Charles Ingram: Difference between revisions


 

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”’Charles William Ingram”’ (born 6 August 1963) is an English fraudster, novelist and former [[British Army]] [[Major (United Kingdom)|major]] who gained fame for his appearance on the [[ITV (TV network)|ITV]] [[game show|television game show]] ”[[Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (British game show)|Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?]]” In episodes recorded in September 2001, Ingram correctly answered fifteen questions to win the show’s maximum prize of £1 million, becoming the third recorded contestant to ever do so. However, he was denied the winnings due to suspicion of cheating.<ref>{{cite news|url=https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1436999/Millionaire-cheat-told-to-leave-Army.html|title=Millionaire cheat told to leave Army|date= 24 July 2003|work=[[The Daily Telegraph]]|access-date=16 April 2020}}</ref>

”’Charles William Ingram”’ (born 6 August 1963) is an English fraudster, novelist and former [[British Army]] [[Major (United Kingdom)|major]] who gained fame for his appearance on the [[ITV (TV network)|ITV]] [[game show|television game show]] ”[[Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (British game show)|Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?]]” In episodes recorded in September 2001, Ingram correctly answered fifteen questions to win the show’s maximum prize of £1 million, becoming the third recorded contestant to ever do so. However, he was denied the winnings due to suspicion of cheating.<ref>{{cite news|url=https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1436999/Millionaire-cheat-told-to-leave-Army.html|title=Millionaire cheat told to leave Army|date=24 July 2003|work=[[The Daily Telegraph]]|access-date=16 April 2020|archive-date=5 January 2018|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180105101659/http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1436999/Millionaire-cheat-told-to-leave-Army.html|url-status=live}}</ref>

Following [[R v Ingram, C., Ingram, D. and Whittock, T.|a lengthy trial]] at [[Southwark Crown Court]], Ingram was convicted on a single count of [[Deception (criminal law)|procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception]]. He was subsequently convicted of an unrelated offence involving [[insurance fraud]] in 2003 and ordered to resign his commission as a major by the [[Army Board]].

Following [[R v Ingram, C., Ingram, D. and Whittock, T.|a lengthy trial]] at [[Southwark Crown Court]], Ingram was convicted on a single count of [[Deception (criminal law)|procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception]]. He was subsequently convicted of an unrelated offence involving [[insurance fraud]] in 2003 and ordered to resign his commission as a major by the [[Army Board]].

==Early life==

==Early life==

”’Charles William Ingram”’ was born on 6 August 1963 in [[Shardlow]], [[Derbyshire]], the son of retired [[Royal Air Force]] Wing Commander John Ingram<ref>(RAF/39187)</ref> and his wife Susan, a theatre set designer. His father’s [[Wellington bomber]], operating with 103 Squadron from [[RAF Elsham Wolds]], had been shot down in late September 1941; he was taken as a [[prisoner of war]] while two of his crew were killed.<ref name=”thetimesapr03″>{{cite news|url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=GPS&sw=w&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA99786172&it=r&asid=9b7c7d8914dc6e0c4999a52da0a6d156|title=The major: strategist who flunked simple questions; Profile|date=8 April 2003|work=[[The Times]]|access-date=2 October 2017|page=11|url-access=subscription }}</ref>

”’Charles William Ingram”’ was born on 6 August 1963 in [[Shardlow]], [[Derbyshire]], the son of retired [[Royal Air Force]] Wing Commander John Ingram<ref>(RAF/39187)</ref> and his wife Susan, a theatre set designer. His father’s [[Wellington bomber]], operating with 103 Squadron from [[RAF Elsham Wolds]], had been shot down in late September 1941; he was taken as a [[prisoner of war]] while two of his crew were killed.<ref name=”thetimesapr03″>{{cite news|url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=GPS&sw=w&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA99786172&it=r&asid=9b7c7d8914dc6e0c4999a52da0a6d156|title=The major: strategist who flunked simple questions; Profile|date=8 April 2003|work=[[The Times]]|access-date=2 October 2017|page=11|url-access=subscription|archive-date=1 April 2024|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20240401084709/https://galeapps.gale.com/apps/auth?userGroupName=&origURL=https%3A%2F%2Fgo.gale.com%2Fps%2Fi.do%3Fp%3DGPS%26sw%3Dw%26v%3D2.1%26id%3DGALE%257CA99786172%26it%3Dr%26asid%3D9b7c7d8914dc6e0c4999a52da0a6d156&prodId=GPS|url-status=live}}</ref>

Ingram’s parents divorced when he was young and he spent most of his education years boarding privately at [[Oswestry School]] in [[Oswestry]], [[Shropshire]].<ref name=”guardianaug06″>{{cite news|url=https://www.theguardian.com/money/2006/sep/16/moneysupplement4|title=Fame and fortune|last=Walne|first=Toby|date=16 September 2006|work=[[The Guardian]]|access-date=2 October 2017}}</ref> There he was a member of the [[Combined Cadet Force]] and completed the [[The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award|Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award]].<ref name=”thetimesapr03″ /> He went on to obtain a [[Bachelor of Science|BSc]] in civil engineering from [[Kingston University]].<ref name=”guardianaug06″ />

Ingram’s parents divorced when he was young and he spent most of his education years boarding privately at [[Oswestry School]] in [[Oswestry]], [[Shropshire]].<ref name=”guardianaug06″>{{cite news|url=https://www.theguardian.com/money/2006/sep/16/moneysupplement4|title=Fame and fortune|last=Walne|first=Toby|date=16 September 2006|work=[[The Guardian]]|access-date=2 October 2017|archive-date=3 October 2021|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20211003021636/https://www.theguardian.com/money/2006/sep/16/moneysupplement4|url-status=live}}</ref> There he was a member of the [[Combined Cadet Force]] and completed the [[The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award|Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award]].<ref name=”thetimesapr03″ /> He went on to obtain a [[Bachelor of Science|BSc]] in civil engineering from [[Kingston University]].<ref name=”guardianaug06″ />

==Military career==

==Military career==

In 1987, Ingram trained for the [[British Army]] at the [[Royal Military Academy Sandhurst]] and was commissioned as an officer in the [[Royal Engineers]].<ref name=”:1″>{{London Gazette| issue = 52131| date = 8 May 1990| page = 8819| supp = y}}</ref> He was promoted to the rank of [[Captain (British Army and Royal Marines)|captain]] in 1990<ref name=”:1″ /> and [[major (British Army)|major]] in 1995.<ref>[http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2926075.stm “The major behind the sting”]. news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 25 February 2023.</ref> In 1999, Ingram was sent to [[Banja Luka]] in Bosnia<ref>{{cite news|url=https://www.theguardian.com/media/2003/mar/20/broadcasting.uknews|title=Pager claims are rot, major tells court|last=Vasagar|first=Jeevan|date=20 March 2003|work=The Guardian|access-date=2 October 2017}}</ref> for six months on [[United Nations]] peacekeeping duties.<ref>{{cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/3218325.stm|title=The man behind the scams|date=28 October 2003|work=[[BBC News]]|access-date=2 October 2017}}</ref> He graduated from [[Cranfield University]] with a master’s degree in corporate management in August 2000.<ref name=”thetimesapr03″ /> He was ordered by the [[Army Board]] via letter to resign his commission on 20 August 2003 and to give up his rank of major. It is widely disputed whether or not he was [[military discharge|dishonourably discharged]].<ref>{{cite news|url=http://www.aljazeera.com/archive/2003/07/200849163838278691.html|title=Marching orders for Army gameshow cheat|date=24 July 2003|work=[[Al Jazeera English|Al Jazeera]]|access-date=2 October 2017}}</ref>

In 1987, Ingram trained for the [[British Army]] at the [[Royal Military Academy Sandhurst]] and was commissioned as an officer in the [[Royal Engineers]].<ref name=”:1″>{{London Gazette| issue = 52131| date = 8 May 1990| page = 8819| supp = y}}</ref> He was promoted to the rank of [[Captain (British Army and Royal Marines)|captain]] in 1990<ref name=”:1″ /> and [[major (British Army)|major]] in 1995.<ref>[http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2926075.stm “The major behind the sting”] {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20230121111210/http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2926075.stm |date=21 January 2023 }}. news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 25 February 2023.</ref> In 1999, Ingram was sent to [[Banja Luka]] in Bosnia<ref>{{cite news|url=https://www.theguardian.com/media/2003/mar/20/broadcasting.uknews|title=Pager claims are rot, major tells court|last=Vasagar|first=Jeevan|date=20 March 2003|work=The Guardian|access-date=2 October 2017|archive-date=3 October 2021|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20211003021648/https://www.theguardian.com/media/2003/mar/20/broadcasting.uknews|url-status=live}}</ref> for six months on [[United Nations]] peacekeeping duties.<ref>{{cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/3218325.stm|title=The man behind the scams|date=28 October 2003|work=[[BBC News]]|access-date=2 October 2017|archive-date=8 August 2022|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20220808122042/http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/3218325.stm|url-status=live}}</ref> He graduated from [[Cranfield University]] with a master’s degree in corporate management in August 2000.<ref name=”thetimesapr03″ /> He was ordered by the [[Army Board]] via letter to resign his commission on 20 August 2003 and to give up his rank of major. It is widely disputed whether or not he was [[military discharge|dishonourably discharged]].<ref>{{cite news|url=http://www.aljazeera.com/archive/2003/07/200849163838278691.html|title=Marching orders for Army gameshow cheat|date=24 July 2003|work=[[Al Jazeera English|Al Jazeera]]|access-date=2 October 2017|archive-date=8 December 2019|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20191208060245/https://www.aljazeera.com/archive/2003/07/200849163838278691.html|url-status=live}}</ref>

==”Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” scandal==

==”Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” scandal==

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On 9 September 2001, Ingram became a contestant on the [[ITV (TV network)|ITV]] game show ”[[Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (UK game show)|Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?]]”, following his wife Diana and her brother Adrian Pollock, each of whom had won £32,000 as contestants on the show.<ref>{{cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2823407.stm |title=Major Charles Ingram has been found guilty of cheating his way to the top prize on ”Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” |access-date=13 May 2008 |date=7 April 2003 |work=BBC News}}</ref><ref>{{cite AV media |people=[[Martin Bashir]] |year=2003 |title=Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Major Fraud |medium=Television |publisher=ITV |location=London, England}}</ref> To prepare, Ingram practised for about twenty minutes per day on a homemade “[[Fastest Finger First (Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?)|Fastest Finger First]]” machine.<ref>{{Cite news|url=https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1425308/Millionaire-quiz-major-had-ploy-to-foil-Tarrant.html|title=Millionaire quiz major had ploy to foil Tarrant|last=Woolcock|first=Nicola|date=22 March 2003|work=The Daily Telegraph|access-date=16 March 2019}}</ref> Ingram got into the “hot seat” but used two lifelines early, ending the day at £4,000 and with only the 50/50 lifeline remaining. The production team did not expect him to proceed much further, but he ended up making it all the way to the £1 million prize on the second day of recording.<ref name=”:0″ />

On 9 September 2001, Ingram became a contestant on the [[ITV (TV network)|ITV]] game show ”[[Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (UK game show)|Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?]]”, following his wife Diana and her brother Adrian Pollock, each of whom had won £32,000 as contestants on the show.<ref>{{cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2823407.stm |title=Major Charles Ingram has been found guilty of cheating his way to the top prize on ”Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” |access-date=13 May 2008 |date=7 April 2003 |work=BBC News |archive-date=6 December 2008 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20081206151713/http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2823407.stm |url-status=live }}</ref><ref>{{cite AV media |people=[[Martin Bashir]] |year=2003 |title=Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Major Fraud |medium=Television |publisher=ITV |location=London, England}}</ref> To prepare, Ingram practised for about twenty minutes per day on a homemade “[[Fastest Finger First (Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?)|Fastest Finger First]]” machine.<ref>{{Cite news|url=https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1425308/Millionaire-quiz-major-had-ploy-to-foil-Tarrant.html|title=Millionaire quiz major had ploy to foil Tarrant|last=Woolcock|first=Nicola|date=22 March 2003|work=The Daily Telegraph|access-date=16 March 2019|archive-date=17 December 2019|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20191217033611/https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1425308/Millionaire-quiz-major-had-ploy-to-foil-Tarrant.html|url-status=live}}</ref> Ingram got into the “hot seat” but used two lifelines early, ending the day at £4,000 and with only the 50/50 lifeline remaining. The production team did not expect him to proceed much further, but he ended up making it all the way to the £1 million prize on the second day of recording.<ref name=”:0″ />

Throughout Ingram’s run, the production team were increasingly suspicious of him. He was taking brazen risks and playing the game in an unusual manner. One of the questions Ingram got during the run was “Who had a hit UK album with ”[[Born to Do It]]” released in 2000?” After using his 50/50 the two remaining answers were [[A1 (group)|A1]] (what he believed the answer to be) and [[Craig David]], who he said he had never heard of. After nearly locking in A1 as his final answer, he backed off and later said “80% of the time I’m wrong when I guess, so you know what—I’ll go Craig David.” He then locked in the correct answer of Craig David. At the penultimate question, worth £500,000, Ingram was asked: “[[Baron Haussmann]] is best known for his planning of which city?” Among the options were Berlin and Paris, the former of which he immediately assumed as the right answer due to his belief that Baron Haussmann is a German name. However, after some time he said “there’s a possibility that it’s Paris” before eventually deciding to lock in Paris as his final answer. This got Ingram to the £1 million question—”A number one followed by one hundred zeros is known by what name?”—to which he thought the answer was [[nanomole]] and initially said he did not know what a [[googol]] is. However, he eventually decided to lock in “googol” as his final answer which won him the £1 million prize.<ref>{{cite AV media |people=[[Martin Bashir]] |year=2003 |title=Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Major Fraud |medium=Television |publisher=ITV |location=London, England}}</ref> Of Ingram’s unusual behaviour while playing for the final question, and after the scandal had become public knowledge, Rod Taylor, an executive producer, said, “It became obvious that he wasn’t under the pressure that he should have been, somehow… He should have been very, very careful, and very certain. And he certainly wasn’t [either of those].<ref>https://archive.org/details/major-fraud</ref>

Throughout Ingram’s run, the production team were increasingly suspicious of him. He was taking brazen risks and playing the game in an unusual manner. One of the questions Ingram got during the run was “Who had a hit UK album with ”[[Born to Do It]]” released in 2000?” After using his 50/50 the two remaining answers were [[A1 (group)|A1]] (what he believed the answer to be) and [[Craig David]], who he said he had never heard of. After nearly locking in A1 as his final answer, he backed off and later said “80% of the time I’m wrong when I guess, so you know what—I’ll go Craig David.” He then locked in the correct answer of Craig David. At the penultimate question, worth £500,000, Ingram was asked: “[[Baron Haussmann]] is best known for his planning of which city?” Among the options were Berlin and Paris, the former of which he immediately assumed as the right answer due to his belief that Baron Haussmann is a German name. However, after some time he said “there’s a possibility that it’s Paris” before eventually deciding to lock in Paris as his final answer. This got Ingram to the £1 million question—”A number one followed by one hundred zeros is known by what name?”—to which he thought the answer was [[nanomole]] and initially said he did not know what a [[googol]] is. However, he eventually decided to lock in “googol” as his final answer which won him the £1 million prize.<ref>{{cite AV media |people=[[Martin Bashir]] |year=2003 |title=Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Major Fraud |medium=Television |publisher=ITV |location=London, England}}</ref> Of Ingram’s unusual behaviour while playing for the final question, and after the scandal had become public knowledge, Rod Taylor, an executive producer, said, “It became obvious that he wasn’t under the pressure that he should have been, somehow… He should have been very, very careful, and very certain. And he certainly wasn’t [either of those].<ref>https://archive.org/details/major-fraud</ref>

After Ingram had won the £1 million, producers were suspicious enough that a search was performed on him. His hair, clothing, and shoes were searched; however, the method of cheating used meant that nothing incriminating was found on his person. After he left the set, the show’s production company, [[Celador]], were tipped off by the show’s producers of the assumed irregularities occurring within the quiz and suspended the jackpot payout to investigate the matter. At the same time, the show’s presenter, [[Chris Tarrant]], overheard that the Ingrams had been arguing, despite Ingram’s success, moments before Tarrant joined them in their dressing room for champagne; another member of the production team also noted a similar thought about the couple’s behaviour.<ref name=”Millionaire winner ‘unhappy'”>{{cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2836937.stm|title=Millionaire winner ‘unhappy’|date=10 March 2003|access-date=13 May 2008|work=BBC News}}</ref> While reviewing the recording, the production team made a connection between Ingram’s answers and coughs coming from one of the waiting contestants, Tecwen Whittock; for one question, the coughing came from Ingram’s wife Diana while she was in the audience.<ref name=”:0″>{{Cite news|url=https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/vdqdw9/15-years-of-the-coughing-major-who-wants-to-be-a-millionare|title=That Time a Guy Won ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ by Cheating Terribly |author=Harrison, Angus |date=9 September 2016 |work=[[Vice (magazine)|VICE]]|access-date=5 July 2018|language=en-us}}</ref> Based on this evidence, all three were accused of cheating, and the matter handed over to police to investigate further. Whittock and the Ingrams were eventually charged with “[[Deception (criminal law)|procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception]]”.

After Ingram had won the £1 million, producers were suspicious enough that a search was performed on him. His hair, clothing, and shoes were searched; however, the method of cheating used meant that nothing incriminating was found on his person. After he left the set, the show’s production company, [[Celador]], were tipped off by the show’s producers of the assumed irregularities occurring within the quiz and suspended the jackpot payout to investigate the matter. At the same time, the show’s presenter, [[Chris Tarrant]], overheard that the Ingrams had been arguing, despite Ingram’s success, moments before Tarrant joined them in their dressing room for champagne; another member of the production team also noted a similar thought about the couple’s behaviour.<ref name=”Millionaire winner ‘unhappy'”>{{cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2836937.stm|title=Millionaire winner ‘unhappy’|date=10 March 2003|access-date=13 May 2008|work=BBC News|archive-date=5 July 2018|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180705152318/http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2836937.stm|url-status=live}}</ref> While reviewing the recording, the production team made a connection between Ingram’s answers and coughs coming from one of the waiting contestants, Tecwen Whittock; for one question, the coughing came from Ingram’s wife Diana while she was in the audience.<ref name=”:0″>{{Cite news|url=https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/vdqdw9/15-years-of-the-coughing-major-who-wants-to-be-a-millionare|title=That Time a Guy Won ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ by Cheating Terribly|author=Harrison, Angus|date=9 September 2016|work=[[Vice (magazine)|VICE]]|access-date=5 July 2018|language=en-us|archive-date=4 August 2020|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20200804081648/https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/vdqdw9/15-years-of-the-coughing-major-who-wants-to-be-a-millionare|url-status=live}}</ref> Based on this evidence, all three were accused of cheating, and the matter handed over to police to investigate further. Whittock and the Ingrams were eventually charged with “[[Deception (criminal law)|procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception]]”.

=== Trial ===

=== Trial ===

Following [[R v Ingram, C., Ingram, D. and Whittock, T.|a trial]] at [[Southwark Crown Court]] lasting four weeks (including jury deliberation for three and a half days), Ingram, his wife and Whittock were convicted by a majority verdict of their offences on 7 April 2003. Both of the Ingrams and Whittock were given prison sentences, [[suspended sentence|suspended]] for two years&mdash;the Ingrams were sentenced to eighteen months; Whittock was sentenced to twelve months&mdash;and each [[fine (penalty)|fined]] £15,000 and ordered to pay £10,000 towards prosecution costs. Within two months of the verdict and sentence, the trial’s judge ordered the Ingrams to pay additional [[defense (law)|defence]] costs, which left them repaying a total of £115,000.<ref>{{cite news |title=Charles Ingram transcript |url=https://www.standard.co.uk/news/charles-ingram-transcript-6967487.html |access-date=13 January 2019 |work=Evening Standard |date=21 January 2004}}</ref>

Following [[R v Ingram, C., Ingram, D. and Whittock, T.|a trial]] at [[Southwark Crown Court]] lasting four weeks (including jury deliberation for three and a half days), Ingram, his wife and Whittock were convicted by a majority verdict of their offences on 7 April 2003. Both of the Ingrams and Whittock were given prison sentences, [[suspended sentence|suspended]] for two years&mdash;the Ingrams were sentenced to eighteen months; Whittock was sentenced to twelve months&mdash;and each [[fine (penalty)|fined]] £15,000 and ordered to pay £10,000 towards prosecution costs. Within two months of the verdict and sentence, the trial’s judge ordered the Ingrams to pay additional [[defense (law)|defence]] costs, which left them repaying a total of £115,000.<ref>{{cite news |title=Charles Ingram transcript |url=https://www.standard.co.uk/news/charles-ingram-transcript-6967487.html |access-date=13 January 2019 |work=Evening Standard |date=21 January 2004 |archive-date=29 November 2020 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20201129162417/https://www.standard.co.uk/news/charles-ingram-transcript-6967487.html |url-status=live }}</ref>

On 19 August 2003, the Army Board ordered Ingram to resign his commission as a major after sixteen years of service, but stated that this would not affect his [[pension]] entitlements.<ref>{{cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3092357.stm|title=BBC NEWS – UK – Millionaire cheat sacked by Army|website=news.bbc.co.uk|date=24 July 2003}}</ref>

On 19 August 2003, the Army Board ordered Ingram to resign his commission as a major after sixteen years of service, but stated that this would not affect his [[pension]] entitlements.<ref>{{cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3092357.stm|title=BBC NEWS – UK – Millionaire cheat sacked by Army|website=news.bbc.co.uk|date=24 July 2003|access-date=3 July 2008|archive-date=30 November 2005|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20051130110450/http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3092357.stm|url-status=live}}</ref>

On 19 May 2004, the [[Court of Appeal]] denied Ingram leave to appeal against his conviction and upheld his sentence but agreed to quash his wife’s fine and prosecution costs.<ref>{{cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/wiltshire/3728929.stm |title=TV quiz cheat loses his appeal |access-date=13 May 2008 |date=19 May 2004 |work=BBC News}}</ref> On 5 October, the [[House of Lords]] denied Ingram leave to appeal against his fine and prosecution costs, and he appealed to the [[European Court of Human Rights]]. On 20 October, the original trial judge reduced Ingram’s defence costs order to £25,000 and Diana’s defence costs order to £5,000.<ref>{{cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/wiltshire/3762688.stm |title=Quiz cheat has defence costs cut |access-date=13 May 2008 |date=21 October 2004 |work=BBC News}}</ref> Ingram’s defence costs were later further reduced to £5,000 on appeal.

On 19 May 2004, the [[Court of Appeal]] denied Ingram leave to appeal against his conviction and upheld his sentence but agreed to quash his wife’s fine and prosecution costs.<ref>{{cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/wiltshire/3728929.stm |title=TV quiz cheat loses his appeal |access-date=13 May 2008 |date=19 May 2004 |work=BBC News |archive-date=7 November 2017 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20171107031509/http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/wiltshire/3728929.stm |url-status=live }}</ref> On 5 October, the [[House of Lords]] denied Ingram leave to appeal against his fine and prosecution costs, and he appealed to the [[European Court of Human Rights]]. On 20 October, the original trial judge reduced Ingram’s defence costs order to £25,000 and Diana’s defence costs order to £5,000.<ref>{{cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/wiltshire/3762688.stm |title=Quiz cheat has defence costs cut |access-date=13 May 2008 |date=21 October 2004 |work=BBC News |archive-date=7 November 2017 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20171107104450/http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/wiltshire/3762688.stm |url-status=live }}</ref> Ingram’s defence costs were later further reduced to £5,000 on appeal.

In 2006, journalist [[Jon Ronson]], who covered the case at the time for ”[[The Guardian (newspaper)|The Guardian]]”, wrote that he believed the Ingrams might be innocent. Ronson, who attended every day of the trial, had observed that when the word “cough” was mentioned, pensioners in the public gallery had coughed. Chess [[Grandmaster (chess)|grandmaster]] [[James Plaskett]], who had appeared in the Fastest Finger First round several times before winning £250,000 in January 2006, argued this was an example of coughs caused by unconscious triggers; Whittock or others had simply coughed involuntarily upon hearing the correct answer. Whittock was also accused of having coughed after Ingram mentioned an incorrect option to his penultimate question and swiftly following that up with a smothered “no”. However, Plaskett, who had sat in that very same seat, argued that someone might have audibly said it in response to an incorrect option in the same way that other waiting contestants have been known to whisper “no”.<ref>{{cite news|url=https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2006/jul/17/couldthewhowantstobeami|title=Are the Millionaire three innocent?|last=Ronson|first=Jon|date=17 July 2006|work=The Guardian|access-date=17 August 2014|location=London}}</ref>

In 2006, journalist [[Jon Ronson]], who covered the case at the time for ”[[The Guardian (newspaper)|The Guardian]]”, wrote that he believed the Ingrams might be innocent. Ronson, who attended every day of the trial, had observed that when the word “cough” was mentioned, pensioners in the public gallery had coughed. Chess [[Grandmaster (chess)|grandmaster]] [[James Plaskett]], who had appeared in the Fastest Finger First round several times before winning £250,000 in January 2006, argued this was an example of coughs caused by unconscious triggers; Whittock or others had simply coughed involuntarily upon hearing the correct answer. Whittock was also accused of having coughed after Ingram mentioned an incorrect option to his penultimate question and swiftly following that up with a smothered “no”. However, Plaskett, who had sat in that very same seat, argued that someone might have audibly said it in response to an incorrect option in the same way that other waiting contestants have been known to whisper “no”.<ref>{{cite news|url=https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2006/jul/17/couldthewhowantstobeami|title=Are the Millionaire three innocent?|last=Ronson|first=Jon|date=17 July 2006|work=The Guardian|access-date=17 August 2014|location=London|archive-date=3 June 2023|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20230603075924/https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2006/jul/17/couldthewhowantstobeami|url-status=live}}</ref>

====Recorded evidence====

====Recorded evidence====

In court, Ingram claimed the videotape of his appearance on ”Millionaire” was “unrepresentative of what I heard”, and he continues to assert that it was “unfairly manipulated”. A video recording, with coughing amplified relative to other sounds, including Ingram’s and Tarrant’s voices, was prepared by Celador’s editors (Editworks) for the prosecution and “for the benefit of the jury” during the trial (and later for viewers in television broadcasts). Ingram claims that he neither “listened for, encouraged, nor noticed any coughing”. The prosecution alleged that, of the 192 coughs recorded during his second-night performance, 32 were recorded from the ten Fastest Finger First contestants, and that 19 of the 32 coughs heard on the video tape were “significant”. The prosecution asserted that these “significant” coughs were by Whittock when the correct answer had been spoken. During the trial, Tarrant also denied hearing any coughing throughout the episode, claiming he was too busy to notice.<ref name=”scotsman”>{{cite news |url=https://www.scotsman.com/news/uk-news/quizmaster-amazed-to-hear-163-1m-winner-could-have-cheated-1-598995 |title=Quizmaster ‘amazed’ to hear £1m winner could have cheated |date=13 March 2003 |access-date=13 May 2008 |location=Edinburgh |work=The Scotsman |first=Karen |last=Mcveigh}}</ref>

In court, Ingram claimed the videotape of his appearance on ”Millionaire” was “unrepresentative of what I heard”, and he continues to assert that it was “unfairly manipulated”. A video recording, with coughing amplified relative to other sounds, including Ingram’s and Tarrant’s voices, was prepared by Celador’s editors (Editworks) for the prosecution and “for the benefit of the jury” during the trial (and later for viewers in television broadcasts). Ingram claims that he neither “listened for, encouraged, nor noticed any coughing”. The prosecution alleged that, of the 192 coughs recorded during his second-night performance, 32 were recorded from the ten Fastest Finger First contestants, and that 19 of the 32 coughs heard on the video tape were “significant”. The prosecution asserted that these “significant” coughs were by Whittock when the correct answer had been spoken. During the trial, Tarrant also denied hearing any coughing throughout the episode, claiming he was too busy to notice.<ref name=”scotsman”>{{cite news |url=https://www.scotsman.com/news/uk-news/quizmaster-amazed-to-hear-163-1m-winner-could-have-cheated-1-598995 |title=Quizmaster ‘amazed’ to hear £1m winner could have cheated |date=13 March 2003 |access-date=13 May 2008 |location=Edinburgh |work=The Scotsman |first=Karen |last=Mcveigh |archive-date=15 November 2019 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20191115125807/https://www.scotsman.com/news/uk-news/quizmaster-amazed-to-hear-163-1m-winner-could-have-cheated-1-598995 |url-status=live }}</ref>

====Testimony of Larry Whitehurst====

====Testimony of Larry Whitehurst====

Larry Whitehurst, another contestant who had appeared on the show as a Fastest Finger First contestant on four occasions, was adamant that he had known the answers to Ingram’s questions. He told the court that he had been able to detect a pattern of coughing, and that he was entirely convinced that coughing had helped Ingram.<ref name=”BBC News–Coughs”>{{cite news|title=Contestant ‘spotted Millionaire coughs’|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2839587.stm|work=BBC News|access-date=8 July 2011|date=11 March 2003}}</ref>

Larry Whitehurst, another contestant who had appeared on the show as a Fastest Finger First contestant on four occasions, was adamant that he had known the answers to Ingram’s questions. He told the court that he had been able to detect a pattern of coughing, and that he was entirely convinced that coughing had helped Ingram.<ref name=”BBC News–Coughs”>{{cite news|title=Contestant ‘spotted Millionaire coughs’|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2839587.stm|work=BBC News|access-date=8 July 2011|date=11 March 2003|archive-date=14 March 2003|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20030314013231/http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2839587.stm|url-status=live}}</ref>

====Testimony of Tecwen Whittock====

====Testimony of Tecwen Whittock====

Whittock claims to have suffered a persistent cough for his entire life,<ref>{{cite news |url=https://www.theguardian.com/weekend/story/0,3605,938649,00.html |title=So I phoned a friend – part two |access-date=13 May 2008 |date=19 April 2003 |location=London |work=The Guardian}}</ref> insisted that he had a genuine cough caused by a combination of [[hay fever]] and a dust [[allergy]], and that it was only coincidence that his throat problem coincided with the right answers.<ref name=”scotsman_pager” /> During the trial, however, the jury heard evidence that once Whittock himself earned the right to sit in the hot seat, his throat problems disappeared.<ref name=”scotsman_pager” /> Whittock later testified that he drank several glasses of water before he went in front of the cameras.<ref>{{cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2888791.stm |title=Cheating ‘silly’ says Millionaire accused |access-date=13 May 2008 |date=26 March 2003 |work=BBC News}}</ref> Whittock also insisted that he had not known the answers to three of the questions he allegedly helped with. However, the police found the answer to the twelfth question, regarding the artist who painted ”[[The Ambassadors (Holbein)|The Ambassadors]]”, in a hand-written general knowledge book at Whittock’s home.<ref name=”scotsman_pager”>{{cite news |url=http://news.scotsman.com/uk/Pager-plot-too-risky-for.2408136.jp |title=Pager plot too risky for TV quiz |access-date=13 May 2008 |date=7 March 2003 |location=Edinburgh |work=The Scotsman |first=John |last=Innes|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20121022105328/http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/pager-plot-too-risky-for-tv-quiz-1-548871|archive-date=22 October 2012}}</ref>

Whittock claims to have suffered a persistent cough for his entire life,<ref>{{cite news |url=https://www.theguardian.com/weekend/story/0,3605,938649,00.html |title=So I phoned a friend – part two |access-date=13 May 2008 |date=19 April 2003 |location=London |work=The Guardian |archive-date=1 April 2024 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20240401084558/https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2003/apr/19/weekend7.weekend7 |url-status=live }}</ref> insisted that he had a genuine cough caused by a combination of [[hay fever]] and a dust [[allergy]], and that it was only coincidence that his throat problem coincided with the right answers.<ref name=”scotsman_pager” /> During the trial, however, the jury heard evidence that once Whittock himself earned the right to sit in the hot seat, his throat problems disappeared.<ref name=”scotsman_pager” /> Whittock later testified that he drank several glasses of water before he went in front of the cameras.<ref>{{cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2888791.stm |title=Cheating ‘silly’ says Millionaire accused |access-date=13 May 2008 |date=26 March 2003 |work=BBC News |archive-date=13 March 2018 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180313064829/http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2888791.stm |url-status=live }}</ref> Whittock also insisted that he had not known the answers to three of the questions he allegedly helped with. However, the police found the answer to the twelfth question, regarding the artist who painted ”[[The Ambassadors (Holbein)|The Ambassadors]]”, in a hand-written general knowledge book at Whittock’s home.<ref name=”scotsman_pager”>{{cite news |url=http://news.scotsman.com/uk/Pager-plot-too-risky-for.2408136.jp |title=Pager plot too risky for TV quiz |access-date=13 May 2008 |date=7 March 2003 |location=Edinburgh |work=The Scotsman |first=John |last=Innes|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20121022105328/http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/pager-plot-too-risky-for-tv-quiz-1-548871|archive-date=22 October 2012}}</ref>

Davies, the floor manager on ”Millionaire”, said that as soon as the coughing came to his notice during the recording he decided to find out who was responsible. “The loudest coughing was coming from Tecwen in seat number three”, he said. “He was talking to the person to his left when I was observing him, and then he turned towards the set and the hot seat to {{nowrap|cough”{{mdash}}{{tsp}}}}and while Davies described this as “bizarre”, Whittock remarked during the trial, “You do not cough into someone’s face”.<ref>{{cite web |url=http://www.portia.org/chapter14/major.html |title=Playing the game |access-date=26 September 2004 |url-status=dead |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20041020172443/http://www.portia.org/chapter14/major.html |archive-date=20 October 2004 }}</ref>

Davies, the floor manager on ”Millionaire”, said that as soon as the coughing came to his notice during the recording he decided to find out who was responsible. “The loudest coughing was coming from Tecwen in seat number three”, he said. “He was talking to the person to his left when I was observing him, and then he turned towards the set and the hot seat to {{nowrap|cough”{{mdash}}{{tsp}}}}and while Davies described this as “bizarre”, Whittock remarked during the trial, “You do not cough into someone’s face”.<ref>{{cite web |url=http://www.portia.org/chapter14/major.html |title=Playing the game |access-date=26 September 2004 |url-status=dead |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20041020172443/http://www.portia.org/chapter14/major.html |archive-date=20 October 2004 }}</ref>

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==After ”Millionaire”==

==After ”Millionaire”==

===Books===

===Books===

Since leaving the Army, Ingram has written two novels: ”The Network” (2006) and ”Deep Siege” (2007).<ref>{{cite book |last1=Ingram |first1=Charles |title=Deep Siege |date=2007 |publisher=Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie Pu |isbn=978-1-84386-380-9 |url=https://books.google.com/books?id=_zbydVs5HlYC |language=en}}</ref><ref>{{cite book |title=The Network Hardcover – 18 April 2006 |id={{ASIN|1846240026|country=uk}} }}</ref>

Since leaving the Army, Ingram has written two novels: ”The Network” (2006) and ”Deep Siege” (2007).<ref>{{cite book |last1=Ingram |first1=Charles |title=Deep Siege |date=2007 |publisher=Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie Pu |isbn=978-1-84386-380-9 |url=https://books.google.com/books?id=_zbydVs5HlYC |language=en |access-date=19 September 2020 |archive-date=1 April 2024 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20240401084558/https://books.google.com/books?id=_zbydVs5HlYC |url-status=live }}</ref><ref>{{cite book |title=The Network Hardcover – 18 April 2006 |id={{ASIN|1846240026|country=uk}} }}</ref>

===TV appearances===

===TV appearances===

Following his appearance on ”Millionaire”, Ingram has appeared on various other television shows, including Channel 4’s ”[[The Games (British TV series)|The Games]]”,<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.ukgameshows.com/ukgs/The_Games|title=The Games|publisher=UK Game Shows|access-date=25 April 2019}}</ref> the BBC’s ”[[The Weakest Link (British game show)|The Weakest Link]]”, and Channel 4’s ”[[Wife Swap (British TV series)|Wife Swap]]”, featuring alongside his wife in the latter two.<ref>{{cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/3238445.stm|title=Goody and Ingram’s celebrity swap|date=3 November 2003|publisher=The BBC|access-date=13 April 2020}}</ref>

Following his appearance on ”Millionaire”, Ingram has appeared on various other television shows, including Channel 4’s ”[[The Games (British TV series)|The Games]]”,<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.ukgameshows.com/ukgs/The_Games|title=The Games|publisher=UK Game Shows|access-date=25 April 2019|archive-date=30 November 2010|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20101130112603/http://ukgameshows.com/ukgs/The_Games|url-status=live}}</ref> the BBC’s ”[[The Weakest Link (British game show)|The Weakest Link]]”, and Channel 4’s ”[[Wife Swap (British TV series)|Wife Swap]]”, featuring alongside his wife in the latter two.<ref>{{cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/3238445.stm|title=Goody and Ingram’s celebrity swap|date=3 November 2003|publisher=The BBC|access-date=13 April 2020|archive-date=8 August 2022|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20220808122039/http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/3238445.stm|url-status=live}}</ref>

On ”The Weakest Link”, [[Anne Robinson]] jokingly referred to the “dashing young major with a throat infection”, regarding his ”Millionaire” appearance. A question was also posed concerning, “In classical music what ‘C’ is the act of throat clearing which members of the audience are asked to try to avoid?”, the answer being “coughing”.

On ”The Weakest Link”, [[Anne Robinson]] jokingly referred to the “dashing young major with a throat infection”, regarding his ”Millionaire” appearance. A question was also posed concerning, “In classical music what ‘C’ is the act of throat clearing which members of the audience are asked to try to avoid?”, the answer being “coughing”.

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===Insurance fraud case===

===Insurance fraud case===

In late 2003, Ingram and his wife were charged with further [[fraud]] offences. On 28 October, Ingram was found guilty at [[Bournemouth Crown Court]] of obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception, and of a second charge of deception, having attempted to claim on an insurance policy after an alleged [[burglary]] at his home. Ingram had failed to tell [[Direct Line]] Insurance about claims he had made in the three years before he took out the policy in July 2001. However a spokesman for Wiltshire Constabulary, David Taylor, said those offences were “not fraud”. The court was told that Ingram had been a “habitual claimant” with [[Norwich Union]] after suffering “unfortunate” losses of private possessions.<ref name=woolcock>{{cite news |last1=Woolcock |first1=Nicola |title=”Millionaire” quiz cheat guilty of insurance fraud |url=https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1445354/Millionaire-quiz-cheat-guilty-of-insurance-fraud.html |access-date=12 September 2018 |work=Daily Telegraph (UK) |date=29 October 2003}}</ref>

In late 2003, Ingram and his wife were charged with further [[fraud]] offences. On 28 October, Ingram was found guilty at [[Bournemouth Crown Court]] of obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception, and of a second charge of deception, having attempted to claim on an insurance policy after an alleged [[burglary]] at his home. Ingram had failed to tell [[Direct Line]] Insurance about claims he had made in the three years before he took out the policy in July 2001. However a spokesman for Wiltshire Constabulary, David Taylor, said those offences were “not fraud”. The court was told that Ingram had been a “habitual claimant” with [[Norwich Union]] after suffering “unfortunate” losses of private possessions.<ref name=woolcock>{{cite news |last1=Woolcock |first1=Nicola |title=”Millionaire” quiz cheat guilty of insurance fraud |url=https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1445354/Millionaire-quiz-cheat-guilty-of-insurance-fraud.html |access-date=12 September 2018 |work=Daily Telegraph (UK) |date=29 October 2003 |archive-date=5 July 2018 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180705233551/https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1445354/Millionaire-quiz-cheat-guilty-of-insurance-fraud.html |url-status=live }}</ref>

Christopher Parker, prosecuting, said Ingram switched insurers to [[Zurich Insurance Group]] in 1997, after Norwich Union reduced a burglary claim from £19,000 to £9,000, and in 2000 switched again to Direct Line. “He has been [https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/ineluctable#Adjective ineluctably] dishonest,” Parker said. “He went to Direct Line and didn’t make a disclosure about his claims history, because he knew he wouldn’t have been insured. It might not have started off as the most monstrous piece of villainy but these things tend to snowball and it all came to a sticky end when he claimed for £30,000.” Staff at Direct Line were already “suspicious” about Ingram’s £30,000 burglary claim but decided to investigate only after reading newspaper coverage about his questionable win on ”Millionaire”.<ref name=woolcock/>

Christopher Parker, prosecuting, said Ingram switched insurers to [[Zurich Insurance Group]] in 1997, after Norwich Union reduced a burglary claim from £19,000 to £9,000, and in 2000 switched again to Direct Line. “He has been [https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/ineluctable#Adjective ineluctably] dishonest,” Parker said. “He went to Direct Line and didn’t make a disclosure about his claims history, because he knew he wouldn’t have been insured. It might not have started off as the most monstrous piece of villainy but these things tend to snowball and it all came to a sticky end when he claimed for £30,000.” Staff at Direct Line were already “suspicious” about Ingram’s £30,000 burglary claim but decided to investigate only after reading newspaper coverage about his questionable win on ”Millionaire”.<ref name=woolcock/>

Ingram was given a [[conditional discharge]] on the charge of fraudulently claiming £30,000 on insurance. The judge told Ingram he took into account “the punishment [Ingram had] brought upon [himself] and [his] dire financial state” and rejected an alternative option of [[community service]] after Ingram told a [[probation officer]] he feared other criminals would bully him.<ref>{{cite news |last1=Savill |first1=Richard |title=Cheating major walks free over insurance fraud |url=https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1447382/Cheating-major-walks-free-over-insurance-fraud.html |access-date=12 September 2018 |work=Daily Telegraph (UK) |date=22 November 2003}}</ref>

Ingram was given a [[conditional discharge]] on the charge of fraudulently claiming £30,000 on insurance. The judge told Ingram he took into account “the punishment [Ingram had] brought upon [himself] and [his] dire financial state” and rejected an alternative option of [[community service]] after Ingram told a [[probation officer]] he feared other criminals would bully him.<ref>{{cite news |last1=Savill |first1=Richard |title=Cheating major walks free over insurance fraud |url=https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1447382/Cheating-major-walks-free-over-insurance-fraud.html |access-date=12 September 2018 |work=Daily Telegraph (UK) |date=22 November 2003 |archive-date=24 August 2018 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180824002306/https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1447382/Cheating-major-walks-free-over-insurance-fraud.html |url-status=live }}</ref>

==In popular culture==

==In popular culture==

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Ingram met his wife, Diana, while she was training to be a teacher at [[Barry College]] in Wales. The two became engaged during his first posting with the Royal Engineers in Germany. They were married in November 1989 and have three children.<ref name=”thetimesapr03″ />

Ingram met his wife, Diana, while she was training to be a teacher at [[Barry College]] in Wales. The two became engaged during his first posting with the Royal Engineers in Germany. They were married in November 1989 and have three children.<ref name=”thetimesapr03″ />

In 2010, Ingram lost three toes on his left foot in an accident involving a [[lawnmower]].<ref>[https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/millionaire-cheat-loses-toes-in-accident-2081292.html Millionaire cheat loses toes in accident]. ”The Independent”.</ref>

In 2010, Ingram lost three toes on his left foot in an accident involving a [[lawnmower]].<ref>[https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/millionaire-cheat-loses-toes-in-accident-2081292.html Millionaire cheat loses toes in accident] {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20200605013140/https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/millionaire-cheat-loses-toes-in-accident-2081292.html |date=5 June 2020 }}. ”The Independent”.</ref>

==See also==

==See also==

English fraudster (born 1963)

Charles William Ingram (born 6 August 1963) is an English fraudster, novelist and former British Army major who gained fame for his appearance on the ITV television game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? In episodes recorded in September 2001, Ingram correctly answered fifteen questions to win the show’s maximum prize of £1 million, becoming the third recorded contestant to ever do so. However, he was denied the winnings due to suspicion of cheating.[1]
Following a lengthy trial at Southwark Crown Court, Ingram was convicted on a single count of procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception. He was subsequently convicted of an unrelated offence involving insurance fraud in 2003 and ordered to resign his commission as a major by the Army Board.

Early life
Charles William Ingram was born on 6 August 1963 in Shardlow, Derbyshire, the son of retired Royal Air Force Wing Commander John Ingram[2] and his wife Susan, a theatre set designer. His father’s Wellington bomber, operating with 103 Squadron from RAF Elsham Wolds, had been shot down in late September 1941; he was taken as a prisoner of war while two of his crew were killed.[3]
Ingram’s parents divorced when he was young and he spent most of his education years boarding privately at Oswestry School in Oswestry, Shropshire.[4] There he was a member of the Combined Cadet Force and completed the Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award.[3] He went on to obtain a BSc in civil engineering from Kingston University.[4]

Military career
In 1987, Ingram trained for the British Army at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned as an officer in the Royal Engineers.[5] He was promoted to the rank of captain in 1990[5] and major in 1995.[6] In 1999, Ingram was sent to Banja Luka in Bosnia[7] for six months on United Nations peacekeeping duties.[8] He graduated from Cranfield University with a master’s degree in corporate management in August 2000.[3] He was ordered by the Army Board via letter to resign his commission on 20 August 2003 and to give up his rank of major. It is widely disputed whether or not he was dishonourably discharged.[9]

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? scandal

£1 million (15 of 15) – No time limit

A number one followed by one hundred zeros is known by what name?

⬥ A: Googol

⬥ B: Megatron

⬥ C: Gigabit

⬥ D: Nanomole

Ingram’s £1 million question

On 9 September 2001, Ingram became a contestant on the ITV game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, following his wife Diana and her brother Adrian Pollock, each of whom had won £32,000 as contestants on the show.[10][11] To prepare, Ingram practised for about twenty minutes per day on a homemade “Fastest Finger First” machine.[12] Ingram got into the “hot seat” but used two lifelines early, ending the day at £4,000 and with only the 50/50 lifeline remaining. The production team did not expect him to proceed much further, but he ended up making it all the way to the £1 million prize on the second day of recording.[13]
Throughout Ingram’s run, the production team were increasingly suspicious of him. He was taking brazen risks and playing the game in an unusual manner. One of the questions Ingram got during the run was “Who had a hit UK album with Born to Do It released in 2000?” After using his 50/50 the two remaining answers were A1 (what he believed the answer to be) and Craig David, who he said he had never heard of. After nearly locking in A1 as his final answer, he backed off and later said “80% of the time I’m wrong when I guess, so you know what—I’ll go Craig David.” He then locked in the correct answer of Craig David. At the penultimate question, worth £500,000, Ingram was asked: “Baron Haussmann is best known for his planning of which city?” Among the options were Berlin and Paris, the former of which he immediately assumed as the right answer due to his belief that Baron Haussmann is a German name. However, after some time he said “there’s a possibility that it’s Paris” before eventually deciding to lock in Paris as his final answer. This got Ingram to the £1 million question—”A number one followed by one hundred zeros is known by what name?”—to which he thought the answer was nanomole and initially said he did not know what a googol is. However, he eventually decided to lock in “googol” as his final answer which won him the £1 million prize.[14] Of Ingram’s unusual behaviour while playing for the final question, and after the scandal had become public knowledge, Rod Taylor, an executive producer, said, “It became obvious that he wasn’t under the pressure that he should have been, somehow… He should have been very, very careful, and very certain. And he certainly wasn’t [either of those].[15]
After Ingram had won the £1 million, producers were suspicious enough that a search was performed on him. His hair, clothing, and shoes were searched; however, the method of cheating used meant that nothing incriminating was found on his person. After he left the set, the show’s production company, Celador, were tipped off by the show’s producers of the assumed irregularities occurring within the quiz and suspended the jackpot payout to investigate the matter. At the same time, the show’s presenter, Chris Tarrant, overheard that the Ingrams had been arguing, despite Ingram’s success, moments before Tarrant joined them in their dressing room for champagne; another member of the production team also noted a similar thought about the couple’s behaviour.[16] While reviewing the recording, the production team made a connection between Ingram’s answers and coughs coming from one of the waiting contestants, Tecwen Whittock; for one question, the coughing came from Ingram’s wife Diana while she was in the audience.[13] Based on this evidence, all three were accused of cheating, and the matter handed over to police to investigate further. Whittock and the Ingrams were eventually charged with “procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception”.

Trial
Following a trial at Southwark Crown Court lasting four weeks (including jury deliberation for three and a half days), Ingram, his wife and Whittock were convicted by a majority verdict of their offences on 7 April 2003. Both of the Ingrams and Whittock were given prison sentences, suspended for two years—the Ingrams were sentenced to eighteen months; Whittock was sentenced to twelve months—and each fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £10,000 towards prosecution costs. Within two months of the verdict and sentence, the trial’s judge ordered the Ingrams to pay additional defence costs, which left them repaying a total of £115,000.[17]
On 19 August 2003, the Army Board ordered Ingram to resign his commission as a major after sixteen years of service, but stated that this would not affect his pension entitlements.[18]
On 19 May 2004, the Court of Appeal denied Ingram leave to appeal against his conviction and upheld his sentence but agreed to quash his wife’s fine and prosecution costs.[19] On 5 October, the House of Lords denied Ingram leave to appeal against his fine and prosecution costs, and he appealed to the European Court of Human Rights. On 20 October, the original trial judge reduced Ingram’s defence costs order to £25,000 and Diana’s defence costs order to £5,000.[20] Ingram’s defence costs were later further reduced to £5,000 on appeal.
In 2006, journalist Jon Ronson, who covered the case at the time for The Guardian, wrote that he believed the Ingrams might be innocent. Ronson, who attended every day of the trial, had observed that when the word “cough” was mentioned, pensioners in the public gallery had coughed. Chess grandmaster James Plaskett, who had appeared in the Fastest Finger First round several times before winning £250,000 in January 2006, argued this was an example of coughs caused by unconscious triggers; Whittock or others had simply coughed involuntarily upon hearing the correct answer. Whittock was also accused of having coughed after Ingram mentioned an incorrect option to his penultimate question and swiftly following that up with a smothered “no”. However, Plaskett, who had sat in that very same seat, argued that someone might have audibly said it in response to an incorrect option in the same way that other waiting contestants have been known to whisper “no”.[21]

Recorded evidence
In court, Ingram claimed the videotape of his appearance on Millionaire was “unrepresentative of what I heard”, and he continues to assert that it was “unfairly manipulated”. A video recording, with coughing amplified relative to other sounds, including Ingram’s and Tarrant’s voices, was prepared by Celador’s editors (Editworks) for the prosecution and “for the benefit of the jury” during the trial (and later for viewers in television broadcasts). Ingram claims that he neither “listened for, encouraged, nor noticed any coughing”. The prosecution alleged that, of the 192 coughs recorded during his second-night performance, 32 were recorded from the ten Fastest Finger First contestants, and that 19 of the 32 coughs heard on the video tape were “significant”. The prosecution asserted that these “significant” coughs were by Whittock when the correct answer had been spoken. During the trial, Tarrant also denied hearing any coughing throughout the episode, claiming he was too busy to notice.[22]

Testimony of Larry Whitehurst
Larry Whitehurst, another contestant who had appeared on the show as a Fastest Finger First contestant on four occasions, was adamant that he had known the answers to Ingram’s questions. He told the court that he had been able to detect a pattern of coughing, and that he was entirely convinced that coughing had helped Ingram.[23]

Testimony of Tecwen Whittock
Whittock claims to have suffered a persistent cough for his entire life,[24] insisted that he had a genuine cough caused by a combination of hay fever and a dust allergy, and that it was only coincidence that his throat problem coincided with the right answers. During the trial, however, the jury heard evidence that once Whittock himself earned the right to sit in the hot seat, his throat problems disappeared. Whittock later testified that he drank several glasses of water before he went in front of the cameras.[26] Whittock also insisted that he had not known the answers to three of the questions he allegedly helped with. However, the police found the answer to the twelfth question, regarding the artist who painted The Ambassadors, in a hand-written general knowledge book at Whittock’s home.
Davies, the floor manager on Millionaire, said that as soon as the coughing came to his notice during the recording he decided to find out who was responsible. “The loudest coughing was coming from Tecwen in seat number three”, he said. “He was talking to the person to his left when I was observing him, and then he turned towards the set and the hot seat to cough”— and while Davies described this as “bizarre”, Whittock remarked during the trial, “You do not cough into someone’s face”.[27]
During the trial, Whittock portrayed himself as a “serial quiz show loser” because he had been eliminated in round one of Channel 4’s Fifteen to One, had also failed on ITV’s The People Versus and had been able to win only an atlas on his appearance on ITV’s Sale of the Century. He had also done poorly on Beat the Bong, although he did reach the semi-final stage of the BBC radio quiz show Brain of Britain.[28]

After Millionaire
Books
Since leaving the Army, Ingram has written two novels: The Network (2006) and Deep Siege (2007).[29][30]

TV appearances
Following his appearance on Millionaire, Ingram has appeared on various other television shows, including Channel 4’s The Games,[31] the BBC’s The Weakest Link, and Channel 4’s Wife Swap, featuring alongside his wife in the latter two.[32]
On The Weakest Link, Anne Robinson jokingly referred to the “dashing young major with a throat infection”, regarding his Millionaire appearance. A question was also posed concerning, “In classical music what ‘C’ is the act of throat clearing which members of the audience are asked to try to avoid?”, the answer being “coughing”.
Ingram also narrowly lost to Paul Daniels on the short-lived Channel 5 game show 19 Keys in November 2003.

Insurance fraud case
In late 2003, Ingram and his wife were charged with further fraud offences. On 28 October, Ingram was found guilty at Bournemouth Crown Court of obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception, and of a second charge of deception, having attempted to claim on an insurance policy after an alleged burglary at his home. Ingram had failed to tell Direct Line Insurance about claims he had made in the three years before he took out the policy in July 2001. However a spokesman for Wiltshire Constabulary, David Taylor, said those offences were “not fraud”. The court was told that Ingram had been a “habitual claimant” with Norwich Union after suffering “unfortunate” losses of private possessions.[33]
Christopher Parker, prosecuting, said Ingram switched insurers to Zurich Insurance Group in 1997, after Norwich Union reduced a burglary claim from £19,000 to £9,000, and in 2000 switched again to Direct Line. “He has been ineluctably dishonest,” Parker said. “He went to Direct Line and didn’t make a disclosure about his claims history, because he knew he wouldn’t have been insured. It might not have started off as the most monstrous piece of villainy but these things tend to snowball and it all came to a sticky end when he claimed for £30,000.” Staff at Direct Line were already “suspicious” about Ingram’s £30,000 burglary claim but decided to investigate only after reading newspaper coverage about his questionable win on Millionaire.[33]
Ingram was given a conditional discharge on the charge of fraudulently claiming £30,000 on insurance. The judge told Ingram he took into account “the punishment [Ingram had] brought upon [himself] and [his] dire financial state” and rejected an alternative option of community service after Ingram told a probation officer he feared other criminals would bully him.[34]

In popular culture
A book covering the case, Bad Show: The Quiz, The Cough, The Millionaire Major, by Bob Woffinden and James Plaskett, was published in January 2015.
Quiz, a play written by James Graham that re-examines the events and subsequent conviction of the Ingrams and Whittock, opened at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester, on 3 November 2017, running until 9 December 2017.[35] The play transferred to the West End, playing at the Noël Coward Theatre from 31 March 2018 to 16 June 2018.[36] In 2019, Graham adapted his play into a serial drama for ITV that was broadcast in April 2020 in three parts.[37] Ingram was portrayed in the series by Matthew Macfadyen. The series also aired on AMC and BBC America in the United States in June 2020 and on RTÉ One in Ireland in February 2021.

Personal life
Ingram met his wife, Diana, while she was training to be a teacher at Barry College in Wales. The two became engaged during his first posting with the Royal Engineers in Germany. They were married in November 1989 and have three children.[3]
In 2010, Ingram lost three toes on his left foot in an accident involving a lawnmower.[38]

See also

References

^ “Millionaire cheat told to leave Army”. The Daily Telegraph. 24 July 2003. Archived from the original on 5 January 2018. Retrieved 16 April 2020.

^ (RAF/39187)

^ a b c d “The major: strategist who flunked simple questions; Profile”. The Times. 8 April 2003. p. 11. Archived from the original on 1 April 2024. Retrieved 2 October 2017.

^ a b Walne, Toby (16 September 2006). “Fame and fortune”. The Guardian. Archived from the original on 3 October 2021. Retrieved 2 October 2017.

^ a b “No. 52131”. The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 May 1990. p. 8819.

^ “The major behind the sting” Archived 21 January 2023 at the Wayback Machine. news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 25 February 2023.

^ Vasagar, Jeevan (20 March 2003). “Pager claims are rot, major tells court”. The Guardian. Archived from the original on 3 October 2021. Retrieved 2 October 2017.

^ “The man behind the scams”. BBC News. 28 October 2003. Archived from the original on 8 August 2022. Retrieved 2 October 2017.

^ “Marching orders for Army gameshow cheat”. Al Jazeera. 24 July 2003. Archived from the original on 8 December 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2017.

^ “Major Charles Ingram has been found guilty of cheating his way to the top prize on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”. BBC News. 7 April 2003. Archived from the original on 6 December 2008. Retrieved 13 May 2008.

^ Martin Bashir (2003). Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Major Fraud (Television). London, England: ITV.

^ Woolcock, Nicola (22 March 2003). “Millionaire quiz major had ploy to foil Tarrant”. The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 17 December 2019. Retrieved 16 March 2019.

^ a b Harrison, Angus (9 September 2016). “That Time a Guy Won ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ by Cheating Terribly”. VICE. Archived from the original on 4 August 2020. Retrieved 5 July 2018.

^ Martin Bashir (2003). Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Major Fraud (Television). London, England: ITV.

^ https://archive.org/details/major-fraud

^ “Millionaire winner ‘unhappy'”. BBC News. 10 March 2003. Archived from the original on 5 July 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2008.

^ “Charles Ingram transcript”. Evening Standard. 21 January 2004. Archived from the original on 29 November 2020. Retrieved 13 January 2019.

^ “BBC NEWS – UK – Millionaire cheat sacked by Army”. news.bbc.co.uk. 24 July 2003. Archived from the original on 30 November 2005. Retrieved 3 July 2008.

^ “TV quiz cheat loses his appeal”. BBC News. 19 May 2004. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2008.

^ “Quiz cheat has defence costs cut”. BBC News. 21 October 2004. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2008.

^ Ronson, Jon (17 July 2006). “Are the Millionaire three innocent?”. The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 3 June 2023. Retrieved 17 August 2014.

^ Mcveigh, Karen (13 March 2003). “Quizmaster ‘amazed’ to hear £1m winner could have cheated”. The Scotsman. Edinburgh. Archived from the original on 15 November 2019. Retrieved 13 May 2008.

^ “Contestant ‘spotted Millionaire coughs'”. BBC News. 11 March 2003. Archived from the original on 14 March 2003. Retrieved 8 July 2011.

^ “So I phoned a friend – part two”. The Guardian. London. 19 April 2003. Archived from the original on 1 April 2024. Retrieved 13 May 2008.

^ “Cheating ‘silly’ says Millionaire accused”. BBC News. 26 March 2003. Archived from the original on 13 March 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2008.

^ “Playing the game”. Archived from the original on 20 October 2004. Retrieved 26 September 2004.

^ Innes, John (26 March 2003). “Lecturer a serial quiz show failure, court is told”. The Scotsman. Edinburgh. Archived from the original on 18 April 2003. Retrieved 13 May 2008.

^ Ingram, Charles (2007). Deep Siege. Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie Pu. ISBN 978-1-84386-380-9. Archived from the original on 1 April 2024. Retrieved 19 September 2020.

^ The Network Hardcover – 18 April 2006. ASIN 1846240026.

^ “The Games”. UK Game Shows. Archived from the original on 30 November 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2019.

^ “Goody and Ingram’s celebrity swap”. The BBC. 3 November 2003. Archived from the original on 8 August 2022. Retrieved 13 April 2020.

^ a b Woolcock, Nicola (29 October 2003). “‘Millionaire’ quiz cheat guilty of insurance fraud”. Daily Telegraph (UK). Archived from the original on 5 July 2018. Retrieved 12 September 2018.

^ Savill, Richard (22 November 2003). “Cheating major walks free over insurance fraud”. Daily Telegraph (UK). Archived from the original on 24 August 2018. Retrieved 12 September 2018.

^ “Quiz”. Chichester Festival Theatre. Archived from the original on 21 August 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.

^ “Quiz the Play by James Graham | Official West End Website”. 12 April 2018. Archived from the original on 12 April 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2018.

^ “ITV has commissioned ‘Quiz’ a three-part drama directed by Stephen Frears starring Hollywood star, Michael Sheen”. ITV Media. Archived from the original on 15 November 2019. Retrieved 15 November 2019.

^ Millionaire cheat loses toes in accident Archived 5 June 2020 at the Wayback Machine. The Independent.

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