- The game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” has been on the air for 21 years. It started in the UK in 1998, and moved across the pond to the US in 1999.
- Throughout that time, few have won the top prize. Only 12 have done it in the US, and only five in the UK.
- We’ve found 25 of the million-dollar questions asked on the show.
- Do you think you have what it takes to become a millionaire?
“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” has been in our lives for many years. Whether you prefer the prime-time version hosted by Regis Philbin, the first syndicated seasons with Meredith Viera, or the king of reality TVChris Harrison’s newer seasons, anyone who’s watched the show has asked themselves the same question – could I do that? And now, with an updated version airing this April with new host Jimmy Kimmel, there might be even more questions to answer.
Insider has picked 25 of the million-dollar questions asked on the show, from both the original UK version and the American remake. In the US, 12 people have won the top prize, while five have won in the UK.
Could you win it? Keep scrolling to find out.
Which of these US presidents appeared on the television series “Laugh-In?”
A: Lyndon Johnson
B: Richard Nixon
C: Jimmy Carter
D: Gerald Ford
And the answer is … Richard Nixon.
Nixon appeared on the comedy show while he was on the campaign trail in 1968.
The Earth is approximately how many miles away from the Sun?
A: 9.3 million
B: 39 million
C: 93 million
D: 193 million
The Earth is approximately … 93 million miles away from the Sun.
Which insect shorted out an early supercomputer and inspired the term “computer bug”?
D: Japanese beetle
A … moth was found inside the computer of scientist Grace Hopper.
Hopper’s notes from September 9, 1947, show she had encountered a moth inside her computer.
Which of the following men does not have a chemical element named for him?
A: Albert Einstein
B: Niels Bohr
C: Isaac Newton
D: Enrico Fermi
It’s … Isaac Newton.
Poor Newton – the other three have Einsteinium, Bohrium, and Fermium, respectively.
Which of the following landlocked countries is entirely contained within another country?
B: Burkina Faso
The country of … Lesotho is completely surrounded by South Africa.
In the children’s book series, where is Paddington Bear originally from?
Paddington is … Peruvian.
Paddington was raised by his Aunt Lucy in Peru, after being orphaned due to an earthquake, according to Paddington’s website.
Who is credited with inventing the first mass-produced helicopter?
A: Igor Sikorsky
B: Elmer Sperry
C: Ferdinand von Zeppelin
D: Gottlieb Daimler
The first mass-produced helicopter was invented by … Igor Sikorsky.
The world’s first practical helicopter, the VS-300, took flight on September 14, 1939, in Stratford, Connecticut. It was designed by Sikorksy.
What letter must appear on the beginning of the registration number of all non-military aircraft in the US?
The letter … N must be on all non-military aircrafts in the US.
The US received N as its designated letter at the International Air Navigation Convention in 1919, and the earliest legal requirement dates back to 1927.
During World War II, US soldiers used the first commercial aerosol cans to hold what?
A: Cleaning fluid
D: Shaving cream
The first aerosol cans held … insecticide.
The soldiers fighting in more tropical climates, like the South Pacific, used the cans to fight off the spread of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases.
The US icon Uncle Sam was based on Samuel Wilson who worked during the War of 1812 as a what?
A: Meat inspector
B: Mail deliverer
D: Weapons mechanic
The real Uncle Sam was a … meat inspector.
A resolution passed by Congress in 1961 recognised Sam Wilson as the namesake of the national symbol.
Who did artist Grant Wood use as the model for the farmer in his classic painting “American Gothic”?
A: Travelling salesman
B: Local sheriff
C: His dentist
D: His butcher
The man in “American Gothic” is based off Wood’s … dentist.
Wood’s dentist was Byron McKeeby, who was 62 years old in 1930.
According to the Population Reference Bureau, what is the approximate number of people who have ever lived on earth?
A: 5o billion
B: 100 billion
C: 1 trillion
D: 5 trillion
The total world’s population in history was, at the time, estimated to be … 100 billion.
It is now actually about 108 billion, to be precise.
Khrushchev’s famous 1960 shoe-banging outburst at the UN was in response to a delegate from what nation?
B: The Netherlands
C: The Philippines
It was … the Philippines!
It’s unclear if the shoe-banging actually took place, but Khrushchev was certainly pounding his fist on the desk.
The song “God Bless America” was originally written for what 1918 musical?
A: “Oh Lady! Lady!!”
B: “Yip, Yip, Yaphank”
C: “Blossom Time”
D: “Watch Your Step”
“God Bless America” was written for … “Yip, Yip, Yaphank.”
However, the song didn’t make it into the musical’s final cut.
Now used to refer to a cat, the word “tabby” is derived from the name of a district of what world capital?
B: New Delhi
Tabby is derived from … the capital of Iraq, Baghdad.
The word evolved from the word “attabi,” which was the name of a specific type of silk cloth made in Baghdad, according to Deseret News.
Neurologists believe that the brain’s medial ventral prefrontal cortex is activated when you do what?
A: Have a panic attack
B: Remember a name
C: Get a joke
D: Listen to music
The prefrontal cortex is activated when you … get a joke.
According to The Science of Psychotherapy, “[the prefrontal cortex] has been implicated in planning complex cognitive behaviour, personality expression, decision making, and moderating social behaviour.”
Compiled by Benjamin Franklin in 1737, “The Drinker’s Dictionary” included all but which of these synonyms for “drunkenness”?
The word is … pifflicated.
Pifflicated does mean drunk, but Franklin didn’t include it in his book.
What club did astronaut Alan Shepard use to make his famous golf shot on the moon?
A: Nine iron
B: Sand wedge
C: Six iron
D: Seven iron
Shepard used a … six iron.
Shepard smuggled his golf club onto the ship – only a few people at NASA knew his plan.
Famous paediatrician and author Dr. Benjamin Spock won an Olympic gold medal in what sport?
Dr. Spock was a gold-medal winning … rower.
Spock was on the eight-man American team that won the gold medal at the 1924 Paris Olympics.
How many days make up a non-leap year in the Islamic calendar?
The Islamic calendar has … 354 days.
The Islamic calendar has 11 less days than the widely-used Gregorian calendar, which has 365 days in a non-leap year.
What scientist first determined that human sight results from images projected onto the retina?
C: Johannes Kepler
D: Isaac Newton
It was … Johannes Kepler.
Kepler offered the first retinal theory in 1604.
Which king was married to Eleanor of Aquitaine?
A: Henry I
B: Henry II
C: Richard I
D: Henry V
Eleanor of Aquitaine’s husband was … King Henry II.
The two were together for 14 years, before Eleanor left due to Henry’s multiple infidelities.
If you planted the seeds of Quercus robur, what would grow?
Those seeds would produce … oak trees.
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, there are about 450 species of trees and shrubs considered to be oaks.
Which scientific unit is named after an Italian nobleman?
The scientific unit is … the volt.
The volt is named after scientist Alessandro Volta, who invented the first electrical battery in 1800.
Which of these is not one of the American Triple Crown horse races?
A: Arlington Million
B: Belmont Stakes
C: Kentucky Derby
D: Preakness Stakes
The only race not to be part of the Triple Crown is … the Arlington Million.
The Arlington Million is held at Arlington Park, in Arlington Heights, Illinois.
- Read more:
- I gathered data on 100 games of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ to develop a strategy that helped my husband win $US30,000 on the show
- The highest-earning ‘Jeopardy!’ winners of all time
- This ‘Wheel of Fortune’ contestant blows it after being one letter away from solving a puzzle
- 5 genius hacks to improve your memory, according to a ‘Jeopardy!’ champion
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