Bermudian viewers have watched with rapt attention in recent years as people from California to Maine ask the audience, phone friends or take fifty-fifty in their quest for wealth. Until now, though, locals could only join in by yelling the answers at the TV as the real contestants floundered. Now, though, that is set to change.
The name may be different but the format is the same. Who Wants To Be A Billionaire, to be shown on VPL TV, will give ordinary Bermudians who happen to be cabinet members the chance to win a cut of the prize money.
“The lure is for contestants to win a significant enough amount to create a very desirable lifestyle simply by applying their knowledge of trivia. However, it quickly became clear that a million doesn’t go far in a country where a weekly shop costs more than the average annual salary in poorer nations such as New Zealand and Canada,” said VPL General Manager Drew Anchor.
Questions will start off easy, but anyone expecting to score the big prize could be required to answer questions about literature, science, the arts and entertainment.
“Very few people around the world have won a million but plenty have won significant amounts. Not every Bermudian competitor can expect to be an overnight billionaire but most can expect at least a new Vuitton handbag or even enough to buy fresh milk for a year or two,” continued Anchor.
Anchor denied that problems with the pilot show would make the format impossible in Bermuda. Admitting that $800 million in prize money remained unaccounted for, he put the problem down to teething troubles and said they would be ironed out by the time the series starts next week.
Biggest winner in the trial, a cabinet special, was Emperor P, whose thrilling dash for dollars was only caught short when he was unable to spell ‘accountability.’ In spite of that, he was able to come away with $1.5 million. Other questions that thwarted contestants included a request to name 10 constituents (Perry Blister) and who has right of way at a roundabout (even the audience couldn’t help Power Fox with that toughie).
Who Wants To Be A Billionaire screens from next Thursday on VPL TV.