Millionaire Hot Seat

Hot Seat
Wwtbam australia hotseat logo.jpg
Logo of Millionare Hot Seat (2009 - present)
Also known as Millionaire Hot Seat
Genre Game show
Presented by Eddie McGuire
Country of origin Australia
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 575 (as of 16 November 2011)
Location(s) GTV-9 Melbourne, Victoria (2009-2010)
Docklands Studios Melbourne (2011-present)
Running time 22 minutes
Original channel Nine Network
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audio format Stereo
Original run 20 April 2009 – present
Preceded by Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
1 vs. 100
External links
Question Value
1 "$100" ($0)
2 "$200" ($0)
3 "$300" ($0)
4 "$500" ($0)
5 $1,000
6 "$1,500" ($1,000)
7 "$2,500" ($1,000)
8 "$4,000" ($1,000)
9 "$6,000" ($1,000)
10 $10,000
11 $20,000
12 $50,000
13 $100,000
14 $250,000
15 $1,000,000

Hot Seat (also known as Millionaire Hot Seat) is a spin-off of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire that began airing on Australia's Nine Network on 20 April 2009, and is hosted by Eddie McGuire, as with the original version of the show. Including a special prime time edition that aired on 8 June 2009.



Rumours about a new shortened version of Millionaire first began circulating in February 2009,[1] and were confirmed when the Nine Network produced a pilot version of the format titled Millionaire: Russian Roulette in March 2009.[2] The official title was announced as Millionaire Hot Seat,[2] but this was later shortened to simply Hot Seat.[3] The new format was originally promoted as a short-run series,[4] with advertisements featuring McGuire exclaiming “20 nights! $20 million dollars!”.[4] It was announced on 7 April 2009 that Hot Seat would begin airing on 20 April 2009, in the 5:30 pm6:00 pm weeknight timeslot,[5][6] and would compete against the high-rating game show, Deal or No Deal, on the Seven Network.[5][6] As expected, the show's format was shortened to 30 minutes, and given an overhaul of the rules and gameplay, in a system based on the Italian version of the show.

The Nine Network commissioned a second series of the show, to begin airing the week after the original 20-episode order had finished airing on 15 May 2009.[7] The second series began airing on 18 May 2009, and it is unclear how many episodes it will contain.[7]

A special prime time edition of Hot Seat aired at 8:00 pm on Monday, 8 June 2009,[8] featuring a contestant, Barry Soraghan, playing for the format's first million-dollar question.[9] Ultimately, Soraghan answered the question incorrectly, and won only $1,000.[9] At the completion of the taped episode, Soraghan was visited live on air at his Blackburn home by McGuire,[9] who then awarded him a two-week holiday for him and his family, as well as $5,000 in spending money.[9] The episode achieved a ratings figure of 1,224,000 viewers nationally,[10] and was the eleventh-highest rating program for the night,[10] which was a vast improvement from the 812,000 viewers that Hot Seat managed in its regular timeslot on the same night.[10]

Hot Seat was originally filmed in the iconic Studio 9 at the GTV9 Richmond premises, however as of February 2011, it has been filmed at GTV9's new home at Docklands Studios Melbourne. The show's 500th episode went to air on 3 August 2011; that day's contestant won $100,000.

On 15 August 2011 the four remaining couples from the 2011 season of The Block appeared on the show, attempting to win $1,000,000 for charity. But the final couple in the hot seat faltered on the $2,500 question, marking the worst ever performance by any contestant in Hot Seat history (much in the same manner in which The Mole contestants produced a record-low $14,100 on The Weakest Link: The Mole Special back in 2002). The last couple won only $1,000 for their charity.

On 3 October 2011, a Farmer Wants a Wife special went to air, ahead of the final that was to air later that night. Farmer Frank, the last contestant in the Hot Seat, had a chance to win $100,000 for his charity but lost, winning only $1,000 for the Royal Flying Doctors Services.


Designed to be a faster-paced game than the traditional format, Hot Seat essentially involves 6 contestants playing each episode, with each taking turns to climb the money tree. The traditional three lifelines are replaced by a single "pass", which can pass the current question to the next contestant in line (who cannot pass the question further). Each question is also given a time limit, with 15 seconds allocated for the first five questions, 30 for the middle five, and 45 for the last five. If a player fails to give out an answer in the time limit, it is considered an automatic pass. If that question can't be passed on, that player is eliminated and the highest value on the money tree is removed. (This format is considered to be similar to the gameplay of The Weakest Link, in the manner that "weak" contestants should pass if they are unsure of a question and that the "strong" contestant wins the money on offer.) The money tree is given a total renovation (see right), with all amounts between $1,000 and $1,000,000 (not inclusive) reduced, and the 10th question milestone is removed. If one of the contestants answers a question incorrectly, they are eliminated, leave with nothing, and the highest value remaining on the money tree is removed.

In the case that the first contestant answers the first five questions correctly they are awarded with an additional $1000.

The game ends either when all contestants are eliminated, or when the question for the highest value in the money tree is answered. If this last question is answered correctly, the answering player receives the amount of money. If it is answered incorrectly or not answered in time, the last player to be eliminated receives either nothing (which means that nobody receives any prize money for that show), or $1,000 if the 5th question milestone is reached. No final contestant has ever gone away empty-handed.

In one episode, a contestant gave an answer to the final question, however McGuire told the contestant that she hadn't answered it in time and checked with the producers if this was a 'pass', or to give her the $1,000 as it was the last question. While the decision was being made, the contestant insisted that she had two seconds left on the clock. In the end, the contestant walked home with the $1,000.[11]

In another episode, one of the contestants waiting in line had to leave the show due to family reasons. At the time, the $1,000,000 top prize was still in play. That contestant came back a few weeks later, in which a $250,000 win was achieved by contestant Dave Bowyer. In addition, contestants that don't get the chance to answer questions are often invited back a few weeks later.

During the second half of 2011, audio and visual questions were introduced to the format. Either an audio or a visual question would be asked once per episode, usually towards the beginning of the game.

Notable contestants

No contestant has yet won the $1,000,000 top prize.

Final question incorrect

  • Barry Soraghan: 8 June 2009 (Hot Seat Edition) (entered Hot Seat at the 3rd question)
$1 Million (15 of 15) - 0:45 time limit
Which of Hollywood's four Warner brothers died on the eve of their landmark premiere of "The Jazz Singer"?
• A: Albert • B: Harry
• C: Jack • D: Sam
  • Paul Wolfenden: 14 June 2010 (Hot Seat Edition) (entered Hot Seat at the 9th question)
$1 Million (15 of 15) - 0:45 time limit
Famous for his Chinese Theatre, Sid Grauman had earlier opened which Hollywood theatre, in 1922?
• A: French • B: Egyptian
• C: Roman • D: Arabian
  • Jim Graham: 20 June 2011 (Hot Seat Edition) (entered Hot Seat at the 2nd question)
$1 Million (15 of 15) - 0:45 time limit
On the current flag of the United Nations, which country is shown closest to the top of the flag?
• A: New Zealand • B: Norway
• C: Chile • D: Iceland


  1. ^ Knox, David (17 February 2009). "Rumour: A new look Millionaire?". Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Knox, David (20 March 2009). "Eddie locks in Millionaire". Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  3. ^ Knox, David (14 April 2009). "‘Millionaire’ not locked in for Eddie". Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Knox, David (6 April 2009). "Millionaire: “20 nights! $20M!”". Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  5. ^ a b Knox, David (7 April 2009). "Game on. It’s Eddie v Andrew". Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  6. ^ a b Devlyn, Darren (8 April 2009). "Eddie McGuire and Andrew O'Keefe to go head to head". Herald Sun.,,25305874-2902,00.html. Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  7. ^ a b Knox, David (1 May 2009). "More Hot Seat for Eddie". Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  8. ^ Knox, David (5 June 2009). "Hot Seat goes primetime, for now.". Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  9. ^ a b c d Deery, Shannon (9 June 2009). "Barry Soraghan misses million". Herald Sun.,21985,25607609-5006022,00.html. Retrieved 11 June 2009. [dead link]
  10. ^ a b c Knox, David (8 June 2009). "Week 24". Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  11. ^ Knox, David (4 July 2009). "Lock it in, Eddie". Retrieved 7 December 2009. 

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