Hit-TV programme Who Wants to be a Millionaire? has been one of the most popular shows on television in the UK, US and a total of 86 other countries since its conception in 1998.
The idea that any contestant could become a millionaire by simply answering 15 questions in a row correctly, with three chances to ask for help, caught the imagination of the public both here and across the Atlantic.
Catchphrases such as ‘Is that your final answer?’ and ‘Ask the audience’ are often bandied about in common speech.
You can now even play Who Wants to be a Millionaire at Ladbrokes for yourself without having to wait for it to air on television. Over the years there have been some big winners, but also some embarrassing failures.
Here are five of the most humiliating moments of the past 15 years:
1) In February 2001, contestant Michelle Simmonds on the UK version of the show made headlines as she failed to take home any money at all, despite using two of her three lifelines by question four. She struggled on all four questions up to £500 but scraped by, only to lose everything when deciding that the word ‘marsupial’ could refer to a high ranking bishop.
2) On the US version of the show, college student Chase Sampson from Nashville, Tennessee, didn’t even make it past the first question. Confessing to having been out the previous evening until 3am and had only coffee to prepare him for the event, he answered the question ‘What does surge protection protect homeowner’s possessions from?’ with the answer ‘water flow’, rather than electric current, and was on and off the show in little more than one minute.
3) US contestant Lovi Yu managed only two minutes air time and no cash prize when she confidently announced that an owl was the creature which activated its ink sac when attacked by predators.
4) Another US contestant, Natalie, also fell at the first hurdle when she thought Stonehenge was the tourist attraction which required the use of embalming fluid, when the correct answer was of course Lenin’s Tomb.
5) Even celebrities get it wrong sometimes. Bee Gees star Robin Gibb teamed up with DJ Mike Read and the duo painstakingly climbed to £10,000 for charity before losing £9,000 on a music question! To get even that far they had to phone John Inverdale to find out who won the last FA Cup, despite Gibb admitting that he had watched the game on television!