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ABC to open 'Super Millionaire' contestant qualification hotline on February 16


By Reality TV World staff, 02/09/2004 

ABC has announced that Super Millionaire, the new and "amped up" version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, will open its contestant qualification round on Monday, February 16. Regis Philbin will host the series of one-hour specials that offers $10 million as the top prize.

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The telephone lines will open promptly at 7 PM ET, on Monday, February 16, and will be open for eight consecutive hours each of the next seven days. The telephone game for this series closes promptly at 3 AM ET, on Tuesday, February 24. Callers are limited to one call per person per contest day, and must be at least 18 years old, U.S. residents and meet all eligibility requirements to qualify.

The toll-free contestant phone line is: 1-800-999-7878

Executive producer Michael Davies, who brought the phenomenal hit to the American audience, says: "If you're one of those millions of people who have found themselves shouting answers at the screen while watching Millionaire -- now, more than ever, you should pick up the phone and try and get into the hot seat for real. If the line's busy, we now have nine million more reasons why you should try again and again."

Callers must correctly answer five questions within the specified time and select a tape date. Selecting a tape date enters the caller into a pool with all other players who correctly answered five questions and selected the same tape date. Once a player is entered in a tape date pool, he or she is ineligible to qualify for any other tape date in this series.

Ten players will be randomly drawn from each of the five tape date pools for a qualifying phone call. If players meet all eligibility requirements, they will be brought to New York City with a friend for the opportunity for a chance to play the televised game. Finalists will compete nightly in the "Fastest Finger" rounds to face Regis Philbin for their chance to win $10,000,000.

An alternate qualification process has been established for players who have a disability that prevents them from using a telephone to play the telephone game. These players can visit the ABC Web site -- www.abc.com -- for more information.

Super Millionaire, announced on Monday, January 26, will feature some surprises along with famously familiar elements -- including the 15 multiple choice questions the contestant has to answer correctly to win the top prize. The new game will feature a starting question valued at $1,000, instead of the $100 starting question in the original Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Additionally, Super Millionaire will have the "50/50," "Phone-a-Friend" and "Ask the Audience" lifelines, but -- because of the supersizing of the jackpot -- additional lifelines will be added.

The specials will air:

• Sunday, February 22 9-10 PM ET
• Monday, February 23 10-11 PM ET
• Tuesday, February 24 10-11 PM ET
• Thursday, February 26 10-11 PM ET
• Friday, February 27 10-11 PM ET

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, hosted by Regis Philbin, produced nine millionaires. Kevin Olmstead from Ann Arbor, Michigan, went into the Guinness Book of World Records for winning the largest prize in game show history -- $2.18 million during a period when the program added $10,000 to the top prize at the end of every show that concluded without a top prizewinner. Also, during its run from August 1999 through the spring of 2002, the program awarded $76,821,000 to a total of 968 hot seat contestants. More than $13,000,000 was designated for charities.

Super Millionaire is produced by Valleycrest Productions, Ltd. Michael Davies and Paul Smith are executive producers.

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