For many people, the chance to win a big cash prize on a TV quiz show is the dream.
A few grand or more just for answering a few questions on the telly? That’s a new holiday, or a student debt paid off, or a deposit on a flat/cupboard in London.
What you don’t think about in these situations is what happens if you lose, like that Wheel of Fortune contestant who unsolved a puzzle, or this incredible answer on Pointless.
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?has returned to our screens, with Jeremy Clarkson replacing Chris Tarrant at the helm, and it hasn’t taken too long for a contestant to lose heaps with one wrong answer.
In the past, answering the £64,000 question incorrectly would have been no big deal – at that stage in the show, you used to get a free hit after arriving at the £32,000 safety net.
However, the new format allows you to set your own safety net, which made the stakes much higher for contestant Lynn Buckingham, who set hers at £64,000.
She had used two lifelines to reach £32,000 and, in order to hit the safety net, she needed to correctly answer the question the following question:
Who preceded Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary: Liam Fox, Philip Hammond, Kenneth Clarke or William Hague?
After using the new ‘Ask the Host’ lifeline to no avail – Clarkson had no idea – she turned to her husband Ian as her ‘Phone a Friend’.
Ian thought it was Philip Hammond, which meant there was a problem: Lynn had earlier ruled that answer out - and she stuck to her guns. She could have just taken the £32,000, but instead she went for Hague and, as you’ve probably guessed, she should have listened to her husband.
Losing £31,000 is bad enough, but losing that amount after ignoring your husband’s advice doesn’t feel like the sort of thing you can forget in a hurry, and she duly exclaimed, “he’s gonna kill me!”
Indeed, Clarkson joked that she “probably shouldn’t go home” after the mistake.
Since Who Wants to be a Millionaire? returned to our screens, no contestant has taken home more than £32,000.
In the original version of the show, just five people took home the £1,000,000 top prize and a further eight earned themselves half a million, but the new safety net rules have already shaken things up quite a bit.