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Millionaire Updates Lifelines for 2014-2015 Season

Millionaire Updates Lifelines for 2014-2015 Season

Millionaire will introduce a new Lifeline for its 13th season. Be sure to bring a smart friend to your taping, players.

Beyond new host Terry Crews and a new home base, the 2014-2015 season of Who Wants to be a Millionaire will be making a pretty important rule change. The show will introduce a new Lifeline, Plus One. In exchange contestants are down to just one Jump the Question instead of the two they’ve had since season nine.

The Plus One Lifeline involves your companion. If you use it, your companion in the audience will join you on stage and attempt to help answer the question. This is similar to how modern versions of Phone A Friend work internationally, where a companion is kept off set. The contestant is still able to use other Lifelines after using Plus One.

This does, however, come at the cost of losing a Jump the Question Lifeline which was, arguably, one of the biggest saving graces for any contestant. It was also a saving grace for longtime fans of the show, like myself, who got insanely bored with the classic format which just stopped working in daytime due to budgets. The endless string of middle-of-the-road winners got pretty old due to the incredible difficulty of the questions.

Just a reminder that because of the Jumps we’ve had over 22 $500,000 questions in the past four seasons and it actually made the show exciting to watch again. There were two $1,000,000 questions this season alone, the first since season 6. Under the clock format and the two seasons prior we had 12. Losing that Jump is going to impact the game severely this season and it screams of budget cuts.

The below happened because of the Jumps and it was probably one of the most exciting moments the show has had in close to a decade. Odds are you won’t be seeing this again and you can’t tell me you won’t miss it. You can find the official rules in their entirety here.



  1. Tim

    Apparently the people in charge of WWTBAM felt that one contestant making it to the million-dollar question last season was one too many.

  2. Jay

    I agree with the budget sentiment. Moving to CT wreaked of budget issues. As for the lifeline, itself…it reminds me of “21” (Maury’s version) where a family member or friend came onto the stage.

  3. Wayne_Stevens

    There were three if you count the celebrity game.

  4. John C

    I like this new lifeline, but I think they should continue with 2 Jump the Questions and Ask the Audience for the first 10 questions, and then give the Plus One lifeline to use for one of the final four questions. It’s almost impossible to get the million without lifelines, as we have seen.

  5. John C

    Chip’s question was the second and last of the season, unless there’s another I missed or I’m not thinking of.

  6. pacdude

    Spoken like someone who doesn’t have to worry about a budget!

  7. John C

    How much would doing that affect the budget exactly? They’d see a few more $100,000 winners and possibly higher, but that’s provided the contestants even get past the first 10 questions and then know at least one answer in the Classic Millionaire round or have someone with them who is helpful when using the Plus One lifeline.

  8. ooboh

    I say it should be 15 questions to the million:
    Scramble Mode: $100, $500, $1,000, $2,000, $3,000, $4,000, $5,000, $10,000, $15,000, $25,000, $50,000.

    Classic Millionaire: $128,000, $256,000, $512,000, $1m.

    And by the way, if a contestant gets anything wrong in Classic Millionaire, they drop to the highest amount they got correctly in round 1, instead of the usual $25,000. Also, there are more questions to get to the million, so they could possibly be saving money.
    What do you think, Cory, pacdude?

  9. pacdude

    The more help a contestant has to get to round two, the more likely they are to leave with more than $25,000. Simple as that.

  10. pacdude

    I say that’s a terrible money tree.

  11. ooboh

    GAAAAHHH! What’s wrong with it?

  12. CarShark

    I think that the loss of the second Jump the Question would not be as profound if the The Powers That Be on the show did not insist on asking such off-the-wall questions.

  13. Wayne_Stevens

    Even those that must worry about a budget need to worry about keeping and growing their audience.

  14. Wayne_Stevens

    I agree they still have some really off the wall questions, but the past three seasons the writing has been much improved.

    I’m hoping to finally get the call this year, and I know I have a 21% chance of getting to round two without a lifeline. I’m disappointed I won’t have two jumps since I get 50% of level two questions correct, and was 3 of 3 on million dollar questions this year.

  15. WilliamPorygon .

    For starters, the first question in Classic Millionaire only raises the bank by $12,400 if you didn’t jump any Round 1 questions. Also, dropping to the round 1 bank value on a miss in Classic Millionaire would destroy the budget. There’s no risk in guessing at the $128K level, and the $90K+ most contestants will have locked in upon reaching that point is way too high of a consolation prize for someone who gives a wrong answer.

  16. ooboh

    Now, I revised it. Instead of the $31,400 jump if the maximum bank was achieved, now it’s a $42,650 jump, higher than anything in round 1.

  17. hhh5313

    —- I am not a fan of the new lifeline. Since the new game began in Sep. 2010 contestants usually (much close to always than just over half) have 2 very obscure and 1 slightly obscure question(s) in their round 1 questions. I have a hard time believing the in studio phone a friend (which the helper really is) will get any of the 3 obscure questions right. Therefore, I expect a lot of contestants to quit 1 question sooner. Some contestants for the season ended May 2014 seemed to occasionally get 2 slightly obscure questions one very obscure one.
    —- I feel the show will try to convince the viewers that the in studio phone a friend is an improvement, but will not be. After going over the new lifeline, I think it is a way for the show to save money by having people quit 1 question sooner or perhaps random guess, instead of using what would have been a second jump the question, and winning back their money, except for $1,000 or , less likely, $25,000. If they really wanted to make those that study the new lifeline like it, they should have added the in studio phone a friend to the 2 jumps and the ask the audience. It also makes me believe this coming season will not end the legitimate $1,000,000 losing streak (Mar. or May 2003) on the syndicated show.

  18. antonspivack

    Well John Carpenter reaches the million with only Phone a Friend, which he clearly didn’t need. Of course the questions were easy back then.

  19. Wayne_Stevens

    Finally got a chance to figure it out…there were only two contestants to make it to the $1m question, the 3rd question this year went to an audience member as the “real” contestant walked with $500k.

    The question was about Napoleon.

  20. agitatedjaguarsfan

    I know I’ll probably get raked over the coals for saying this, but… it’s time for Millionaire to just die already. As it is, the show is a zombie. It’s far outstays its welcome, the format is nigh-unrecognizable from its heyday, and we all know nobody will ever win the top prize again unless they have another BS tournament. I completely understand Cedric jumping ship when he did.

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