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In the hot seat: Meadowcreek grad, caddie tries for $1M on game show

LAWRENCEVILLE - Carlos Giron has kept ticket stubs from every movie he has seen in the past 13 years, amassing so many that he has to keep the book that holds the stubs under his mattress to keep it flat.

"I've literally overflowed it and it fans out like an accordion," Giron said.

Inside the book, the 33-year-old Meadowcreek grad keeps a log in which he records who he has seen each film with and what he thought about the movies. Those notes likely helped him earn a spot on a movie-themed version of the NBC game show "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire."

This week's episodes - called Netflix Million Dollar Movie Week - feature all questions about movies. It's a perfect fit for Giron, who learned to speak English by watching movies.

Giron's father is a native of Guatemala and his mother is from Ecuador. That left him to learn English from the characters he saw in films.

"I thought that everything that was said in movies was the correct way to speak to people," Giron said.

After seeing "Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back" as a child, Giron began responding to his teacher in a Yoda-like voice and would imitate the way other characters in movies spoke.

"As I got older, I realized that's not the correct way of speaking," he said. "People would either laugh or look confused."

Though Giron stopped imitating screen characters, his interest in watching movies never waned. He said he sees about 75 movies in theaters each year, keeping track of each one in his movie book. But it took a timely call from a friend to ensure Giron's participation in a tryout for the show.

"I really wasn't going to go because I thought it was about the regular 'Who Wants to Be A Millionaire,'" Giron said, "and I think that has pretty hard questions."

After finding out this version of "Millionaire" wanted movie buffs, Giron still debated about auditioning.

"I was like Cameron in 'Ferris Bueller,' in the car debating whether or not he wants to go pick up Ferris," he said, referring to a scene in the 1986 movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." "(But) I ended up going, and it turned out to be a great experience."

It's not the first time Giron has been a game show contestant. In 1997 he appeared on MTV's "Idiot Savants," a former pop culture trivia game show, snagging a car and a couple of vacations.

A golf caddie at Bear's Best in Suwanee, Giron auditioned for "Millionaire" at Medieval Times at Discover Mills in Lawrenceville this past summer and traveled to New York for a taping in October. He is expected to be featured in today's episode of "Millionaire" at 4 p.m. and continue on in Wednesday's episode at the same time. Giron plans to hold a viewing party at Friday at a bar in Sandy Springs.

"The overall experience was fantastic," he said. "It felt great playing a game show where I knew almost everything about it. In a sense, I felt like the smartest man in the world for at least an hour."

SideBar: If you watch

What: "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire," featuring Meadowcreek High School grad Carlos Giron

When: 4 p.m. today and Wednesday

Network: NBC