What's the deal with "Who wants to be a Millionaire?"

On the show “Who wants to be a Millionaire,” after a contestant has been eliminated, Regis will go stand on one the far side (as opposed to the camaras) of the central circle of the set. He will then ask the ten contestants to place things in order. When someone wins, the camara pans across the whole set and then over to Regis who immediatly says, “Let’s play!” Regis and the current contestant then go sit in their chairs. When the camara pans across the whole set, there is obviously nothing at all, even chairs, in the central circle. Only about two seconds later, the camara shows Regis and the contestant sitting down in the chairs. How in the heck did those chairs get in the middle of that circle in only two seconds? Is it an optical illusion or what?

Um, as it’s not a live show maybe there’s some editing involved…

Read the credits of every game show, presumably including WWtbaM?, and you’ll see a little disclaimer that reads, more or less, ‘Portions of this program not effecting the outcome have been edited.’ (Not the exact wording, I don’t think, but close enough.)

Moving the set peices onto the stage definitely fits into ‘not effecting the outcome’, I think.

‘They couldn’t hit an Elephant from this dist…!’

Last words of General John Sedgwick

My question is, aren’t the questions they ask a tad bit easy? Do you have to be deemed a moron before they let you on the show? “Which president was on Laugh-In?” COME ON!!


Yes and no… Think about the math behind this. If the questions are easy enough that the average contestant has a 90% chance of getting each one right, then that contestant only has a 20% chance of getting all 15.

If the questions were hard enough that there was only a 50% chance that the contestant can get them, the chance of getting all 15 would be so remote they would probably never get a winner even if they ran the show every day for years.

I’ve watched a few episodes of the show, and the pattern of questions is pretty clear - the first five are pretty much joke questions that anyone will get. The next five are easy enough that anyone familiar with the topic would probably get it, but the last five are tough enough that the average person probably only has a 50/50 chance on each one.

The guy who got the million was lucky in that he got a lot of really easy questions. Much easier than I saw anyone else get. I would have won the million too, without using any lifelines, and so would my wife. I’m guessing that most people would have sailed through that one. But that’s the only one I would have won. I would have tripped up along the way on every other set of questions I’ve seen.

Anyone think the producers intentionally made the questions easy so that the guy would win the million? Consider the setup: it was near the end of the show’s current run, nobody had won the million yet and the fact that an IRS agent is winning it is a terribly delicious irony.

Tonight a guy quit on the question, “In Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe, how many of the 4 people are naked?” Far more esoteric than anything the IRS guy saw, and impossible to make any sort of educated guess on. It was a typical question people on the show quit on.

To his credit, the IRS guy still had to get all the questions right. He seemed like a pretty smart guy, anyway. I’m not saying the game was flat out fixed, with the contestant knowing the questions beforehand as in “Twenty-One.” But those were easy qestions he got.

>Tonight a guy quit on the question, “In Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe, how many of the 4 people are naked?” Far more esoteric than
anything the IRS guy saw, and impossible to make any sort of educated guess on. It was a typical question people on the show quit

Come on now, this is a famous painting. Everyone knows only the girl is naked and the 3 guys are fully clothed. You’ve probably seen it too, just didn’t recognize the name.

Well, OK, I feel like a moron now. :slight_smile:

I generally know almost all of the “middle” questions - say, the $1000 to $32000 ones, but the $100 to $500 level questions stump me routinely. Seriously.

A lot of them seem to be references to things like old TV shows or songs, but I didn’t watch much TV as a lad, so I don’t know them. The middle ones, OTOH, seem to often be things you can just figure out, like “Hydrophobia is fear of what?” (Err… umm… water?) To me, that’s a much easier sort of question than “What’s the next word in this song lyric from 1962?” like you get in the intro questions.

OTOH, making it out of the pool of 10 contestants seems like the really hard part. I’ve only seen the show twice, but the only “pool” question I might have gotten was the n-gon one. The “order these madonna albums” thing, no way.

peas on earth

I watched it for only the second time tonight, and yeah, the “pop culture literacy” ones stump me too. “How many performers are in these music groups?” C’mon, my radio hasn’t worked for a year, and I don’t watch MTV so how should I know how many people are in any group? The questions seem pretty easy to me until they venture into TV shows and suchlike.

Regis seriously pisses me off. I doubt I’ll watch it again just because of him. “Are you sure? Huh? Huh? Are you?” No, the contestant gave an answer he thought was wrong. Sheesh.

“Happiness is nonetheless true happiness because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting.”

  • Bertrand Russell

I hate it when Regis does that too, but you have to understand why. The longer he takes with one contestant, the less money they give out on the show, if he whizzed through them then the show would bankrupt ABC.

Actually Regis seems to whiz through the first 5 questions (the “goof” questions) fairly fast compaired to the Summer show.
And yes, one edit seems obvious…when the contestant phones a friend.
“I’d like to call Mxmymfg.”
“AT&T will now call Mxmymfg.”
(one ring)

Wow, this is the third Topic message run on this show.

This show has been going in England for years & years. That’s where it comes from. Believe it or not, it looks exactly like it.

I got that ’ “How many performers are in
these music group”
exactly right, even though Im deaf, because I simply choose the sequence by guessing a pretty letter combo.

You can do a lot of the questions if you learn the answer pattern. For example, the same letter answer does not happen twice in a row & often they use all four letters before using the same one again. Not always [well always so far that I notice]. These rules dont apply at the game online at the web site though, weird.

Not true. On the last show, “D” was the correct answer two or three times in a row.

dlv - that Manet question wasn’t that obvious, because there’s a second woman in the background and I couldn’t for the life of me remember whether she was nude or not.

I watched this show for the first time the other night and wanted to slap the contestant ( A HAHVARHD GRADUATE AT 19. like that meansanything) silly. I don’t want to know your reasoning behind your answer you schmuck, I want the pace to be a little more frenetic and I WANT Regis to stop asking, “IS that your final answer”

The spoof on Who’s line is it anyway of this show I thought was very funny.

I’d like to take this opportunity to declare myself “The Regis of the New Millennium.” Thank you.

“My hovercraft is full of eels.”

I read somewhere that Regis asks “Is that your final answer?” to save his butt. He said that he’d hate to NOT ask that, have the contestant get the answer wrong, then have the contestant say that it wasn’t what he wanted to say and didn’t get a chance to say so. So he does the hemming and hawing as a way to make sure the contestant lets it be known that he was ready to answer it and wasn’t going to change his mind. P.S I LIKE Regis! (ducking)

The more you complain, the longer God lets you live.

They do do some serious editing.

On their first run in August, one guy who used all 3 lifelines on one question took 30 minutes real time to answer. They edited it down to about 2 minutes.

On one elimination question (10 players to one), it took the winner 12 seconds to enter his answer. But it was edited down to about 4.

Regis has to ask, “final answer,” or some schmo will come back and say that the answer wasn’t his final choice.

This is absurd. We’ve had game shows galore for decades, and all the others simply take whatever answer the contestant gives.

Depending on the nature of the show, sometimes a bit of banter is allowed, during which the contestant might change their answer. “Family Feud” was a good example of that. Sometimes, no changes at all are allowed, like on “Wheel of Fortune”. “Jeopardy!” has specific rules which allow the emcee to remind the contestant to rephrase his response as a question, but only during the regular Jeopardy round, and not during Double Jeopardy.

This is the only show I’ve seen which regularly and consistently verifies that the contestant’s answer is final.

Regis has to ask that because that is the format of the game in England.

Regis’s teeth are unaturally white. No one has teeth that white.