Who Wants to Be a Millionaire often informally called Millionaire [note 1] is an American television game show based on the same-titled British program and developed for the United States by Michael Davies. The program has endured as one of the longest-running and most successful international variants in the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
The daily syndicated version of the show began airing on September 16,and was hosted for eleven seasons by Meredith Vieira until May 31, Later hosts included Cedric the Entertainer in the —14 season, Terry Crews in the following season —15and Chris Harrisonwho began hosting on September 14, As the first U.
At its core, the game is a quiz competition in which the goal is to correctly answer a series of fourteen originally fifteen consecutive multiple-choice questions.
The questions are of increasing difficulty,  except in the —15 format overhaul, where the contestants were faced with a round of ten questions of random difficulty, followed by a round of four questions of increasing difficulty. However, the contestant has the option of "walking The millionaire show without giving an answer The millionaire show being presented with a question, in which case the game ends and the contestant is guaranteed to walk away with all the money they have previously received.
If the contestant gives an incorrect answer, their winnings drop down to the last milestone achieved. Prior to the shuffle format, The millionaire show contestant left with nothing if they answered a question incorrectly before reaching the first milestone.
From to10 contestants played a round of the Fastest Finger to determine who would play in the hot seat. The millionaire show participants would be confronted with one question and four answers, and they would have to set the four answers in the correct order ascending, chronological, etc. The competitor who entered it correctly in the fastest time would play. If nobody got the correct order, the round was played again, and when a tie breaker occurs, the remaining participants answered a Fastest Finger question.
This round was removed when the syndicated version began inthough it returned in for Super Millionaire and in for the 10th Anniversary shows. The millionaire show format remained unchanged, except for changes to the money staircase and the addition of a new lifeline, until Inthe format was altered to include a time limit on each question. The amount of time for each question was as follows:. For the last question, the amount of time that was not used on the previous questions was banked and added onto the 45 seconds already allowed on the question, to give the contestant a better chance at winning the million.
The timer would count down the second the answer options appeared and the contestant would have to give their final answer within that length of time. If the contestant ran out of time at any point, the contestant would have to leave with the amount of money they had banked at the time.
However, if this happens while Double Dip The millionaire show in play, the contestant's winning would be reduced to the most recent safe haven they had reached. In addition the categories of the questions were displayed before the question was asked, titled as the 'Millionaire Menu'.
Inthe money ladder was altered slightly. The format was overhauled in September quite significantly.
The game was now split into two rounds. In round one the contestant would face 10 questions, each assigned to a different amount of money that was randomized at the start of the game. So the difficulty of the question was not tied to the amount of money the question was worth, which was revealed after the question was either answered or jumped.
Like usual the contestant could leave with their current winnings at any point, though if they didn't pass round they would only receive half their banked money ie. The second round consisted of four questions presented in the traditional format, with the difficulty of the question tied to the amount of money it was worth. However if a question was jumped, its value was not doubled. With the hiring of new host Chris Harrison, the format was changed once The millionaire show to resemble that of the original Millionaire.
Each contestant The millionaire show 14 general-knowledge questions of increasing difficulty, with no time limit or information about the categories. Forms of assistance known as "lifelines" are available for a contestant to use if a question proves difficult.
Multiple lifelines may be used on a single question, but each one can only be used once per game unless otherwise noted below. Three lifelines are available from the start of the game. Depending on the format of the show, additional lifelines may become available after the contestant correctly answers the fifth or tenth question.
In the clock format, usage of lifelines temporarily pauses the clock while the lifelines are played.
Over the course of the program's The millionaire show, 12 people have answered the final question correctly and walked away with the top prize. The original network version of the U. Millionaire and the subsequent primetime specials were hosted by Regis Philbin.