galm went to a top ten law school.

Which prestigious institution popped him out, and where is he now?

We did some crack reporting — a search of the Oregon state bar attorney list — and discovered a Paul C. Galm. The name is not an exact match (different middle names), but comparing the photos suggests that it’s the same person:

Paul Weir Galm in 2006 (left); Paul C. Galm on his website in 2010 (right)

According to his website, he’s an NYU Law ’00 grad (and went to Berkeley for undergrad). Top schools do not a millionaire make. It looks like he quit a corporate law job at Perkins Coie to travel the world. He then worked as a prosecutor before launching his own firm.

We’re not sure why there would be a discrepancy in his name on the game show and the one on his website (and state bar listing), but given that the YouTube video has been viewed over 2 million times, it may be something he’d prefer to be disassociated from.

We reached out to him this morning, but have not heard back. Apparently he’s no longer prone to instant responses.

UPDATE: Galm is far from the only lawyer to crash and burn on the show. For example, Ken Basin (Harvard Law ’08) blew $475,000 by answering his final question incorrectly.

Regardless, we’ve noticed in the comments some annoyance about our unearthing the Galm gem. We have two responses to this: (1) Welcome to Above the Law. (2) We actually see this as a positive story.

Galm, by all appearances, is in an enviable position. He’s living in Oregon, with his own law practice and a beautiful family — showing that you can get seriously flamed, on national television and The YouTube, and still go on to have a lovely life.

Worst “Millionaire” Contestant Ever [YouTube]
Paul C. Galm: Attorney at Law [official website]

(hidden for your protection)

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