OK, the SIXTH try is the charm…

As you may – or may not – know, ABC is bringing back “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” for a 10th-anniversary event in August.  There will be 11 shows, and they’re taping in New York in late July and early August.

They also brought back the phone qualifying game.  The game consists of answering five “Fastest Finger” questions and you get just 10 seconds for each one.  If you get all 5, you are eligible for one taping date.  ABC projects that roughly there will be 130,000 attempts per day, the 11 shows tape on 6 taping days (one show the first day, 2 each of the last 5 days), and (by ABC’s estimate) 3% of the pool will qualify.  There are 5 spots in the Ring of Fire (the fastest-finger game on ABC) available to phone game players on each episode.  So if you do get all 5 correct, and you don’t pick the one-taping day, you’re shooting for 10 spots on two tapings against roughly 7800 other people (give or take a considerable margin of error considering I’m doing the math while typing this blog entry!).   So it’s a 1-in-780 chance.  Better than Mega Millions, right?

You’re allowed one phone game attempt a day.  Today was day 6.  Days 1-5 were… suboptimal (going out on question 5, 4, 4, 3, and 4, in order – I kept notes!).  Tonight, though… success.  If I get randomly selected, I’ll get a call on Thursday to verify that I’m eligible, and if I am (yes, I am), I’d tape in New York on July 30.  Now that I’ve qualified, I don’t get to play again – you’re only allowed one successful attempt.

Realistically, the taping isn’t likely to happen.  But hey, given the job situation, having this to keep my spirits up for a few days is a good thing, right?  Right.

If you’d like to take a shot, the game is open through Wednesday night (7/15), daily from 7pm to 3am Eastern, at 1.800.999.7878.   You can also attempt to qualify by sending a video explaining why you’d be a wonderful Millionaire contestant – go to abc.com for details on that process.

To give you an idea of what you’re up against, I’m going to post the questions and options – but not the correct answers (those will come on Thursday) – for my successful attempt tonight.  Keep in mind that if you call, you’ll get each question at fairly high speed… so keep a pen, paper, and a working knowledge of shorthand 🙂 ready for your attempt…

Question 1
Put these words in order to form the name of a swing band…
1. daddy
2. voodoo
3. big
4. bad

Question 2
Put these Alice in Wonderland characters in order of appearance, starting with the earliest…
1. Queen of Hearts
2. Mad Hatter
3. White Rabbit
4. Alice

Question 3
Put these countries in order of total land mass, starting with the largest…
1. Sudan
2. China
3. Malta
4. Nicaragua

Question 4
Put these fruit drinks in order of their introduction in the United States…
1. Capri Sun
2. Snapple
3. Kool Aid
4. Hi-C

Question 5
Put these astronomical events in order, starting with the earliest…
1. Pluto discovered
2. First pulsar discovered
3. Neptune discovered
4. Light speed calculated

If you care to guess, feel free, but to be fair (as these questions are being used throughout the 11 days of the phone game), I won’t confirm or deny the correct answers until Thursday.

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Author: Rob Hoffmann

Occasional blogger, full-time computer techie, radio producer (basketball, mostly), improv tech guy, generally nice person (if you ask me).

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