A Salute to Game Shows

Life in the Hot Seat

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Life in the "Hot Seat"

"I feel like I'm sitting on a toilet, and all of America's watching me!"

$300.jpg (9239 bytes) It may feel like sitting on a toilet, but that's life in the "hot seat" for you!   And as any of the people in the "hot seat" could probably tell you, it seems to be quite an experience there in front of Regis.  Just knowing that every question increases your winnings exponentially... the fact that one mistake (except for ones made immediately after a milestone question) will take some of that money away and reduce you to $0, $1,000, or $32,000, depending on your progress.

However, you can always stop and keep the cash at any point in the game.  The cash scale goes as follows:

14 $500,000
13 $250,000
12 $125,000
11 $64,000
10 $32,000
9 $16,000
8 $8,000
7 $4,000
6 $2,000
5 $1,000
4 $500
3 $300
2 $200
1 $100

And of course, each question is multiple-choice, and you have four answers to pick from.  An example of a typical Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? question is as follows:

Which of the following is both an
exclamation and a way to mend socks?

A: Alack B: Darn
C: Criminy D: Shoot

The answer to this question, by the way, is B, "darn".  Final answer?  You betcha.

But here in the "hot seat" is where that famous expression comes into play.  Regis asks the question, the contestant thinks about it, uses lifelines if necessary and available (to be further discussed later), and then gives their answer.  Regis then asks them, "Is that your final answer?" or some variant on that, the contestant confirms or changes as desired, and then it is determined whether the answer is right or wrong.

As mentioned above, a contestant can use lifelines if they so desire.   There are three lifelines available for use.  Each one can only be used once, you can use any one that you wish, and you do not have to use any of the lifelines if you don't want to.

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The first lifeline that comes to mind is "Ask The Audience".   With that lifeline, the audience is polled about what they think the correct answer is to the question at hand.

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The next lifeline is "Phone A Friend".  With this lifeline, you can get our friends at AT&T to connect you to the friend of your choice.   You have thirty seconds to speak with this friend.  In that time, you can ask them the question, give them their choices, or, in John Carpenter's case, tell your parents that you're going to win the million bucks.

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The third lifeline is "50:50".  When you use this lifeline, the computer takes away two wrong answers, leaving one wrong answer, and the correct answer.

One tip in using your lifelines, though... USE THEM WISELY!   You only get one of each, so use them wisely.  You can use all three of them on one question, or you can spread them around.  It's up to you.

A Salute to Game Shows 1999-2001 Ben F. Schumin, Chris-Place.com.  All rights reserved.