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Saturday, November 11, 2006

How to win $500,000 revealed



(The well-prepared Ogas considers the $1 million question)

They picked the wrong guy -- and they ended up losing $500,000 because of it.

Waltham's Ogi Ogas, who won $500,000 on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" reveals how he did it in a fascinating first-person story today in the Globe's Living/Arts section.

It turns out that the Boston University graduate student used his research training in the Department of Cognitive and Neural Systems to win. Ogas says his academic advisers are investigating learning, memory, and decision-making -- and that came in handy.

And when you get that chance to phone an expert friend to help you with a question? It helps when that friend is a fellow BU student sitting by a computer loaded with special software algorithms to search the Web for the answer.

In the end, all of Ogas's special training couldn't give him the confidence to answer the $1 million question, so he passed on it and ended up walking away with $500,000.

He said he had guessed the correct answer but just couldn't be sure. When the answer came up on the screen, he said, "I felt like my heart had been clawed out of my chest."

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