It took him five times, but chiropractor's persistence pays off - but he can't say how well

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:55

    MONROE-Those Monrovians who have always wished for the chance to root on their hometown, like the Bronx does the Yankees, will soon have that opportunity; well, sort of. On Jan. 4, one of Monroe's residents for almost two decades proudly represents his hometown on national television as he sits in the well-known "hot seat" on the "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" game show. Dr. Steve Pavia, who has had his chiropractic practice in Monroe for 18 years, said that he is relieved after trying to get onto the high-rated game-show for several years. "For five years, I kept on trying and trying, and finally, I got the call." Three years ago, Pavia made it to the "fastest-finger row," but was not able to get to the hot seat. "Back in the Regis (Philbin) days, I got all the way to one of the 10 fastest-finger chairs, but didn't make it to the hot-seat." The doc did not stop there. Since then, he has continued to apply, take the exams and attend the auditions but he has never been selected, until last October when he received a call from the show. The call from the New York City-based game show came to the father of two the night before the show was to be taped. The short notice sent Pavia scrambling to find people to see his kids off to school and getting the word out to his patients that he would be canceling his appointments the next day because he was going to the game show that the 44 year-old doctor had tried for so long to get onto. "A sense of relief and also accomplishment came over me when they called me to come in for the show," he said. "But I had no time to be nervous either." However, Pavia's short, 12-hour notice also had him contacting his "phone-a-friends," who a contestant may call in a one-time use option during the game for help with a question. "That night, I called everybody I knew. Luckily, I found some great people which said they would be my "phone-a-friends," he said. Although the show was taped in October, Pavia might well not have been on "Millionaire" at all, because he is bound, by a signed agreement, to not disclose the results of his winnings. This means he can tell no one about how far he actually got on the game-show. "Those who know have been asking me but I can't tell them, I tell them just to watch the show and see what happens," said Pavia. "My patients are most excited because they know how much I worked for this," he said. His wife, Jean Marie, was stunned when the show called and when she was told that the next day she would be accompanying her husband to WABC studios in Manhattan to watch him compete on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire." "I never thought it would happen," she said. "I'm glad it's all over, it was about time, but I am very proud of him." Pavia said his perseverance is something that he wants to teach his two girls, Jordan, 9 and Spencer, 7, both Pine Tree students. "There is a true lesson out of this," he said. "If you try something and fail, never give up. Always keep trying after the first time." When asked about what he will do with his winnings, if he won any at all, Dr. Pavia replied jokingly, "If I win the million I will do something I have tried to do for years: Get a public pool built in Monroe."