- It has a critical misspelling in it.
- Patrick Hugh's original $25,000 question.
- It is deemed to have two or more correct answers or no correct answer at all.
- It deems the correct answer as incorrect.
- It deems the incorrect answer as correct.
- Tony Kennedy's £64,000 question
A bad question can also appear in a Fastest Finger First question when it has an answer that, considering the question, can be interpreted in multiple ways, in such a way that affects the correct order.
The production team has been lately warning contestants that if an ambiguous question were to appear, they should choose the best answer.
Calling Out a Bad QuestionEdit
A contestant can object the answer to a question as soon as their game has stopped, either immediately after (such as in Honea's case), or after their show was taped and they returned home (such as in Toutant's case, who sent a friendly mail to the production team pointing out he was victim of a bad question).
As stated in the rules, producers may only bring back contestants at their sole discretion, so being guaranteed a spot back in the game is not always assured.
ReturnEditThe way that a contestant would restart their game (if they were allowed back) has varied throughout time. In some cases, the contestant would be awarded the money had they answered correctly and restart their game at that point (as in Honea's case, who received $64,000 and restarted on the next question, $125,000). In other cases, their game would be restarted at a point before the faulty question, usually asking the contestant a question worth whatever they were going for at the time of their loss (as in Jacky and Lawrence's case, who got to play another £1,000,000 question). In any of those two cases, the contestant would have whatever lifelines they had until that point.
At least one time the show gave the contestant the option to receive whatever money they should have won had they answered the bad question correctly, or the option to return to the game and redo the faulty question (the only known person to receive these options is Patrick Hugh, who chose the latter).
In O, Schastlivchik! on December 30, 1999 (New Year Special episode) editors made a mistake. Celebrity contestant Andrey Norkin was asked, "What was the name of the magic institute in the movie "Magicians"?" with NUDA, NUINU, NIICHAVO and NIITAVO as options. Andrey answered B, but right answer was C. As resultate, Andrey went home nothing. Note: This is due to the fact that in the book "Monday begins on Saturday", on which the film "Magicians" was based and filmed, indeed, the NIICHAVO Institute appears (Scientific Research Institute of Sorcery and Wizardry). However, in the film this institute was renamed and called NUINU. In the next program, Andrey was apologized, and he himself was invited to play again, which, incidentally, never happened.
In Russia, on March 5, 2001 a question was asked without the correct option. This is 16,000 rubles question. Yelena Gubar decided to take 8,000 rubles, but Maxim Galkin reported an error and apologized to the participant, telling her that she would continue in the next episode and she starts from the same position in the game. As a result, on March 7, 2001 she won 64,000 rubles.
In the UK on September 8, 2001 Stephen Parker had a £64,000 question with two correct options. He was asked, "What was the middle name of 18th century-born playwright Richard Sheridan?" with Brinsley, Butler, Blake and Boynton as choices. Stephen answered B, but they've accepted A as the right one. Contestant walked away with £32,000. Actually, the playwright's full name was Richard Brinsley Butler Sheridan. Because of editor's mistake, Stephen was invited for the 2nd attempt, aired October 16, 2001 in the studio again where he continued playing with £64,000. He left with £64,000.
On March 16, 2017 Ola Bojarska also had a 10,000 złotys question without the correct option. He as asked, "Which of these didn't appear in the feature film before the presidency?". Options are Donald Trump, Ronald Reagan, Lech Kaczyński and Vaclav Havel. Ola answered C, but right answer was D and she walked away with 1,000 złotys (first minimum amount), but she hasn't returned to the studio yet.
Incorrect Answers Accepted as CorrectEditThere are some cases of contestants answering a question originally deemed correct by the production team, but later found out to be wrong. For example, Tony Kennedy was asked, "Theoretically, what is the minimum number of strokes with which a tennis player can win a set?", with 12, 24, 36, and 48 as choices, which he answered as 24 (four shots to win a game, with six games in a set). However, the Daily Mirror newspaper reported the next day that 12 was the correct answer (as a server, acing four times, the minimum required to win a game; as a receiver, the opponent double-faulting on each serve). The show acknowledged, but despite this, Kennedy was allowed to keep his prize money (an eventual £125,000).
Rejecting Bad QuestionsEditThere are some cases of the show disallowing the return of contestants who believed were victims of bad questions. One such case is Rick Rosner's, who was asked for $16,000: "What capital city is located at the highest altitude above sea level?" with choices Mexico City, Quito, Bogota, and Katmandu. Rick answered Katmandu, but turned out to be Quito (Katmandu is about half the altitude of Quito).
However, he claimed that due to the way the question is phrased, the question is asking "What is the highest capital city in the world?", and since La Paz, which is the highest capital, was not listed in the choices, the question had no correct answer and he sued. The show then decided that did not matter: "After reading your letters and reviewing our research, we continue to believe that the answer to your $16,000 question is correct [...] Of the four capital cities given as answer choices, Quito is the highest and, thus, is the correct answer [...] Under these circumstances, we do not believe that a return trip to the show is warranted in your case". Even though the show rejected it, Rosner insisted and started a letter-campaign. As of 2015, the show has not brought him back.