Meet the genius activist who won the $1million prize – and he’s no stranger to making headlines 

Meet the genius activist who won the 1million prize


Meet the genius retail worker who became the second person in history to win the $1M prize on Millionaire Hot Seat with – so can you answer the fiendish final question?

  • Antony is the second Australian to win the million after his Nov 25 episode
  • Antony and husband Ron have been advocating for LGBTQI+ rights for 30+ years
  • They were one of the first couples to marry in 2018 following legalisation
  • He decided to go on the show following his mother-in-law’s advice 










A game show contestant became the second person ever to win $1 million on Millionaire Hot Seat Australia this week – and it’s not the first time he’s made history.

Retail worker Antony McManus and his husband Ron Van Houwelingen spent 30 years fighting for gay marriage – and were among the country’s first to be wed when marriage equality was legalised four years ago.  

Now the couple is celebrating another stunning win – with the Channel Nine TV show prize setting them up for life. 

Antony McManus (left)  has become the second person ever to win $1 million on Millionaire Hot Seat Australia

Antony McManus (left)  has become the second person ever to win $1 million on Millionaire Hot Seat Australia

Antony told TV Tonight he had decided to go on the show after his mother-in-law noticed how good he was at answering the trivia questions from the couch.

Antony went on to become the second Australian ever to win $1 million on the show after a close call on the final question.

He was initially asked how many Australian prime ministers have been members for electorates in Queensland but used his lifeline to swap to a different question.

Antony was then asked a literary question – which he noted he could only answer using process of elimination.

THE $1MILLION QUESTION 

Which of these classic literary works was published first?

A: The Count of Monte Cristo

B: A Tale of Two Cities

C: War and Peace

D: Les Misérables

Answer: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, published in 1844

 

 

The win is Antony's (left) second time making history after he and his husband Ron Van Houwelingen (right) were one of the first couples to marry (pictured) following the 2017 referendum

The win is Antony’s (left) second time making history after he and his husband Ron Van Houwelingen (right) were one of the first couples to marry (pictured) following the 2017 referendum

The episode was the last of the show to be filmed some six months ago before Melbourne went into lockdown. 

Following the win Antony expressed his excitement and gratitude at the changes he’s been able to make in his life.

‘I thought I’d be renting forever but now I’ve bought a beautiful apartment and even paid cash for it!’ he said after the episode, which was filmed in May.

‘Now I can stop worrying about the future for my husband, Ron, and me. I’m so grateful that the stars aligned on the day.

‘So much had to go right for me to win, and it did. It’s still hard to believe.’

Antony and husband Ron have been advocating for LGBTQI+ equal rights for ever 30 years and were finally able to marry (pictured) in 2018 where they had met as students in 1987

Antony and husband Ron have been advocating for LGBTQI+ equal rights for ever 30 years and were finally able to marry (pictured) in 2018 where they had met as students in 1987

In a touching tribute, Ron said: ‘My husband always told me he would win me a $1M one day. 

‘I don’t think there’s a single thing he has promised me that he hasn’t delivered. So proud.’ 

Antony and his Ron having been fighting for LGBTQI+ rights since they first started dating in 1987. 

They ‘married’ an astonishing 17 times at equal rights rallies, on TV and on the radio before gay marriage was legalised in Australia in 2017. 

Antony (right) has been volunteering for Positive Attitude Inc. for several years working with the organisation to support and promote the inclusiveness of HIV positive people in the community by hosting lunches

Antony (right) has been volunteering for Positive Attitude Inc. for several years working with the organisation to support and promote the inclusiveness of HIV positive people in the community by hosting lunches

Antony also has been volunteering at Positive Attitude Inc. for several years as part of his efforts in the LGBTQI+ community.

Positive Attitude Inc. is a not-for-profit organisation founded at the height of the AIDS pandemic in 1983 that work to support and promote inclusiveness of HIV positive people in Melbourne.

Part of the organisation’s work includes hosting a weekly lunch that is open to all members of the LGBTQI+ community.

Antony (pictured) has expressed his gratitude for the win saying 'I thought I'd be renting forever'

Antony (pictured) has expressed his gratitude for the win saying ‘I thought I’d be renting forever’

The organisation also hosts a Christmas Day Lunch for LGBTQI+ members that would otherwise spend the day alone.

President of the organisation Melissa Williams hopes that the organisation’s work will one day mean no one has to eat alone at Christmas.

‘(I hope) that one day, our Xmas day lunch won’t need to be held as all our regulars would be spending the day with family and loved ones,’ she said.

Antony (right) decided to go on the show after his mother-in-law noticed how good he was ar answering the trivia questions from the couch

Antony (right) decided to go on the show after his mother-in-law noticed how good he was ar answering the trivia questions from the couch

Ms Williams said Antony’s win was very well deserved.

‘Antony has a huge heart and his win couldn’t have happened to a nicer person,’ she said. 

Only one other person has won the $1million prize – Edwin Daly in 2016. 



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