EXCLUSIVE: 'Million Dollar Money Drop' Contestant 'Haunted, Distraught' By Apparent 'Wrong' Answer
Gabe Okoye says the despair he felt on Million Dollar Money Drop was even worse than millions saw on the Fox gameshow (and countless YouTube views) after he appeared to give a wrong answer that cost $800,000.
But the support his girlfriend Brittany Mayti has given him from moment one in the ordeal has carried him through -- even after the startling revelation, weeks after the taping, that he got the answer right.
"I was haunted for a long time between the taping and the actual airing. I was distraught," he tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I'd like to know someone who has lost money like that and just smiled about it."
He even insists the excruciating scenes of agony on the show "were the edited version of how I really was. It was a lot worse than that."
But Mayti was supportive immediately on the set and continued this in the weeks following the game show.
"We got through it day-by-day," says Mayti. "We kept telling ourselves our love is stronger than this."
"She forgave me, right away. She's a good woman," says Okoye. "It really touching how she supported me. She stuck by me even when we were 'wrong.' "
Of course he wasn't wrong on that answer. Fox's revelation that indeed Okoye was correct in insisting that Post-it notes were available in stores before Sony Walkmans has sparked an internet furor and an invitation from the show's producers to have the couple back on.
While the couple has still not decided whether they will return to the show, the idea that Okoye was right has helped his shattered confidence.
"I do feel vindicated," he says. "It's like a renewed self-confidence."
Mayti says her boyfriend's self-doubt had been so bad that it was affecting other areas of his life.
"There was a time when he was driving when I would say turn right and he was like 'okay,' even though he thought it was turn left," she says. "It was losing $800,000. People are not in a completely wonderful state of mind when that happens."
This has changed now that it turns out that the error was not his.
"Now he's like, I'm glad you were supportive since it turns out I was right," she laughs. "If I had been mad at him, I would be looking not good now."