Brett & JiaoJiao win more than $20K for Komen for the Cure Greater Kansas City on 'Millionaire'

NEW YORK - Brett Anthony and JiaoJiao Shen won $20,300 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure of Greater Kansas City on "Who Wants to be a Millionare"!

They flew to New York City in October for the taping. It aired Friday at 3:30 p.m. on your NBC Action News station.

It was part of the show's "Play It Forward" week.

Friday, Susan G. Komen hosted a "Millionaire" watch party at Bar Louie in the Power & Light District.

Here is JiaoJiao's take from behind-the-scenes:

It was such a surprise to find out NBC Action News was selected to be one of the participating teams for Who Wants to be a Millionaire's Play It Forward week.  Even more surprising was the station picked me and Brett Anthony to go!

I was so nervous the week leading up to October 19 which was the day we had to tape our episode in the Millionaire studio in New York City.  I'm terrible at trivia, even worse under pressure.  But luckily, I was paired with Brett, who is a trivia/random fact whiz!

When we found out we were playing for Susan G. Komen for the Cure of Greater Kansas City, we were both so pleased.  Both of us have personal ties to breast cancer, so we know the support and hope Komen offers to women and their families going through this terrible disease.  We could not be happier to be playing for such a worthy cause.

We arrived in New York City on a beautiful sunny afternoon, the day before we were going to play.  But the sun disappeared sometime overnight and at 7am Wednesday, October 19, it was cloudy, rainy and gray.  It was a perfect day, actually, to be inside taping a show.

We got to meet the anchors from the other stations also playing for charity.  Stations from Denver, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Dallas and Orlando were all represented.  I think everyone had the same nerves and butterflies as we piled into the limos to take us to the Millionaire studio in style.

Once we got there, we settled into the "green room."  Makeup artists flew around us, brushes in hand, touching up shiny spots here or there.  Then, the show's executive producer, Rich Sirop stepped in to give us a pep talk, help us understand the new game format and the strategy to doing well.

By the way, if you haven't seen the show recently, the questions and dollar amounts are now completely randomized.  No longer is it guaranteed that the first question is worth $100 and is the easiest.  The lifelines have changed as well.  Participants can now jump a question twice, thereby forfeiting the dollar amounts behind the questions, or ask the audience once.

Brett was pretty confident going into the day, but I think after the pep talk with Rich, his nerves were rattled.  To add to that, we played a new, yet-to-be-released Xbox version of Millionaire and got a few questions wrong.  Yikes!  Luckily, we played as a pair and two brains are always better than one, right?

We also got a little advantage that other participants don't usually receive.  All the teams got to go on the Millionaire set with Rich and play a little practice round.  Thanks goodness for this luxury!  When I stepped onto the set, I was so awestruck.  I was actually standing in the studio that I've seen so many times on television!  And then, it happened.  Meredith Vieira walked in and, let me tell you, she is as lovely in person as she appears on TV. She was warm, friendly, funny and nurturing.  I'm just relieved we got to meet her ahead of time because I don't think I would have been able to formulate a single coherent thought during the actual taping.

We didn't know the order we would be playing, so we just had to wait until our names were called.  While we waited, we played Millionaire on Xbox and discovered with 10 people playing, you can get the answer to almost any question!  We agreed, if we could go up there as a group, we may actually collectively win more money for all our charities!  But, we don't make the rules, so we had to stick with our partners. (And, to be honest, mine was pretty great!)

Brett and I ended up taping our episode second.  As we stood in the wings and waited for the other team to finished taping some promos on the set, I could feel the waves churning in my stomach.  My hands were shaking, my body was burning up and I was sweating through all the powder the makeup artist had just pressed onto my nose.

Brett and I decided ahead of time, or better yet, I flat out told him he was going to be our final answer person.  As I stood in between him and Meredith, I just remember chanting this mantra over and over in my head: "please let me know the first answer, please let me know the first answer."  I thought, if we got the first answer correct, my nerves would calm and I could think more clearly.

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