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Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Hot Seat. How I bombed my chance to be a professional backpacker!

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I’m always looking for any stupid excuse to go travelling. And a couple of years ago, I had a crazy idea that might let me travel permanently until the day I die! I was going to get hold of a million dollars, one way or the other – even by using a Sangoma in South Africa! All ethical of course!

I haven’t had the nerve to hold up a bank or set up my own scam, but in 2012, I applied online to have a crack at the Australian version of ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire‘, which is called ‘Millionaire Hot Seat‘ or just plain old ‘Hot Seat‘.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Hot Seat

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire‘ is one of the world’s most popular syndicated game shows of all time. I think there’s an irresistible need to watch people flop on a question that you know watching on the couch at home, yelling at the screen! It’s appeared in countless countries and whoever invented the concept is probably a billionaire by now!

When you watch the show, do you think ‘that’s piss easy, I would have got that answer no worries at all?’ Well believe me, sitting in the chair is way harder than it looks! The questions that appear easy when you’re watching the show on television in the comfort of your own home, all of a sudden appear hard. You’re in an uncomfy chair where your legs dangle over the side, you can see the clock ticking down, plus the host and the audience all at once and you have to come up with an answer within 30 seconds!

I had been waiting for well over two years before I had scored my chance to get into the Hot Seat and face off Eddie McGuire, who is the host of this show that was originally slated for 20 episodes, but it’s been so popular that it has just passed 1000 episodes.

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Hot Seat is a bit different to the original Who Wants To Be A Millionaire format, where it took some contestants about an hour of umming and aahing before they decided to lock in a question with an answer. And you could keep going and have a peek at the next question, or take the money and run.

Hot Seat is faster pace, with six people trying to win the million. You get in the seat if someone passes or stuffs up a question. With each wrong answer, that person is eliminated and the prize money level drops. This is a half hour version of the show that is a lead in to the 6 pm news bulletin.

So in a shameless attempt to plug myself and my silly website on Australian national television, I managed to score my Hot Seat episode in early May 2014.

Hot Seat Contestant Audition Tips
The Travel Tart vs The Hot Seat!

My first thoughts were that once I landed in the seat, I was going to have a crack at answering all of the questions. However, when I turned up to the Channel 9 Studios, I realised that I was the very first contestant on in my show. Firstly I thought, oh crap. That means I’m going to have to answer 15 questions in a row correctly, and I’ll probably land a question about the Kardashians which I’d have to blindly guess – and probably miserably fail!

So what I did, I answered the first four questions, then passed on the fifth which I knew so I could give myself the best opportunity to get back in the Hot Seat for another crack at some money whilst someone else could answer the crappy pop culture question. It was the right strategy, because a pop culture question I wasn’t sure about came on a couple of questions later after I had passed.

After a couple more people passed/answered their question incorrectly, I was back in the Hot Seat, playing for $100,000. Not bad money at all, that should last me a little while!

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? I Do! Right Now!

Anyway, when I landed back in the Hot Seat, and with only a couple of questions to go, I scored this question – How many Chance panels are there on a standard United Kingdom Monopoly Board?

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Anyway, here is an edited version of the show where I make a goose of myself on National TV so you can see how I went!

Also, thanks to Channel 9 Australia for granting me permission to use this footage.

Here it is!

If you want to see how many Chance panels on a monopoly board, here they are – I couldn’t resist Googling the image!

United Kingdom Monopoly Board

Yes, there are three. Bugger.

Anyway, whilst it was a nerve wracking experience sitting in the Hot Seat, I had a lot of fun. It’s not something that you do every day! If you do get on the show, don’t take it too seriously. You just never know what might happen! And a lady who really needed the money won $20,000 in the end and so I was happy that went to someone who could do with the cash!

But it also shows how much just plain old luck can be a factor. Later on, there was a guy on two shows after me (there are 6 shows filmed in a day) who blindly guessed 6 questions in a row and he won $100,000. He even admitted himself it was more arse than class, but that’s the way it goes.

Funnily enough, one of the most popular answers with what people do with their winnings is go travelling. And good luck to anyone who wins enough to fulfil your travel dreams.

Some Hot Seat Tips if you’re keen to give it a go!

If for some reason you want to try out for the show, here are some ideas that I think will help you out:

  • This is a TV show – you’re unique just like everyone else..(!) Make sure you come up with some funny and ‘out there’ stories about your life, they will be noticed! Over 40,000 people have auditioned for Hot Seat – only 6,000 people have actually made it to the show, so if you appear on TV, that’s an achievement in itself!
  • If you are called in for an audition, see if you can go on a night when a big sporting event is on – because you’ll have a much higher chance of being chosen to be included on the Hot Seat Register as there are usually a lot of no shows!
  • Once you get through the audition by answering a number of questions, you’ll need to have a video audition. Just look down the barrel and be yourself!
  • If you get called up to appear on the show, make sure you bring a supporter that won’t drag you out to get drunk and fall down the night before the show! Having said that, if you’re a media tart and want to gain some viral views by spewing in the Hot Seat, go for your life!
  • Soak up the feel for the set when you rehearse for the show with the fake host. Imagine people in the audience as well!
  • Once the real show happens, go through each answer that comes up and think out loud, eliminating obvious wrong answers if you know them
  • If you know the question, answer it!
  • Don’t take it too seriously!
  • If you bomb out on a question that would have won you money, don’t think that you ‘lost’ the money. You just didn’t win it!
  • Just have a crack! You’ll never appear on the show again!
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There you go! I guess I’ve ticked ‘appear on a game show’ off my silly bucket list!

But if you’re filthy rich and reading this and feel sorry for me, feel free to donate a large amount of money to my bank account! It will be most appreciated! ;P

Anyway, back to trying to making myself a rich travel blogger!


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8 thoughts on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Hot Seat. How I bombed my chance to be a professional backpacker!”

  1. Avatar Of Bryan

    At least you had an awesome experience! I would’t have made it past the $500 question. Too bad they didn’t let you plug your blog to help become a rich travel blogger / backpacker!

  2. Avatar Of Heather

    Appearing on a game show sounds like a blast – I hadn’t thought about it as a life goal, but it’s on my list now! Great story!

  3. Avatar Of Rebecca

    haha great video! I would of guessed 4 so I wouldn’t of been wining too much money either. I think I may have watched that episode before

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