Bryan Mahoney: Lexington High School grad wins big on 'Millionaire' game show

Bryan Mahoney

Tom Colatosti’s 15 minutes of fame actually lasted a bit longer after landing on a national game show that added $16,000 to his wedding budget.

On Monday and Tuesday this week, the 1997 Lexington High School graduate appeared on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” with his fiancé, Amber Cox. They were guests on a special wedding edition, and after walking away from the $25,000 question (“Thought to bring good luck, brides in India traditionally wear what color on their wedding day?”*) and receiving a free Monique Lhuillier dress, Colatosti figures they won about $30,000 all told in cash and prizes.

“We’ve been sitting on this for a couple months now … I kind of liked not telling people about it,” he said. The show was filmed in October; they auditioned in August.

Part of the deal is that they can’t tell anyone what, or if, they won. Not even his own mother, Nancy, who lives on East Emerson Road, knew the results Monday morning. And for the record, she told me Tom is marrying “a wonderful young woman.”

The two met while at a conference for work in February 2006. On the day of the big proposal, Colatosti made dinner and dessert and tied the ring to the collar on their cat, Bella. During dessert, served on their patio, he opened the door and planned on Bella jumping out into Cox’s arms. Instead, Bella beelined for the bed and took the collar off.

“In my mind it was the best idea ever. And in actual execution, in retrospect, it was probably a dumb idea,” he said.

His fiancé read about the “Millionaire” audition on a wedding Web site last summer. An audition was being held about 45 minutes away from their Arlington, Va. home. After some tests and on-camera interviews, they got the word a few weeks later.

The pressure to be on national television was heightened, Colatosti said, because he and Cox told their friends about the show. His first goal: “Not to look like an idiot.” Goal two: Win money.