Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
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History[change | change source]
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? aired for the first time on 4 September 1998 in the United Kingdom. The UK show is hosted by Chris Tarrant. It had its biggest ratings in March 1999 when more than 19 million were watching the show.
National variants[change | change source]
More than 100 countries around the world have bought the license and air local versions of the show, including Australia, Bulgaria, Germany, Poland, Russia, United States. The United States version became a big hit when Regis Philbin started hosting it in 1999. John Carpenter, a man who worked for the IRS, became the first person to win the grand prize of $1,000,000 in 1999. Philbin hosted the show until 2002. A syndicated version of the show has aired since 2002. It is hosted by Meredith Vieira.
Each country airs the show under the same rules. They all have the same studio design.
In Australia, a spin-off called Millionaire Hot Seat has aired since 2009.