A teacher has scooped £125,000 on TV’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Jerome Singh, head of history and politics at Newham Collegiate Sixth Form, whizzed through the early questions before opting to take the money rather than take a risky guess.

The programme sees contestants tasked with answering 15 questions correctly to win £1m.

Former Ilford resident Jerome said his win had helped him to move to a new home in Loughton.

The show first aired on Saturday (August 14) and started strangely for Jerome when he and a fellow contestant got exactly the same time in the Fastest Finger round.

A second round was held to determine who would sit in front of host Jeremy Clarkson, which Jerome won with a time of 3.64 seconds.

“I was terrified on the fastest finger first bit,” Jerome, 28, told the Recorder, pointing out that once you have got to that stage you can never again appear on the show.

“If I didn’t get onto the hot seat, that was it – I would never have another chance,” he said.

But having made it past that round, the Cambridge graduate appeared calm and collected, something he attributed to “a lot of karate competitions over the years”.

He said: “Once I got on there, I was a lot calmer, because I could sort of think things through and take time if I needed it, so it was actually calm once I got into the hot seat."

Jerome told Jeremy that he had been inspired by another teacher, Donald Fear, who won the top prize on the show in 2020, but said his main aim was to do well enough that his students would not “take the mick”.

Jeremy commented “you’re zooming along here” as Jerome got to the £16,000 mark with only using his 50-50 to confirm an answer he already suspected.

After dispatching with questions about the Bermuda triangle, Conor McGregor and Old French, he set his safety net at £64,000.

At this point, a question about sculpture forced Jerome to use his ‘ask the host’ and ‘phone a friend’ lifelines, neither of which gave a definitive answer.

Jerome decided to go with his hunch and was correct, taking him to security at £64k.

Ultimately, the teacher was snookered by a question about snooker world championship title winners and announced that he would walk away with £125k – fortunately, it turned out, as his guess would have been the wrong answer.

The show was recorded in March but Jerome had to keep the result quiet from everybody until it was broadcast.

He held a viewing party with friends at the weekend, in a new house funded by his win.

He said that the suspense made the viewing party more exciting, but noted: "I think being in a new house kind of gave away some level of it.

“It was the first big celebrational gathering post-Covid as well so it was nice to get everyone together."

At the time the show was filmed, Jerome lived in Pioneer Point, Ilford, but has since moved to Loughton.

In addition to the new house, he has set some money aside to visit his grandparents in Singapore when restrictions are eased.

Jerome said that many pupils at the school were “going wild on social media” and said he had received a number of messages and emails from them.

He said: “I’m looking forward to going back to school and hearing what they thought in person as well."

He also thanked his two phone-a-friends, current and former teachers at Newham Collegiate.