One of the most popular and famous television programmes of the last 20 years was Who wants to be a Millionaire. Each contestant had to answer just 12 questions correctly to win a million pounds. During its run – which I managed to avoid completely – it made five people into millionaires.
At its height over 19 million people watched it. And one of the factors that made it famous was its use of what were called ‘lifelines’ which contestants could use if they were stuck on a particular question. I’m sure you remember the format – each question had four possible answers and if you got stuck you could use a lifeline. You had a choice of three.
One of these was Phone a friend, a phrase which has now entered the language. The second was 50/50 where the computer would remove two answers leaving you with one right and one wrong answer. The third lifeline was … ? Continue reading