7 Unforgettable 'Millionaire' Moments to Rewatch Before the Celeb Revival (VIDEO)
Cue the suspenseful music: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is returning to ABC for the first time in more than a decade this month, as Jimmy Kimmel hosts a 20th anniversary revival of the high-stakes game show and celebrities compete to win cash prizes for the charity of their choice. But those aren’t the only changes to the format, as ABC revealed in a recent press release.
For the first time in the history of the U.S. franchise, celebrities playing on Millionaire can invite a guest to help them answer questions. It could be a relative, a beloved teacher or a famed trivia expert — anyone they want — to help them win as much money as they can for the charity of their choice. Additionally, this special run of shows will be introducing a new lifeline, Ask the Host, and a revolutionary, live, play-along app which will allow America to compete to win the same amount of money that celebrities are playing for on the show.
Before Millionaire hits the airwaves again, check out the video clips below to relive memorable moments from the American version of the game show and its international counterparts.
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Revival Premiere, Wednesday, April 8, 10/9c, ABC
In 1999, IRS officer John Carpenter became the U.S. show’s first top prize winner, memorably using his Phone a Friend lifeline to tell his father he was about to become a millionaire.
In 2001, British Army Major Charles Ingram won the top prize of the U.K. edition, but he was later found guilty of cheating the show after producers realized two audience members — his wife and a fellow contestant — appeared to alert Ingram to the correct answers by coughing.
After losing the $16,000 question on his original appearance on the show in 2001, engineer Ed Toutant proved the question was faulty and earned himself a second appearance on the show later that year, during which he answered all the questions correctly and walked away with $1,860,000.
Who Wants to Be a Super Millionaire
In the spring of 2004, ABC brought back host Regis Philbin to host a spinoff titled Who Wants to Be a Super Millionaire, and the network upped the top prize to $10 million.
In 2006, a contestant on the French version of the game show used his Ask the Audience lifeline for help identifying which celestial body orbits the Earth. Even more surprisingly, 56 percent of audience members suggested “Le Soleil,” The Sun, as the correct answer.
The game show returned the spotlight in 2008 with the release of Slumdog Millionaire, a Danny Boyle drama about a teen from the Mumbai slums who wins the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture and — along with the economic recession at the time — inspired ABC to bring back Millionaire for a 10th anniversary limited run in 2009.
Ken Basin, the final contestant of the 10th anniversary revival, became the first Millionaire contestant to miss the $1 million question, losing $475,000 in the process. Don’t feel too bad for Basin, though: Paramount Television promoted him to head of business affairs last year.