ITHACA, N.Y. — Ithaca native Tyler Crosby is going for the million on the long-running game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”

Crosby, 32, has always had a mind for trivia and even wanted to be a game show host when he was a kid. When the opportunity to compete in the show came up this spring in Boston — where he now lives — he made the rainy early morning trek to a bar to try out. From the audition, it only took a week to learn he would be on the show. And in another month, he was in Las Vegas to tape the show.

Being on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” was a “whirlwind,” Crosby said.

After high school, Crosby attended Vassar College and earned a law degree from Northeastern University. He now works as a civics educator for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate.

Crosby has also somewhat achieved his first job dream of being a game show host, as he works for Geeks Who Drink, a national pub trivia chain.

The quiz show, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” debuted in the U.S. in 1999. It was hosted by Regis Phillbin and was the first show to offer a million-dollar prize and quickly became one of the highest-ranked American game shows. It is now hosted by Chris Harrison, known for hosting “The Bachelor.”

Before appearing on the show, Crosby said he had never been to Las Vegas. When he got there, he had to go through orientation and training sessions and ended up competing the next morning.

“It was very surreal that I was actually there,” Crosby said.

Whether Crosby is a millionaire now or not is a mystery until the show airs Tuesday and Wednesday. He is not allowed to disclose anything before the show.

“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” was not the first show Crosby has competed in. Eight years ago, he appeared on “Jeopardy” where he said did great, until he didn’t. Though he had a big lead going into the final, he didn’t know the answer to the final question.

With that experience behind him, Crosby said he was determined to prepare more for “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” He watched at least 100 past episodes, he said, and read transcripts of episodes. He kept track of the percentage of questions he got right and what his instincts were on other questions he didn’t know to “calibrate his intuition.”

If Crosby could compete in any other game show, he said it would be “Survivor.”

The show will air at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday on ABC (Channel 9) in Ithaca.

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.