December 03, 2008 08:24 PM by Britteny Elrick
Tonight on the two hour premiere of Secret Millionaire, Greg and Cole Ruzicka will forsake all their possessions and be forced to survive on their own in the impoverished Imperial Beach. While under the guise of filming a documentary, they will meet needy locals and at the end of the week present them with a monetary gift. In the second half of the show, Todd and Gwen Graves willleave their home in Baton Rouge, LA to live among hurricane Katrina victims.
The show starts in Newport Beach with Greg Ruzicka describing how he risked everything to start his law firm and achieve his goal of making his first million by age 32. His talks about his very spoiled son, Cole, who will be participating in the show with him. They take a boat to Imperial Beach where they will live undercover in poverty for one week and tell people they are filming a documentary.
Imperial beach is one of the most polluted beaches in America and when they arrive, they are awestruck. They only had $150 (welfare wages) to find a place to live. Finally, they come across a place that will cost them $56/ day. There are holes in the walls, wires falling out, cockroaches, and bedbugs everywhere.
Day 2, they realize they only have enough money for one more day of rent. They go out to find a job and come across an ad for construction workers. While they are taking a break they meet Linda, a fellow co-worker, starts chatting with them. She tells them when she started working there she was homeless and someone helped her, so she felt she should help them. She invites them to her house for breakfast. In the morning, they go over for breakfast and discover that Linda had a horrible accident where she broke her back. She had no insurance, lost her house, and was out on the streets. She tries to give them “advice” on how to make it. The main thing she emphasizes is supporting each other and “paying it forward.”
When afternoon comes, they realize they need to go find some food. They go to the grocery store and run into Kathy, who feeds homeless families out of her home.They offer to help her out and she brings them to her home. When they get to the home, they meet all the children and spend some time with them. Cole starts talking to a little boy named Kevin, who was living in his mom’s van before finding Kathy’s house. Kathy supports the children from her social security every month and tells them that anyone can do it.
The next morning when they buy some juice at a gas station, they see an ad that is raising money for a local child, Emily, who has bone cancer. They showed up at her house and talked with the family. Her parents told them that the doctors found seven masses of cancer in her body, and they had to take off work to take care of her – they also have no insurance. The Ruzicka’s expressed their condolences and thanked them for the talk. When they walked away, Greg started tearing up and hugged his son.
Back at their apartment, they talk about all the people they’ve met and how frivolous they are with their own money. The next day, they shower and get dressed in suits. They go back to the construction site to find Linda and reveal the truth that they have been lying. They present her with a check for 25k and she tries to refuse it. Then they go over to Katie’s house and present her with a check for 50k. All of the children come out and hugged them, and then they opened up a trunk full of toys for them. Finally, they go back to Emily’s home and Cole gives her dad a check for 50k.
Todd and Gwen Graves from Baton Rouge, LA are the second secret millionaires. They are founders of the Raising Cane food chain and former McDonalds franchise owners. Their weekly budget is $107 and they will be living in a trailer in Buras, LA, an area still torn apart by the recent hurricanes. On the drive there, they are blown away by the damage that still exists from the hurricanes. Inside their trailer, they inspect every square inch for cleanliness. Next they drive to the nearest grocery store to get some necessities and their total comes to $90, so they put some things back.
They hear about a organization called “The Gathering Place,” which sells discounted groceries to Katrina victims. Eventually, when they finish the project it will include a coffee shop, a church, and a place for family entertainment.Todd starts a conversation with the owners, who shares their story with them. She has a family of seven an currently lives in a FEMA trailer until they can remodel an apartment located above the Gathering Place.
As they drive around, they find a sign asking for volunteers. They stop at a local church where they meet Rev. Turner, who has nothing remaining from his house after Katrina. He has worked to rebuild the church and homes for others before even starting his. They ask why they are putting money into rebuilding in a place that might get hit again, and he tells them because it is home.Then they come across an ad for a local football scrimmage and decide to attend.
Todd strikes up a conversation with coach Crutchfield, who explains how they had to combine three rival high schools into one. Since then, they have won a state championship. He talks about how the team and community has bonded together and that every day is better than Aug. 30, 2005. They drive to the boat launch of Grand Bayou and take a ride down the river. Later that night, they feel exhausted and emotionally drained. They are feeling very overwhelmed by their decision and are upsetthey can’t help everyone. Todd says that he wants to do whatever will impact the most people.
As they drive back to see the people again, they feel anxious about admitting their lie. First, they visit the people at the Gathering Place and present them with a 100k check. They tell them they are angels and that they were honored to do it. Next they go back to the school and speak with Coach Crutchfield again to give him a 100k check as well. Finally, they go back and find Rev. Turner to give him the same gift. They also present him with a bunch of things to help with his volunteer center.
Secret Millionaire airs Wednesdaysat 8 PM on FOX.
Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/FOX