Wer wird Millionär? (Who will become a millionaire?) is a German game show based on the original British format of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. The main goal for is to win €1 million (originally 1 million DM (Deutschmarks) by answering 15 multiple-choice questions correctly. It first premiered on September 3, 1999 and was shown on the German TV station RTL. Presented by Günther Jauch.

Filming Edit

Filming of the show takes place in the Hürth-Efferen city (studio 7), near Cologne.

Lifelines Edit

The show has the following lifelines (it depends on the game's format).

Seasons Edit

Series No. of episodes Time of broadcast
Pilot 1 - 4 (4) 3rd - 6th September 1999
1 5 - 26 (22) 27th January 2000 - 10th June 2000
2 27 - 126 (100) 31st August 2000 - 25th May 2001
3 127 - 226 (100) 14th September 2001 - 18th May 2002
4 227 - 328 (102) 9th September 2002 - 24th May 2003
5 329 - 424 (96) 12th September 2003 - 21st May 2004
6 425 - 499 (75) 13th September 2004 - 27th May 2005
7 500 - 590 (91) 10th September 2005 - 29th May 2006
8 591 - 677 (87) 8th September 2006 - 26th June 2007
9 678 - 747 (70) 3rd September 2007 - 2nd June 2008
10 748 - 815 (68) 25th August 2008 - 25th May 2009
11 816 - 878 (63) 11th September 2009 - 28th May 2010
12 879 - 955 (77) 27th August 2010 - 6th June 2011
13 956 - 1024 (69) 5th September 2011 - 1st June 2012
14 1025 - 1094 (70) 31st August 2012 - 10th June 2013
15 1095 - 1150 (56) 26th August 2013 - 26th May 2014
16 1151 - 1202 (52) 29th August 2014 - 6th July 2015
17 1203 - 1250 (48) 14th September 2015 - 6th June 2016
18 1251 - 1315 (65) 29th August 2016 - 29th May 2017
19 1316 - 1356" (40) 21th August 2017 - 11th June 2018
20 1357 - '' 17th August 2018 - June 2019
Special episodes
Celebrity (Prominenten) 37 first episode: 30th November 2000
Other 18 first episode: 5th January 2001

Money Trees Edit

Question Prize (1999-2001) Prize (2002-present)
15 1.000.000 DM €1.000.000
14 500.000 DM €500.000
13 250.000 DM €125.000
12 125.000 DM €64.000
11 64.000 DM €32.000
10 32.000 DM €16.000
9 16.000 DM €8.000
8 8.000 DM €4.000
7 4.000 DM €2.000
6 2.000 DM €1.000
5 1.000 DM €500
4 500 DM €300
3 300 DM €200
2 200 DM €100
1 100 DM €50

Game's formats Edit

Since September 2007, the host offers the contestant two formats of the game:

  • Classic format. When choosing the classic format, the contestant has two safe havens (€500 and €16,000) and the three original lifelines.
  • Risk format. If a contestant chooses the risk format, he gets an additional lifeline (Ask the One of Audience or "Additional Joker"), but only one safe haven (€500).

Specials Edit

Prominenten-Special Edit

Since November 30, 2000 from time to time special episodes with the appear of German celebrities go on the air. Unlike regular contestants, they are allowed to appear in the show two or more times.

For all celebrity specials see: Celebrity Specials in Germany

Zocker-Special Edit

Since September 13, 2013 the Zocker-Special episodes go on the air. The top prize was €2,000,000. Also, the money tree was changed, with most of the amounts of winnings being doubled compared to the classical format.

Question Prize
15 €2,000,000
14 €750,000
13 €250,000
12 €125,000
11 €64,000
10 €32,000
9 €16,000
8 €8,000
7 €4,000
6 €2,000
5 €1,000
4 €500
3 €300
2 €200
1 €100

The contestant had all 4 lifelines available (50:50, Phone-a-Friend, Ask the Audience and Ask the One of Audience), but only after reaching the amount of €16,000 (9th question). However, the contestant has the right to use one of the lifelines, answering one of the 1st-9th questions, with all the other lifelines considered to be "burned off" and being no longer be available to the contestant during the game. Another difference from the classical format of the game is that in FFF, only 8 contestants appeared. Each episode lasts 90 minutes.

Jackpot-Special Edit

The Jackpot-Special special episodes play like normal, but the task is to win a cumulative jackpot (like in the American 2001 season). At the end of the game, a single participant is chosen to answer a single question, and the rest leave with nothing. On April 20, 2015, Moritz Eckert won €917,600, three went home withnothing. On November 13, 2015, Nadja Sidikjar won the record cash - €1,538,450, two walked away with nothing. It is the biggest winning in German show's history.

Lehrer-Schüler-Special Edit

In Lehrer-Schüler-Special episodes, a couple, consisting of a teacher and a student, participates. In the audience there is a support group, also consisting of schoolchildren. Total winnings of three couples are €160,000.

Überraschungs-Special Edit

In the Überraschungs-Special episodes, the game is played as normal, but during the game the contestants come across various pleasant surprises.

Highspeed-Special Edit

Highspeed-Special episodes feature a crossover between the Zocker-Special format and the clock format. For the first 10 questions, there is a clock: Questions 1-5 5 seconds, Questions 6-10 20 seconds. From Question 11 there is no clock. Also, the participant has the right to choose a classic format (three lifelines, two minimum amounts) or a risk format (four lifelines). The Zocker-Spezial moneytree is used.

Chef & Angestellten Special Edit

Chef & Angestellten Special episodes feature CEOs and randomly chosen employees of a company. The winnings go to the budget of the company.

80er Jahre Special Edit

Celebrity specials featuring the "Deutschland 83" TV series cast.

Großes Jubiläums-Special Edit

This special episode was the 1,250th episode (May of 2016) of the show. 5 players were selected for this episode. Candidates sent their applications to the editorial office of the show.

Sommer-Special Edit

The Sommer-Special episodes are aired exclusively in the summer month of the year. These are usually celebrity specials.

Klugscheißer-Special Edit

The "Know-it-All" Specials, dedicated to the people who "annoy their family and friends" while watching Millionär. They often don't know, that they will play.

Undercover-Special Edit

Five players for this episode were selected by hidden cameras while showing their knowledge off. Casting took place a few days before filming in the garage box in Bielefeld city. Later they got a chance to appear in the show in the classical format. Five contestants are Sebastian Thomsen from Steinhagen, Katja Pollakowski from Bielefeld, Stefan Conrad from Bielefeld, Beatrice Windmöller from Steinhagen and Stefan Bucholt from Bielefeld. Stefan Conrad won €16,000, Stefan Bucholt won €16,000 and Beatrice Windmöller won €64,000.

Winnetou-Special Edit

In this episode Winnetou movie cast and crew appeared.

Weihnachts-Special Edit

The Weihnachts-Special episodes are Christmas specials.

Publikums-Special Edit

On February 27, 2017 another special was aired. This episode was different from the usual ones, because members of the audience appeared in the show. In the audience all the seats are numbered (the sector and the serial number are indicated). The host randomly called the letter of the sector and the number, and the audience members went out to him to compete for the top prize. In total, he selected 8 people for Fastest Finger First: Toni Papenkordt from Paderborn (B73), Silke Schüller from Stolberg (B58), Markus Ecker from Köln (A80), Julia Golanski from Trippstadt (B20), Wolfgang Nisius from Aachen (B29), Martin Yousafzai from Köln (B11), Laura Wendt from Düren (B08) and Angelika Zimmermann from Blankenstein (B33). As result, both Markus Ecker and Toni Papenkordt won €64,000.

Jubilee episodes Edit

As of 2017, the show has aired 13 jubilee episodes:

  • 100th episode (March 17, 2001)
  • 200th episode (March 15, 2002)
  • 300th episode (March 15, 2003)
  • 400th episode (March 20, 2004)
  • 500th episode (September 10, 2005)
  • 600th episode (October 6, 2006)
  • 700th episode (November 26, 2007)
  • 800th episode (March 20, 2009)
  • 900th episode (Novemver 5, 2010)
  • 1,000th episode (February 3, 2012)
  • 1,100th episode (September 2, 2013)
  • 1,200th episode (June 22, 2015)
  • 1,300th episode (March 13, 2017)

Zweite Chance für Pechvögel Specials + Die zweite Chance Edit

On December 23, 2006 (episode 1) 10 empty-handed contestants, Gabi Kuhn, Christian Mauer, Florian Stork, Franz Lauberger, Heinrich Siegrist, Jürgen Neuschwander, Martin Schnelle, Rene Laux, Ute Braunecker and Heiner Keilholz appeared. Five participants (Joachim Dahlhaus, Christopher Kummer, Steffen Burrer, Thomas Jäger, Andreas Lübke) refused to participate in the game for unknown reasons.

On August 29, 2016 (episode 2) more empty-handed contestants including: Sedar Bulat from Berlin, Friedrich-Wilhelm Elstermann von Elster from Mülheim, Daniela Wartini from Vierkirchen, Julian Groenwoldt from Ahrensburg, Johannes Schelle from Tegernsee appeared. Daniela Wartini won €32,000, and Sedar Bulat won €8,000.

On September 2, 2016 (episode 3) more empty-handed contestants Andrej Garn, Anke Christensen and Firat Demirhan appeared. Each of them won €32,000.

On April 4, 2018, other 9 contestants appeared. They are: Alexander Siedenbiedel (It fell from €32,000 to €500 on December 9, 2013 because the audience gave 56% voted for wrong answer), Aylin Turgay (On May 5, 2014 she crashed the 10th question from €8,000 to €500 (had 3 lifelines left), Johannes Meinow (On April 25, 2016 he had trusted his Phone-a-Friend, who put him on the wrong run. He crashed from €16,000 to €500 (had two more lifelines), Karl-Hermann Stein (Loosely, he fought his way through to the €64,000 question on October 14, 2011, entertained the audience with his lifelines, impressed Günther Jauch, but also upset him again and again. Even though he had almost no idea, he strictly refused to take a lifeline. The same at €64,000. He typed and failed back to €500), Michael Hirsch (On September 11, 2017 he could have earned almost €16,000, but went home with €500, although he still had the Phone-a-Friend and Ask the Audience lifelines), Stefan Manthei (He dueled with a lady on the January 15, 2018 for the Klugscheißer-Special to get a seat on the much sought-after seat. Unfortunately, the audience decided against him. Later, he tried still as Ask the Audience), Verena Eifler (She crashed on June 10, 2013 from €16,000 to €500 and still had all lifelines), Viktoria Eibenstein (Under her maiden name Seipp she was in the studio on February 4, 2011 and earned €500) and Katharina Leiber (On September 13, 2013 she fell at the Zocker-Special episode from €8,000 to €1,000).

Then a vote was taken for the contestant for the right to sit in a hot seat. Voting was conducted in three stages (three contestants each). Each of them had its own letters (A, B, C). The one for whom the majority of the audience will vote, has a hot seat and a second chance to earn the top prize. Results of stage 1: A: Viktoria Eibenstein = 51%, B: Aylin Turgay = 26%, C: Alexander Siedenbiedel = 23%. Viktoria Eibenstein won €32,000. Results of stage 2: A: Stefan Manthei = 26%, B: Verena Eifler = 28%, C: Karl-Hermann Stein = 46%. Karl-Hermann Stein won €16,000. Results of stage 3: A: Johannes Meinow = 27%, B: Katharina Leiber = 11%, C: Michael Hirsch = 62%. Michael Hirsch won €32,000.

10th and 15th Anniversary Specials Edit

On September 11 and 18, 2009 after WWM's jubilee ordinary contestants appeared. Oliver Sh won €500 (9th question wrong), Karola Lünsmann won €32,000, both Michael Schüler and Anna Pröschild also won €32,000, Jennifer Martin won €16,000, Markus Bittmann won €500 (10th question wrong), Rainer Koslowski and Roy Sanders won €32,000. On September 25, 2009, the 10th anniversary episode aired. Celebrities were the contestants. Anke Engelke won €125,000, Hape Kerkeling won €125,000, Marcel Reif won €64,000 and Alice Schwarzer won €500,000.

On October 17, 2014, the 15th anniversary special aired. It lasted 3 hours. In the episode, there was no FFF, and the contestants were selected from the audience, by means of a random numerical combination from 1 to 100. After choosing a contestant, he was asked to answer a question. If he answered correctly, he occupied the contestant's hot seat, and if not, then they chose the next contestant. Participants, who found themselves in the contestant's seat had a unique opportunity that, after reaching the amount of €16,000, they could skip answering the 11th-14th questions, and instead answer the €1,000,000 question directly. The only difference is that after hearing the question, the participant could no longer walk away from the question. If a participant chooses the classic format of the game with 3 lifelines, then he does not lose anything, because there is still the €16000 threshold. But if a participant chooses the risk format of the game with 4 lifelines, he have the €500 threshold only. Before the game, each participant was shown a small movie. Each participant, using the "Phone-a-Friend" lifeline, could phone one of three celebrities and former WWM contestants: Ralf Schnoor, Sonja Zietlow or Wigald Boning. In addition, the episode showed the most interesting moments of all 15 years of the game. Thorsten Fischeram won €1,000,000, Stefanie Endres won €500 (9th question wrong), René Zymierski won €500 (also 9th question wrong), Georges Devalois Yepnang Mouhoutou won €500 (Top Prize question wrong) and Oliver Eberle won €500 (8th question wrong). This is the only episode where the top prize question was shown twice.

500th, 1,000th and 1,250th episodes Edit

On September 10, 2005, the 500th episode aired. Contestants Ulrich Wick (€16.000 won), Gisela Hillers (€64.000 won), Jutta Büchs (€32.000 won), Matthias Dahmen (€64.000 won) and Katharina Issel (€32.000 won) appeared.

On February 3, 2012, the 1,000th episode of the game was aired. The broadcast lasted 2,5 hours. The episode involved 4 contestants, each of which was shown a small video. At the end of the episode, one of the contestants (he was determined by an additional FFF) was asked a €1,000,000 special question, but the contestant decided not to risk his earned amount and walked with the money (with the right answer he would earn the top prize, with the wrong answer he would win the money guaranteed by a threshold). The question was,

€1,000,000 (15 of 15) - Not Timed
Which of the answers for the 1,000 episodes of the "Wer wird Millionär?" was most often the correct one?
• A: Spain • B: Goethe
• C: Angela Merkel • D: Blue

The right answer was A. Contestants had Ask the Expert as a 5th lifeline. The Experts were three former top prize winners: Barbara Schöneberger, Ralf Schnoor and Oliver Pocher.

On May 30, 2016, the 1,250th episode was aired. Dennis Beul won €16,000, Sharina Schaefer won €32,000, Marc Schneider won €64,000, Ann-Kathrin Romer won €16,000, and Henrik Rose won €0, answered the 10th question wrong. At the very beginning of the episode, the presenter asked the question.

Special Question
What is the anniversary of Günther Jauch occuring on May 30, 2016?
• A: 30 years accident-free driving • B: Diamond wedding
• C: 100th Anniversary RTL channel • D: 1,250th episode of Wer wird Millionär?

Offsite shows Edit

In addition to the games held in the studio, for several years the show has also been held periodically outside. All visiting shows take place on the ship AIDAprima (it in May 2014 launched) and others of AIDA company. It show developed by Borris Brandt. Hosted by Stephan Hartmann.

One such show is called "Wer wird Millionär auf AIDA" (AIDAsol, AIDAprima, AIDAluna and AIDAmar). In the hall on the rostrum of the vessel, there are 250 spectator seats numbered from 1 to 250, which have keypads. The host first conducts a FFF (using 1, 2, 3, 4 instead A, B, C, D), as in the studio version, then calls the right order. The Fastest Finger from the audience is invited to play the game. He is invited to the player's hot seat to compete for 1,000,000 points, which are related to various AIDA prizes. The version has no Phone-a-Friend or risk mode, with the third lifeline being Ask One of the Audience.

Winners Edit

See: Wer wird Millionär?/List of Winners

Trivia Edit

  • A total of 2,706 contestants in the show appeared (as of June 4, 2018). 173 celebrities appeared since November 30, 2000 (as of June 11, 2018).
  • The show debuted on the exact day as Milionerzy. September 3, 1999.
  • In the German version's history, 26 contestants went home with nothing, including 5 contestants on the Gambler's Special (as of June 4, 2018). One contestant answered the 1st question wrong (as of June 15, 2015)
  • Total winnings in show are €111,583,738 (as of June 4, 2018), €30,714,000 in Prominenten-Specials (as of June 11, 2018), €4,559,000 in Zocker-Specials / Highspeed-Specials (as of May 28, 2018).
  • Absolute winning record is €1,538,450, won on November 13, 2015 by Nadja Sidikjar in a Jackpot-Special episode.
  • Only 3 contestants used a lifeline on the 1st question (as of March 7, 2014).
  • The top prize question was asked 87 times (as of January 11, 2018), 14 contestants answered correct (as of December 7, 2015), 1 was incorrect (as of October 17, 2014). The €2,000,000 question has been asked twice (as of January 10, 2014).
  • 41 contestants took €/DM 500,000 (as of January 19, 2018), and 2 contestants took €750,000 (Zocker-Specials) (as of November 28, 2016). 11 contestants won €/DM 1,000,000 (as of December 7, 2015). 28 celebrities took €/DM 500,000 (as of May 22, 2017). 3 celebrities €/DM 1,000,000 won (as of May 30, 2011).
  • Peter Kruck is the 2,000th contestant (aired on January 10, 2011), and Benjamin Lüders is the 2,500th contestant (aired on January 4, 2016), who appeared in show.
  • In total, the show asked 33,691 questions (as of June 11, 2018). As of March 14, 2011, exactly 25,000 questions were asked.
  • In show the lifelines were used 8,210 times (50:50 - 2,491 times, Phone-a-Friend - 2,388 times, Ask the Audience - 2,577 times, Ask One the Audience ("Additional Joker") - 754 times) (as of June 11, 2018).
  • The fastest result in the FFF is 1,33 seconds (Anneke Harms in 2008), beating the record of Wolfgang Goebel (3,9 seconds in 2006). Anneke Harms had this FFF question:

Fastest Finger Question
Put these words to get the word combinations: Rail, Glasses, Fish, Look.
• A: Way • B: Nickel
• C: Silver • D: Rose

The right order was ABDC.

  • The oldest contestant is 86-year-old Karlheinz Reher. He also the oldest €125,000 winner (February 10-17, 2014).
  • The oldest €500,000 winner is 77-year-old Theodor Köster (February 24, 2012).
  • The oldest 'help' from phone-a-friend is 101-year-old Hans von Seggern.
  • Luis Meyer on May 16, 2003 won €500 and tried to circumvent the ban on re-participation in the game after 3 years. He on April 10, 2006 under the name Reinhold Schlager again passed absentee qualifying rounds and came to show's studio again as a fictional contestant. He managed to make it into the hot seat again and, this time, win €64,000. However, several vigilant viewers called the editorial office of the show and reported that, the contestant had already participated in the program. After the inspection, the participant was stripped of the winning.
  • Peter Kloeppel and Anke Engelke are the only contestants that have advanced to 15th question through all questions.
  • Thomas Gottschalk appeared twice on game and was asked the 15th question, first time walking away with 500,000 DM and later on November 20, 2008 he won top-prize.
  • Günther Jauch appeared twice on game and was asked 15 question, walking away with €500,000.
  • Anke Engelke is the only contestant, who appeared 6 times.
  • Tanja Fuß is the only contestant in German version's history, who answered the 1st question wrong and walked away with nothing.
  • On March 3, 2008, one of the contestants mistakenly took over the seat of the host. The host was at first confused, but then he took the seat opposite, and even when the participant realized that she had made a mistake, Günther refused to leave his seat, and answered the first 5 questions himself. On November 23, 2008, a similar incident occurred on the show again, however, the host did not sit for long in the contestant's seat.
  • On September 25, 2009, a unique case occurred in the game where on the 13th question, Hape Kerkeling used the "Ask the Audience" lifeline, where 89% of the audience voted for the wrong option of B. The celebrity contestant went against the Audience and "phoned a friend" where the friend suggested the right answer, calling for the correct option of A.
  • On June 2, 2014 in Prominenten-Special the Bundestag member Wolfgang Bosbach decided to phone to Angela Merkel (the German Chancellor) on the €500,000 question, but after two unsuccessful attempts to contact her, Wolfgang decided to walk away with €125,000. Shortly before the end of the episode, Merkel sent Bosbach an SMS message, in which she apologized for not picking up the phone.
  • In the German version's history (on December 8, 2006 and on September 13, 2013), two cases are known where the right order of the FFF question answer consisted of ABCD.
  • A set of pictures, popular on the Internet, called "Wie heißt George W. Bush mit Vornamen?" with A: Peter, B: Edmund, C: Torgen and D: George answer's options is in fact was Photoshop contest,