Did you ever think about applying for a quiz show on TV? Well, Zsuzsi Bukta, former President of AEGEE-Szeged and AEGEE-Gödöllö, did. With great success. A few years ago she already participated and won a good amount in the Hungarian version of the Millionaire’s show. That wasn’t enough: a few months ago she won nearly 10.000 Euro in the TV quiz show ÁtVágó. The Golden Times asked her about her passion for quizzes and her being on TV.

Zsuzsi in her great show.

Golden Times: Zsuzsi, congratulations for becoming the first female winner of the Hungarian quiz show ÁtVágó! How much did you win and how much is that in Euro?
Zsuzsi Bukta: Well, this is the biggest amount I’ve won so far in a quiz show: nearly 3 million Forint, which is about 9500 Euro.

Golden Times: So how do you feel being a millionaire?
Zsuzsi (smiles): It’s a fantastic feeling! Some years ago, when I was working as an advisor in a ministry I was already a Forint millionaire, but since my job is assistant professor at the best university of Hungary, I had no chance to reach this height! Maybe I should earn my living by attending quiz-shows…?

Golden Times: What did you have to do in the show?
Zsuzsi: In the game there were three rounds, three rivals started. We had to answer questions about any topic. You need to collect five good answers to get into the next round. I had no problem with it. Two of us continued into the second round, where you get ten questions. From the answers you have to associate to a person. After nine answers who would you guess: carpenter, Sportarena, wind, guitar, mouth-organ, Bobby, alias, Robert?

Zsuzsi promoting a creative event of AEGEE-Eindhoven at Agora Ankara 1997.

Golden Times: No idea. What’s the answer?
Zsuzsi: Bob Dylan. Every good answer is worth 5000 Forint, I collected 30.000. In the third round, you get eight statements, you have to guess if they are right or wrong. You must put at least half of your money as a bet. If you guess wrong, you are out of the game. If you always play with the whole amount and are right, you double your money eight times. I went through all the eight questions, and ended up with 2,78 million Forint.

Golden Times: Can you give some examples?
Zsuzsi: My easiest question was if the maximum number of pins that you can hit at bowling is nine – it is of course wrong. Or if the letter aria is in Puccini’s Tosca, which is my favourite opera, so I doubled my money. Other questions were more difficult.

Golden Times: Was there a question where you had doubts and wanted to quit?
Zsuzsi: You have one chance to give a pass on a question – I used it when they asked, if quinine was originating from China tree. I had no idea, so I didn’t answer. On the other hand, I was 100 percent sure only about three questions. I was also lucky, I think.

Golden Times: This was not your first appearance on a national TV quiz show… You were also at “Who wants to be a millionaire”. What happened there?
Zsuzsi (smiles): It was already nine years ago! I won 2800 Euro. The next step was 5000 Euro, I was a bit upset not to be brave enough to make that, but it was a nice amount anyway. I reconstructed my bathroom pretty nicely…

Zsuzsi Bukta as European School trainer.

Golden Times: How come that you like quiz shows so much? Is it running in the family?
Zsuzsi: Our family always loved quiz games and board games. We were always watching quiz shows on TV together. We had a lot of books at home, if a question came up to which we did not know the answer, my parents always looked up the solution in an encyclopedia immediately. I do the same until today – Internet helps a lot. You have to be interested in many things and you need a very good memory to be a good quiz player. I have no problem with any of these.

Golden Times: You are also member of a quiz club. Tell us about that.
Zsuzsi: My brother’s colleague was member of a really funny group of people. He invited us. Now, I am a member for more than 10 years already. They say that such groups exist in England in every second pub. They also organise quiz world cups. In Hungary it’s a unique group. There are some freaks in these clubs, but everyone loves to play, and it keeps your brain fresh. We write the questions for one another, you learn a lot by doing them.

Golden Times: Don’t you regret a bit that you don’t live in Western Europe? There you would be a Euro millionaire now…
Zsuzsi: At the moment I would be very happy to live in any country in Europe but Hungary. The reason is not the money… Well, being a Euro millionaire would be great, but I am happy with my life in general, so I don’t think about it. Actually, I was watching the German Millionaire show earlier, and I found the questions easier than in the Hungarian version. The problem is: if you are not a native speaker, you have no chance at the beginning…

Zsuzsi Bukta in 2012, revisiting her old flat in Budapest.

Golden Times: How did your family and friends react about the victory? You also had big interviews, as I could see…
Zsuzsi: The show didn’t start on TV long ago, so they made promotions with the first winners. An interview was printed in three magazines, and was put on several Internet sites. Many of my friends and colleagues congratulated me, even my students.

Golden Times: What are you doing with your money?
Zsuzsi: A bit of reconstruction in our apartment, maybe a new car… We’ll see.

Golden Times: What are you working, by the way?
Zsuzsi: I am teaching sports management, sports history and some other subjects at the Budapest university ELTE. I enjoy it a lot, it is a very creative job. I am also advising sport clubs, write articles, hopefully soon I will finish my PhD.

Golden Times: What advice do you have for people that go as candidate on a quiz show?
Zsuzsi: You have nothing to lose! By the way, I don’t go for the money in the first place, I go for the good feeling that you appear to be intelligent. Of course, you must be an open person, otherwise you won’t be able to enjoy it.


Read an article about Zsuzsi (in Hungarian): http://www.startlap.hu/atvago/elso_noi_milliomos.php