TV's Biggest Millionaire

04/13/1998 at 12:00 AM EDT

Kevin Olmstead, 42, a Michigan engineer and a part-time creator of academic quizzes, won $2.18 million on Tuesday's episode of ABC's "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," making him the biggest winner in the history of American TV, reports The New York Times. The show's usual $1 million giveaway expanded because the network had padded the kitty by $10,000 for each show in which the grand prize was not claimed. Olmstead, a previous winner on "Jeopardy," seized his "Millionaire" victory thanks to two easy -- for him -- final questions, one on the earth's circumference at the equator (24,900 miles) and another on the inventor of the first mass-produced helicopter (Igor Sikorsky). "If they had asked me who plays what on 'Dawson's Creek,' I'd have been toast," Olmstead said afterward. "There will be some mad money," the bachelor conceded. "There's a mini-van in my future."

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