Last Updated: 18 Nov 2005
Facts In Brief


Eddie McGuire

Produced by: Grundy Productions
Official Pages
AUS Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Nine Network)
GBR Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (ITV)
AZE Milyonçu (Lider)

Qui sera Millionnaire (RTL) - French

CHI Quién Quiere Ser Un Millonario (Canal 13)
COL Quién Quiere Ser Un Millonario (Caracol TV)
CRO Tko Zeli Biti Milijunas (HRT)
CZE Chcete být milionárem (NOVA)
DEN Hvem Vil Være Millionær (TV2)
ECU Quién Quiere Ser Millonario (Ecuavisa)
ESP 50 por 15 (Telecinco)
EST Kes tahab saada miljonäriks? (TV3)
FIN Haluatko miljonääriksi (Nelonen)
FRA Qui Veut Gagner des Millions (TF1)
GER Wer Wird Millionär (RTL)
HUN Legyen ön is Milliomos (RTL)
IND Kaun Banega Crorepati 2 (Star Plus)
IRE Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (RTE)
ISL Viltu vinna milljón? (MBL)
ITA Chi Duol Esser Milliardario (Canale 5)
KSA Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (MBC)
LAT Gribi but miljonars? (TV3)
LTU Kas Laimes Milijona? (TV3)
NED Lotto Weekend Miljonairs (SBS6)
NOR Vil Du Bli Millionær (TV2)
POL Milionerzy (TVN)
ROM Vrei sa fii miliardar (Prima)
RSA Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (M-Net)
RUS O, Schastlivchik (NTV)
SLO Lepo Je Biti Milijonar (POP TV)
SWE Ven Vill Bli Miljonär (TV4)
UKR Chato Hochie Stati Milionerom (1 Plus 1)
USA Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (ABC) - Old
USA Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Syn)
VEN Quién Quiere Ser Un Millonario (RCTV)
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The First Show (Apr 1999)  
Couples Special (2000)  
"Blind Date" Special (2004)  
Past Big Winners  
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Who Wants To Be a Millionaire

The smash hit phenomena which the British created - and the whole world embraced


The Australian version of "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" is modelled very closely on the original British version - although it has picked up a few variations along the way.

The show begins with ten contestants, all vying for a spot in the hot seat. Before a contestant can make it to the stage - they must take part in a Fastest Finger First challenge. The contestants are given a question - and must select the answers (from four on offer) in the quickest time. When the show began (in 1999) - each question only had one answer and the contestant therefore could only select one (which was the same as the British version when it started). Then in 2002 - the rules were changed so that two answers were required. Now, in 2004 - we have gone to the standard international rules of placing all four answers in a given order (to discourage contestants from just guessing the answers or taking a blind hit).

The quickest contestant to answer correctly is summoned to Eddie's side, and they process to the main podium to place the real challenge. The aim - successfully answer a series of questions - each of increasing value and difficulty - and hopefully reach the final question and answer it correct to take out $1 million dollars. In the earliest days - there were only 11 questions to answer - this was changed to the regulation 15 questions in mid 2000. The cash progressions have been as follows:

1999 - Mid 2000

11 Questions - $1000, $2000, $4000, $8000, $16000, $32000, $64000, $125000, $250000, $500000, $1000000.

Mid 2000 -

15 Questions - $100, $200, $300, $500, $1000, $2000, $4000, $8000, $16000, $32000, $64000, $125000, $250000, $500000, $1000000.

In theory, the task is simple - just select the correct answer for the supplied question from the four choices given. The danger - get a question wrong, and the contestant loses the money won to that stage. There are a number of safety nets however, to assist the contestant with their answers and prevent them from going home empty-handed.

- If players successfully answers the $1000 or $32000 questions - they are guaranteed to go home with at least that amount.
- Each player is given three lifelines which they can be used at any time and in any combination:
* Ask the audience - all the audience member key the answer they believe to be correct into a keypad provided, and a percentage breakdown is provided to the contestant.
* Phone a friend - the player can ask assistance by phone from a friend. They are given a total of 30 seconds to converse
* 50/50 - upon using ths lifeline - two incorrect answers are taken from the board - leaving one correct and one incorrect answer.

At any time (including after a question is given) - the player can choose to leave with the money earnt to that time - unless of course they decide to 'lock in' an answer to the question and go for it.

So far on the Australian version - no one has taken off with the lot (although a lot have come close - many contestants knowing the answer to the million dollar question, but not being brave enough to lock it in). Keeping to a weekly program - Millionaire has ensured consistently high ratings so far, and is set to remain for some time. One of my all-time favourite formats.