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Utah priest falls short on 'Millionaire' stint

Five minutes in, Father Mike was whisked off, back to Utah to raise money the hard way.

In his second and final appearance on Thursday's "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" the Rev. Michael Sciumbato completed the first part, at least, of his national television career at 4:05 p.m. on KUTV. The ebullient priest's face fell, however, after he made a misstep on the game show.

The Roman-collared contestant, pastor at Ogden's St. James Catholic Church, was given the question, "What ecological region has thickets of evergreen trees and shrubs?"

Sciumbato chose "sierra" as his final answer. Host Meredith Vieira grimaced. The answer she was looking for was "chaparral."

"It brought back that pit-of-the-stomach feeling," Sciumbato said of watching himself on the show. He had, of course, hoped to win $1 million to put into his parish kitty for construction of a new worship space. St. James, which overflows on Sundays, has raised about $1 million from local donors toward its project goal of $3 million.