New Season of ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionare’ Begins Sept 13 with All New Twists and Lifeline

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An all-new season of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” with Emmy Award-winning host Meredith Vieira will premiere Monday, September 13 (check local listings), and this upcoming year promises to be a real game changer! From the very first question, viewers will see more strategy, unpredictability, excitement and tension as contestants try to win the show’s $1-million top prize. It will be the same great “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire,” but with some new twists and turns that will add even more risk, reward and fun.

“I feel as though we’ve really upped the ante this year on ‘Millionaire.’ Every question counts and contestants will have to apply more strategy to see which risks they’re willing to take,” said host Meredith Vieira. “’Millionaire’ will look a lot different this year, but the foundation of the show remains intact. ‘Millionaire’ is the show that gives regular folks a chance to win extraordinary money, and we’re staying true to that premise,” she added.

Round #1 — Questions and Dollar Values Randomized
One of the most dramatic changes to the game will be evident from the very start of the show. “Millionaire” questions used to get progressively harder as the dollar values increased, but not anymore. The first round of the game will feature ten questions valued from $100 – $25,000, but before game play begins, the order of questions and the dollar value attached to each question will both be randomly shuffled. Each contestant’s path to $1-million will be unique and unpredictable. Now, the first question of the game could be worth $25,000 and quite possibly paired with the easiest question of the day. Conversely, contestants could end up facing a more difficult question attached to a lower dollar amount – or anything in between!

To keep contestants and viewers guessing, the dollar value of each question will not be revealed until after a contestant has answered it. Once it is revealed, that amount will be added to the contestant’s bank. Round one will include questions worth $100, $500, $1K, $2K, $3K, $5K, $7K, $10K, $15K and $25K. A contestant can potentially walk away from the first round with cumulative winnings of $68,600 in their bank if they answer all ten questions correctly. If a contestant gets stumped and chooses to stop playing during the first round of the game, he or she will walk away with half of the money accumulated in their bank.

Round #2 – “Classic Millionaire”
Once a contestant gets past the exciting first round of questions, they are guaranteed to win at least $25,000 and will then move on to round two of the game, best described as “Classic Millionaire.” The $50,000 question has been taken away and only four questions remain – valued at $100,000; $250,000; $500,000 and finally, $1,000,000. If a contestant walks away from game play during round two, he or she will get to keep all of their accumulated winnings.

New Lifeline – “Jump the Question”
Contestants will have a new lifeline called “Jump the Question” to help them navigate their way up to the $1-million question. If a contestant jumps a question, he or she will not have to answer it, but will forfeit the dollar amount attached to that question. Contestants will be given two “Jump the Question” lifelines. The classic “Ask the Audience” lifeline, which has been part of the show since its 1999 inception, will remain part of the game and will enable a contestant to seek the advice of the studio audience for help on any question.

Standing the Show Up On Its Feet!
The legendary “Millionaire” Hot Seat is gone and both the contestant and host Meredith Vieira will now stand throughout the show, allowing for more personal interaction and uninhibited emotion as the contestant accumulates winnings. Vieira and the contestant will stand in the hub of the stage, with questions and winnings presented on a massive 18 foot-wide high definition projection screen, enabling the studio audience and home viewers to play the game along with the contestant.

The syndicated version of “Millionaire” will celebrate its 1,500th episode this fall, with a special broadcast of the show on November 5, 2010.

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