British Game Show Wiki

Chris Tarrant (1998-2014)
Jeremy Clarkson (2018-Present) 

Millionaire logo.jpg
ITV, STV & UTV: 4th September 1998 – 11th February 2014
5th May 2018-present
Keith Strachan
Matthew Strachan
Ramon Covalo (2007-2014)
Nick Magnus (2007-2014)
Celador/2Way Traffic/Victory Television

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? is a long-running quiz show where contestants would vie for a million pounds by answering questions correctly in a row.


Contestants answered a list of 15 (later 12) increasingly difficult multiple-choice questions to win the top prize of £1 million. Contestants could choose to leave the game at any point and claim the prize for the last correctly answered question without penalty. Answering the fifth question (later the second question) correctly guarantees that a contestant will leave with no less than £1,000 if they provide an incorrect answer to a later question, and answering the tenth question (later the seventh question) correctly increases the minimum payout to £50,000. A contestant who answers any of the first set of questions incorrectly before winning £1,000 leaves with nothing.


There were three lifelines to help the contestants; more than one lifeline could be used on a question, but each lifeline could only be used once:

50/50: Where the computer would eliminate two answers leaving one correct answer and one incorrect answer.

Ask the Audience: Members of the studio audience would vote on the keypads what answer they think is the best. A percentage of how many believe that is the answer is shown after voting is completed.

Phone a Friend: The contestant would call up one of his/her five friends to help get the question correct. The contestant was given 30 seconds to talk the question over. 

Switch: A lifeline that lasted from 2002-2003 and then again from 2010-2014. The computer would replace the old question with a new question. However, any lifelines used on the original question would not be reinstated for the new question.

Fastest Finger First Question (1998-2010, 2018-present)

There were ten people competing against each other in the "Fastest Finger First" round. A question would appear on the screen and contestants were asked to enter the correct answer. This later changed to the contestants being shown a question and four answers and the contestants were to put the answers in order. Either way, whoever was the fastest won and had the right to play for £1,000,000. If two or more contestants tie, a tiebreaker question is played to determine who would play. If the original or tiebreaker question is missed, the process repeats until there is a winner. In the 2018 revival, the Fastest Finger First contestant capacity was reduced to six people.

Big Bad Clock (2010-2014)

In 2010, Millionaire made a new format. This new format no longer had "Fastest Finger First." Contestants were timed against a clock known as "The Big Bad Clock". The clock had 30 seconds timed for each question. However, on the last five questions, they would not be timed. The clock was stopped when a contestant chose to use a lifeline on questions 1-7. If, during the first seven questions, the contestant ran out of time on a question, their winnings would drop back down to either nothing (on question 1 or 2) or the £1,000 milestone (if they passed that point), as if the question had been answered incorrectly.

Money Trees

This is how the money trees changed over the course of the formats:

Payout structure
Question number Question value
1998-2007, 2018-present 2007–2014
1 £100 £500
2 £200 £1,000
3 £300 £2,000
4 £500 £5,000
5 £1,000 £10,000
6 £2,000 £20,000
7 £4,000 £50,000
8 £8,000 £75,000
9 £16,000 £150,000
10 £32,000 £250,000
11 £64,000 £500,000
12 £125,000 £1 MILLION/£1,000,000
13 £250,000 N/A
14 £500,000

Top prize winners

Here are the list of the contestants who have won the top prize:

  • Judith Keppel (20th November 2000)
  • David Edwards (21st April 2001)
  • Robert Brydges (29th September 2001)
  • Pat Gibson (24th April 2004)
  • Ingram Wilcox (23rd September 2006)
  • Donald Fear (11th September 2020)

The discarded top prize winners

On 18th September 2001, Charles Ingram, a former British Army major went on Millionaire. He was accused of cheating from coughs from Tecwen Whittock. He was convicted of deception in 2003, and was given an 18-month suspended sentence, although he maintained that he did not cheat. After winning £1 MILLION, the payout was suspended when Ingram was accused of cheating by having his wife, Diana, and an accomplice, Tecwen Whittock, cough as Ingram announced the correct answer from the available choices. Charles and Diana Ingram and Whittock were convicted by a majority verdict of "procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception" on 7th April 2003. As a result, ITV and Celador Productions decided not to air the episode until 21st April 2003. Between 13th April and 15th April 2020, there was a miniseries documentary that aired on ITV called Quiz, re-enacting Ingram's events on Millionaire.

Taping Location

Elstree Studios, Borehamwood

International Versions

Here are a list of the countries that have aired their versions of Millionaire:

  • Afghanistan (Pashto & Persian language)
  • Albania
  • Angola
  • Arab Maghreb
  • Arab World
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh
  • Belgium (French & Dutch language)
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada (English language Only)
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • El Salvador
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India (Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Bengali & Bhojpuri language)
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Ivory Coast
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kosovo
  • Kurdistan
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Macedonia
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka (including Sinhala and Tamil languages)
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam


Keith & Matthew Strachan

Additional Pages

List of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? episodes and specials
List of Celebrities on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?