Super Millionaire (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Who Wants to be a Super Millionaire, often shortened to Super Millionaire, was a television game show spinoff to the American version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. This series, as was the original primetime series, was hosted by Regis Philbin.
The first five episodes of Super Millionaire aired on ABC during the week of February 22, 2004. It returned for seven additional episodes in May. Those episodes were seen in reruns on the GSN cable network. The show is not expected to return to the airwaves with new episodes in the near future.
Like the original ABC primetime version of Millionaire, contestants qualify by a toll-free telephone game rather than contestant auditions. Players are presented with five Fastest Finger questions to answer using a telephone keypad. Players who answer all five questions correctly are added into the contestant pool. Ten players are randomly selected from the pool for each show to compete as Fastest Finger players.
Gameplay is similar to the traditional Millionaire - contestants answer a series of multiple choice trivia questions. However, in this version, the dollar values are higher. The prize sequence in this version is: $1,000; $2,000; $3,000; $4,000; $5,000; $10,000; $20,000; $30,000; $50,000; $100,000; $500,000; $1,000,000; $2,500,000; $5,000,000; $10,000,000.
Contestants are given the standard three lifelines (50:50, Ask the Audience, and Phone a Friend) at the beginning of the game. After the $100,000 question, however, the contestant earns two additional lifelines (or as Philbin called it The next dimension of Millionaire) One is the "Three Wise Men," where Philbin consults a panel of three experts (one of whom is a former Millionaire contestant) to come up with an answer within 30 seconds. The other lifeline, "Double Dip," gives the contestant two chances to answer the question; however, the contestant cannot back away from the question if he or she chooses that lifeline. If neither guess is correct, the player leaves with only $100,000.
Though it never occurred, it was a possibility (and numerous contestants mentioned it, along with Philbin) that a contestant could save their "50:50" lifeline and use it beyond the $100,000 milestone in conjunction with the "Double Dip" lifeline to achieve essentially a "no lose scenario" for any question above $100,000. For example if a contestant used the 50:50 lifeline, the contestant would have 2 choices left, and then if they still did not know the answer to the question they could resort to the Double Dip lifeline, giving them the opportunity to guess twice, without the possibility of guessing the wrong answer.
Super Millionaire has only made one millionaire thus far - Robert "Bob-O" Essig, in February 2004. He answered his $1,000,000 question correctly, but did not make it any closer to the $10,000,000 top prize.