Date: 15th December 2000
Beginning on Jan. 4, the producers of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire will add $10,000 for every night the show airs that there is not a grand-prize winner. Thus, on the Jan. 4 show, contestants will be playing for a top prize of $1,710,000 (taking into account the 71 days that have elapsed since July 11, the last time the jackpot was won); on the following day, $1,720,000, etc. Producer Michael Davies told today's (Friday) USA Today, "We came on the air as the top prize-giver. ... And we sort of feel the $1 million prize is not as unique as it used to be. Because this show is so profitable, we frankly have the money to do that." Reporting on the new wrinkle in the game show, the Wall Street Journal commented, "It seems unlikely that adding more loot to the show will fix the network's primary concern, which is the show's aging audience. Since its premiere last year, Millionaire fans have gotten a lot older. The median viewer now is 54 years old for all four nights of the hourlong show, compared with 48 years old last season."
Source: Studio Briefing