Let Your Heart Be Warmed By This Same-Sex Marriage Campaigner Winning A Million Bucks

"Maybe it's a little reward for the shit we had to put up with," he said, after scoring the 'Millionaire Hot Seat' prize.

Antony McManus wins a million bucks on 'Hot Seat'

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Last night, as Australia had their eyes glued on The Bachelorette finale, Antony McManus, a tireless advocate for the queer community, won a million bucks.

McManus was a contestant on Millionaire Hot Seat. Facing off a series of increasingly difficult questions, he made it all the way to the very final challenge, a doozy of a head-scratcher which asked him to correctly identify which of four classic novels was published first. Carefully, McManus chose The Count of Monte Cristo — and won big.

“Anthony McManus,” host Eddie McGuire intoned. “You’ve won a million dollars.”

McManus’ reaction was instantaneous. As the crowd burst into applause around him, he immediately teared up, his hand clapped over his mouth.

“I can’t believe that,” he said. “We still rent. I can buy a house now…I can just breathe a sigh of relief, knowing we’ll be okay now.”

McManus married his longterm partner, Ron Van Houwelingen, back in 2018, as soon as same-sex couples were allowed to. Van Houwelingen and McManus had met 30 years prior, while both studying drama at TAFE.

Prior to that happy day, the pair had staged many public commitment ceremonies, as part of Equal Love’s campaign for same-sex marriage. They were frequent guests in the media, and spoke fondly about the “lifelong friends” they made through their advocacy.

On Hot Seat, McGuire brought up McManus’ advocacy work, asking how he felt as a gay man who had fought the good fight.

“You’ve got no idea,” McManus replied. “You’ve got absolutely no idea. Maybe it’s a little reward for the shit we had to put up with, what we had to go through. I don’t know. I don’t know what to think … It’s absolutely life-changing.”

Watch the full, heart-warming clip below, and celebrate the work of Antony McManus, a man who never let the bastards grind him down, not once: