Simon Mayo (1999–2000)
Phillip Schofield (2001–2004)

Brian Blessed (2020-Present)

Winning Lines (1)
Winning Lines (2)
BBC One: 12 June 1999 – 16 October 2004

Winning Lines was a quiz show from the National Lottery where the answer to every question is a number.


49 contestants aka "The 49ers" competed in an elimination contest for a chance to win a three-week holiday around the world.

Main GameEdit

Round 1Edit

In the first round, 49 contestants played a qualifying round in which only six of them would advance to Round 2. The host read mathematical questions with numerical answers. Within ten seconds, the contestants typed in their answers using their keypad. Only the contestant who typed in the correct answer the fastest on each question would advance and all those who typed in a wrong number were eliminated. The round continued until they got the six players advancing.

NOTE: In the first series only, the answers were the contestants' numbers. If the contestant whose number answered the question buzzed-in within fifteen seconds, s/he moved on; and all those who buzzed in wrong and/or the player with the correct number failing to buzz-in were eliminated.

With each successful contestant, the ones digit in their number became a number in that show's Winning Line (hence the name of the show). After this round, viewers who had all of them as the last six digits of their telephone number, in any order, could call the show, and if successful, would be asked a general knowledge question. If they were correct, they would become one of the contestants on the next episode. However, only the first 49 people who did so in this manner would qualify.

Round 2: Looking After Number OneEdit

The six surviving contestants played this round using their numbers used in the first round. In this round each question could or couldn't eliminate a player. The host read questions in which the answers were the numbers in front of the contestants. All questions were toss-ups and the first player to buzz-in had a chance to answer. If the answer was the buzz-in player's number and s/he was correct, that player was safe and no one was eliminated. If the buzz-in player was correct and the number belonged to another player (or if nobody buzzed in and after the correct number was announced), the player with that number was eliminated. But if the buzz-in player was wrong, no matter whose number it was, that player was eliminated. The round continued until there was one player left; at which point that contestant won the game and went on to face the Wonderwall for the holiday around the world.

Bonus Round: WonderwallEdit

In the Wonderwall round, the winning contestant had three minutes to answer a series of questions. The Wonderwall itself was a set of three projection television sets displaying 49 answers to 49 questions numbered 1-49. Before the round began, the contestant had 15 seconds to study the board, the answers, and their numbers. On each question, the contestant had to answer the question by giving the number of the answer and the answer itself before moving on to another question. On two questions, the winning player could press a "Pit Stop" button s/he held in his/her hand and take a 15 second "Pit Stop". Upon taking a "Pit Stop", the main clock stopped & the contestant had the time to look over the board, but the contestant couldn't give an answer during that time.

At home while all this was going on, the answers on the Wonderwall scrolled left & right, back & forth; upon a correct or wrong answer, the board zipped to the spot with the correct answer. On a Pit Stop, the answers leftover scrolled to the left.


Each time the winning player answered a question correctly & properly, s/he won a holiday. The more questions answered correctly, the further they would get to travel. Now here's how the holiday grew.

Correct Answers Holiday
20 Around the World
19 Australia
18 Barbados
17 Hawaii
16 Texas
15 African Safari
14 Caribbean Cruise
13 Mauritius
12 USA
11 Hong Kong
10 New York
9 Italy
8 Majorca
7 Monte Carlo
6 Paris
5 Amsterdam
4 Ireland
3 Scottish castle
2 London
1 Spaghetti Junction

Just like the holiday ladder said, if the winning contestant could answer 20 questions correctly in three minutes or less, he/she won a three week holiday around the world.

NOTE: When Phillip Schofield took over, contestants who won the top prize would return on Wednesday to play a second Wonderwall round for spending money. This time, each correct answer was worth £200, meaning that answering 20 questions correctly & properly won a grand total of £4,000; however, there were no Pit Stops. This only lasted one series.

Trivia Edit

A version of the show aired in the US from January 8 to February 28 in 2000 and was hosted by Dick Clark. That version stayed mostly true to the British version except:

  • The 49 players have five seconds to enter their answer (the questions were all mathematical).
  • The winner of the second round (called Sudden Death) won $2,500 while the other five won $1,000.
  • The Wonderwall was mostly the same, except that the winner played for $1,000,000. Restrictions were added concerning passed and missed questions (players were allowed to pass twice, the 2 pit stops were kept the same, and players earned a strike (with 3 strikes causing the player to lose everything) if an incorrect answer is given. If a player had 15 seconds left or had 2 strikes, whichever came first, they could hit a "bail out" button to end the game.)Air
  • A revived series will be coming in summer of 2020 and will be hosted by Brian Blessed


Keith & Matthew Strachan


David Briggs, Steve Knight, and Mike Whitehill

YouTube LinksEdit

The Last Episode of Series 5

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