The Gonz Show: Ogi Ogas

The neuroscientist scores big on game shows, and plans to share his secrets online. But can he make John Gonzalez smarter?

You won $500,000 on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire last year. Do you sleep on top of a pile of money now? I got $250,000 in cash and the rest as an annuity. Even before taxes, it didn’t add up to half a million. Still, I had enough for a big down payment on a condo downtown.

On the show, you claimed you didn’t answer the final question because you weren’t confident enough. Ogi: It was a question about the Boston Tea Party. You’re from Boston. What the hell? I’m still living in shame. There was a moment when I realized I knew the answer, and I knew I’d get the million. Then I just panicked. I’ll regret it forever.

You’ve also been in the Game Show Network’s Grand Slam tournament, which re-airs this month. And now you’re working on a website that helps people train for game shows? I developed a lot of cognitive tricks based on my brain research, and I also came up with some memory techniques. I developed math techniques, a way to solve anagrams faster, ways to work with word problems. It worked well for me, and I’m not a trivia guy. I don’t even have a TV.

Wait, wait, wait—you don’t have a TV? How have you appeared on two game shows without having a TV? When I auditioned for Millionaire, I hadn’t even seen an episode of it. I had this system of tricks and did very well. I’m only the second person to get to $500,000 on Millionaire in three years. And if I can use these techniques as an ordinary guy, anyone can.

Could it help me? I’m not very bright, but I could use some quick cash. I don’t know if the tricks will take you to the $500,000 point, but they would take you further on Millionaire or Jeopardy than you might normally get.

One question for all the money in my pocket, plus whatever lint is in there: Who’s the best magazine writer in Boston? I know this one. John Gonzalez!

Hmm, the judges are telling me that’s incorrect.