Advertisement

'Super Password' winner expects check, finds federal agents

By
ALICE CRANE

LOS ANGELES -- A man who won $58,600 on the TV game show 'Super Password' was recognized by viewers as a wanted fugitive and arrested by the Secret Service.

The contestant, who told show officials he was a government systems analyst named Patrick Quinn, had called the Hollywood offices of Mark Goodson Productions asking to pick up his check for $58,600 because his job was taking him to Turkey for several months, said Bob Sherman, the show's executive producer. Winners are generally mailed their prize money.

Advertisement

But unbeknownst to 'Quinn,' his appearances on the shows aired Jan. 8 and three days this week had been noticed by several people, among them a bank manager in Anchorage, Alaska, and Secret Service officials.

'We started getting calls from people ... saying, 'That's not Patrick Quinn, there is no Patrick Quinn,'' Sherman said. 'One was a bank manager in Anchorage who said the guy had defrauded him.

'The Secret Service asked if could we lure him into the office because they were having trouble catching up with him,' Sherman said. 'Then, coincidentally, he called asking for his check.'

When 'Quinn' walked into the Goodson offices shortly before noon, he apparently realized that two Secret Service agents were waiting to arrest him.

Advertisement

'He spotted them as he entered the office,' Sherman said. 'I guess to him they looked like federal agents with their dark suits and ties. He took off, they chased him down the stairwell and finally got him in a men's bathroom. They took him away in handcuffs.'

The contestant, whose real name is Kerry Ketchem, was booked on an Indiana fugitive warrant. An Indiana state police officer said Ketchem, 36, was wanted on forgery charges in his native town of Washington, Ind.

Secret Service agents told 'Password' officials that Ketchem also is wanted for credit card fraud and for defrauding an auto dealer out of a new car.

While Mark Goodson Productions would prefer that Ketchem not receive his prize money -- one of the biggest prizes ever awarded by the show -- Sherman said NBC has not yet made a decision.

'He played the game legitimately and none of us suspected anything wrong,' he said. 'But he was fraudulent as to his name, social security number and an Alaska driver's license he gave us that identified him with a picture as Patrick Quinn. NBC may feel an obligation because he won legitimately. They are leaning toward that point of view.'

Advertisement

ROYALLY PG?: The British press is abuzz with reports of a royal pregnancy. Three newspapers say Sarah 'Fergie' Ferguson, wife of Prince Andrew, will give birth in July or August but Buckingham Palace won't comment. 'If and when the duchess of York is pregnant, an announcement will be made,' said a palace official. The Sun, however, boldly reported that Queen Elizabeth II was delighted after being told of another grandchild on the way and had ordered the news kept under wraps until an announcement is prepared. The pregnancy reports spread as the duchess, 28, was in Klosters, Switzerland, skiing with friends after having to leave her husband on duty at a Royal Navy air station in England. The Evening Standard said a reporter talked to a woman at the chalet with a 'flustered voice sounding remarkably like the duchess' who denied the pregnancy.

Latest Headlines