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About

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? is an international TV game show franchise based on the eponymous British program created by David Briggs, Mike Whitehill, and Steven Knight. Since the premiere of the original version in September 1998, the program has been often credited with reviving public interest in the TV game show format through introduction of new and innovative rules and methods of gameplay and emphasis is on suspense rather than speed. The franchise is also known for its extensive localization in partnership with major networks overseas; a total of 81 different versions of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? have aired in 160 countries.

Gameplay

Departing from the traditional format of TV game shows, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire focuses on only one contestant at a time, with the original British series and most other versions imposing no time limits to answer the questions. In each game, a group of contestants begin by playing a preliminary round known as "Fastest Finger First," or variations thereof in other versions, in which the players are given a question with four answer choices and they must arrange them in a particular order; whoever can answer the question in the fastest time proceeds to the main round for the maximum cash prize, during which the contestant is asked a series of increasingly difficult trivia questions by the host, with a bigger prize at stake as the game progresses. The maximum possible cash prize is typically a million units of the local currency, therefore the actual value of the prize varies widely depending on the value of the currency, and the prizes are non-cumulative; if the contestant answers a question incorrectly, then all of the earnings from previous rounds are lost, with the exception of certain milestone guarantees.

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History

Created by David Briggs, Mike Whitehill, and Steven Knight, the British television quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire premiered on ITV network on September 4th, 1998, hosted by British radio and TV broadcaster Chris Tarrant, and aired its final episode on February 11th, 2014. There have been 81 different versions of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. Including the UK version, there are 39 versions currently airing and 42 versions that have ended.

The UK Version

The first ten episodes of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? were broadcast every night as part of the evening programming, before it was subsequently rescheduled as a weekly series in a primetime slot on Saturday evenings. In 2011, it was reformatted into a charitable TV celebrity game show coinciding with major national holidays. During its 15-years run of 30 seasons and 592 episodes, 1,178 non-celebrity qualifiers have participated in the hot seat, with the contestants winning a total of £50,762,000, or an average of £43,091. Only five contestants have won the maximum cash prize of £1 million (British pounds): Judith Keppel, a garden designer from Fulham on November 20th, 2000; David Edwards, a teacher from Staffordshire on April 21st, 2001; Robert Brydges, a banker from London on September 29th, 2001; Pat Gibson, a software developer from Wigan on April 24th, 2004; and Ingram Wilcox, a civil servant from Bath on September 23rd, 2006. Some of the most memorable quotes said by the host Chris Tarrant includes, "Is that your final answer?", "But we don"t want to give you that" and "Quite pleased, then?"