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"Let's play Who Wants to be a Millionaire!" you may have heard Regis Philbin exclaim to begin the ultra-popular ABC prime-time game show he hosts. But did you ever think he'd be asking the question directly to you? With Who Wants to be a Millionaire CD-ROM the folks at Jellyvision, creators of the critically acclaimed You Don't Know Jack series, make this scenario possible — as many times as you desire.
If you've seen the television show, then you know the rules. In order to win the million virtual dollars, you must answer 15 multiple-choice questions based on anything from geography to Pokémon without giving an incorrect answer. Starting with a mere $100, each correct answer yields a higher total prize amount. Once you have secured "safe havens" of $1,000 (question five) and $32,000 (question ten), you are guaranteed that amount should you miss a higher-valued question. Answering incorrectly not only means your game is over, but also that you've lost all virtual cash earned past the safe havens. In order to keep the most cash possible, you have the option to pull out at any time with the money you have already earned.
To help you out in any questions you may not be sure about, you have three "lifelines" available. The first one, "50:50," takes away two of the four answers, leaving only the correct one and a wrong answer. "Phone a Friend" differs slightly from the show in that it is one of Regis' friends you are asking for help, not your own, but the person he selects will tell you what he or she believes to be the correct answer. Finally, "Ask the Audience" requests that audience members enter the answer they believe correct. The percentage of the cumulative entries is displayed next to the corresponding selection, the numbers having been compiled via an online survey of 50 people conducted in October 1999.
Though Millionaire primarily involves one person, as many players who can fit around a keyboard can participate at the beginning by playing a "Fastest Finger" competition. In this round, players must put four selections in some type of correct order as quickly as possible. Though similar to the show in concept, this part of the game differs on the computer since not everyone has his or her own answering device. Rather, the computer randomly arranges the four choices with players buzzing in when they think the order is correct. Whoever buzzes in the earliest with the right answer gets to advance to the "hot seat" and try for the virtual money.
When your game is over, high scores for the night are logged on a scoreboard. Can you put seven digits up there? ~ Christopher Michael Baker, All Game Guide