Eddie celebrates 20 years of Millionaire

Nine locks in Eddie for special episodes celebrating a stellar game show run.

In April the Millionaire brand passed its 20th anniversary and Hot Seat is about to mark the occasion next week.

From Monday to Thursday every episode will catch up with past winners and highlight the best moments from the last two decades.

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? debuted on 18 April 1999, and with Hot Seat, has now seen Eddie McGuire ask more than 40,000 questions in 2,000 episodes and given away nearly $80 million in prizes.

WWTBAM? ran until 2006, but reappeared in 2007 for 6 episodes before Hot Seat appeared in 2009 -it now has 10 years under its belt.

“Lock it in, Eddie” is now part of the Australian vernacular.

But only 8 contestants have ever been asked the million-dollar question, with only three answering correctly.

In October 2005, 46-year-old freelance image retoucher Rob “Coach” Fulton made history by becoming the first person to win a million dollars. Just three weeks later, IT analyst Martin Flood, who had spent years trying to get on the show, also took home the top prize.

It wasn’t until 2016 that the big prize went off again, when South Australian retiree Edwin Daly answered nine straight questions to become the first $1 million winner on Millionaire Hot Seat.

Other notable winners include Molly Meldrum who scored $500,000, Shane Warne and Trevor Sauer (a previous winner of $500,000) who teamed up to win another $500,000, Tracy Grimshaw with $125,000, actress Rachel Griffiths who also won $125,000, and game show legend Tony Barber who won $250,000.

Hot Seat is now the only ongoing program on Australian television where it is possible to win one million dollars.

Millionaire broke the mould. It allowed the home viewer to play along with the contestant. The money, no matter how big or small, can be life-changing, and to be able to witness someone who is going through tough times winning some money is truly wonderful,” says McGuire.

Who Wants to be a Millionaire? has been adapted in over 120 territories around the world. In addition to the United Kingdom, the other longest running adaptations are Germany, where it has continuously aired on RTL with host Günther Jauch since 1999, and Australia.

5pm Monday – Friday on Nine.

4 Responses

  1. I really miss the old Millionaire format. In other countries, they have introduced a timer in order to cut some of the inconsequential chit-chat and alleviate the monotony of being stuck on the same question for extended periods of time.

    I would never bother applying for Millionaire in its current state as the concept is so heavily weighed against skill, and I nearly lost my marbles at Eddie so blatantly giving away the answers time and time again, especially during the very last question. I get that they want people to win more than a grand every night, but it makes for infuriating and unrewarding viewing when someone who hadn’t earned their place walks away with a massive cash prize.

  2. Would have made a little bit more sense to celebrate its 20th birthday with special episodes from the 15th- the last special episode on the 20th birthday.

    Too bad the Easter non ratings period got in the way of this ideal scenario.

  3. I would love to See Hot Seat to do some Special Episodes for Charity Including a Second Chance Special for those who Did’nt win any Money First Time Around plus a Reality Show Special with Contestants from The Block, The Voice, Married at First Sight and Lego Masters competing.

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