Awesome / Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

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    In General... 
  • Pretty much anytime someone wins the top prize.
  • The lighting effects of both the original and Super Millionaire formats:
    • The big money questions cause the room to enter a very dark state with a blue haze on the floor, meant to simulate the feeling of being alone.
    • After answering the $500,000 question correctly, the lighting in between questions enters a different phase. Instead of bright lights and colors, the stage has a very faint purple from the arches to the center, and a faint white on the stairs. Compare the differences here.
    • Reaching the $100,000 mark on Super Millionaire. Instead of going directly to the next question, the room is filled with white lights.
    Regis: "From now on, this is all uncharted territory. No one has ever been here before...It's time to enter the next dimension of this game."

    Regis Philbin 
  • John Carpenter (no, not that one) went through all 15 questions without requiring a lifeline, marking his place as the first person to win the top prize in the world. He did use a lifeline (Phone-A-Friend) at the very end to call his father, but only to tell him he was going to win the Million because he knew the answer, which he gave, "final answer" and all, with his father on the line to hear it.
    • And then, when the show brought back its biggest winners to play for charity, won an additional $250,000 - the best of the three people who had won the million to that point.
  • Joe Trela, who became the third person to win the million dollars, and did so while playing the last five questions without any Lifelines.
  • Phil Gibbons faced what many consider to be the hardest stack of questions on the primetime show and ran out of lifelines at the $8,000 question...and then came back to win $500,000.
  • Kevin Olmstead, who won the biggest awarded top prize in US Millionaire history, with no lifelines on the final question: $2,180,000.
  • David Goodman who, before winning the million, answered the first 14 questions without using a single lifeline.
  • Tim Shields and Ed Toutant could be considered the comeback kings of this game. Both contestants lost on their $16,000 questions on their initial appearances, but were invited back due to faults discovered with their losing questions. Both of them went on to see the million-dollar question. Tim walked away with $500,000 after being unable to identify the last word of the Old Testament, but Ed won the million after knowing that WW2 soldiers used the first commercial aerosol cans to hold insecticide.
  • Not a lot of the audience (or his fellow Celebrity Edition contestants) expected Norm MacDonald to be as good as he was, so imagine their surprise when he gets all the way to $500,000.
    • And would have WON THE MILLION if Regis had just stayed out of the way.
  • Robert "Bob-O" Essig was the only Super Millionaire contestant to win seven figures, and after he answered his $1,000,000 question correctly, the audience erupted in chants of "Bob-O! Bob-O!" that continued until after the following commercial break.

    Meredith Vieira 
  • Kevin Smith from L.A. became the very first contestant on the Syndicated version of Millionaire to win the top prize. He spent 45 years to prepare for his lucky day.
  • Nancy Christy, who became the first (and so far, the only) woman to win the Million. To make it even more amazing, she went through the last 6 questions without any lifelines!
  • Armand Kachigian reached his $1,000,000 question right after Nancy Christy's victory, thus allowing to see TWO final questions in the row. This never happened in all of Millionaire's other versions so far.

    Chris Harrison 
  • This contestant is going for $250,000 with his Ask the Audience lifeline. The question was "While originally there was just Pep-O-Mint, over the years Life Savers have been available in all but which of the following flavors?" A. Vanill-O-Nut B. Vi-O-Let C. Choc-O-Mint D. Cin-O-Mon. He chooses to Ask the Audience, resulting in 84% of them picking "B", with 2% picking "A", 13% picking "C", and 1% picking "D". The contestant had a gut instinct that it was "B".
    • You'd Expect: The contestant to trust the audience and pick "B", since that was his gut instinct.
    • Instead: He ignores the audience and walks away with $100,000.
    • However, It Turns Out: The 84% that said "B"...were wrong!!!

    Japanese Version 
  • Baseball player Tsuyoshi Shinjo was once on a celebrity edition, and prepared for the show by writing the letters A through D on four sides of a pencil. On the final question for ¥10,000,000, he rolled the pencil on his palm and it turned up C. He mulled it over, then rolled the pencil on the floor — and it turned up C again. He went for it, locking in C and won.

    Australian Version 

    German Version 
  • November 24, 2010: Ralf Schnoor reached the €1,000,000 question with his Phone-A-Friend remaining. His face lit up upon seeing the final question, before the answers were revealed. He then proceeded to use his Phone-A-Friend to pull a John Carpenter, chatting casually with his friend before asking to confirm his initial instinct on the question. Sure enough, he was right and won the million euros.

    Russian Version 
  • March 12th, 2001: Igor Sazeev from St. Petersburg became the very first Russian contestant ever to win the Million. What makes it so awesome is that he remained confident throughout the whole game (even in the way that matches John Carpenter's run), though he still used all of his lifelines.
    • The episode with him was the very first Russian episode of WWTBAM ever shot (not counting O, Lucky Man!) when Maxim Galkin came to host it. In a sense, this could easily go in a Crowning Moment of Awesome territory; but, Sazeev's run was aired as 7th episode of Russian WWTBAM version.
  • January 18th, 2003: Irina and Yuri Chudinovskih became the very first couple to win the top prize in the entire world. Although, there was only one common couple of people before who would only get to see the final question: Rob and Mary Beth Mc Nally from the US (on May 17th, 2001).
  • February 19th, 2006: Svetlana Yaroslavtzeva was lucky enough to become the first single woman to win 3 million rubles. She was overly excited to become a contestant and made a few funny things during the game. As she personally said, the maximum amount of money she ever held were $500 which she spent on a dishwasher. Sveltana also accomplished a rare feat to have 2 lifelines available for the final question.

    Indian Version 
  • 15 & 19 February 2007: Prashant P. Mannur used all three lifelines (excluding the flip) in his Rs. 3,000 question, but reached all the way up to Rs. 640,000.

    British Version 
  • 6 September 1998: Ross Jackson uses all lifelines by the £2,000 question, but, answered the next fix questions correctly without them and won £64,000.
  • 9 January 1999: Martin Skillings, who became the first person ever in TV quiz show history to win £125,000, did so without even using any lifelines! To make this even more amazing, the next contestant after Martin is Ian Horswell who won ANOTHER £125,000!
  • 13-14 November 1999: Lance Jones uses all lifelines at the £2,000 question, but, answered the next fix questions correctly without them and won £64,000.
  • 17-19 January 2000: Only once before had someone winning £250,000 on 4th September 1999. Three contestants in a row won at least £250,000. First, David Neale, who first used at lifeline at the £16,000 question, but reached £250,000 with 2 lifelines left, but, used them both and still walked away with £250,000 and became the second person to do so. Unfortunately he would’ve won £500,000, if he had gone with his guess. Next, it was Peter Lee, who first used at lifeline at the £4,000 question, but, reached to £125,000 with 2 lifelines left. He used both lifelines and went with the answer that Derik and Peter were leaning towards to and won ANOTHER £250,000!!! You may have thought he was going to walk away with £250,000 because he is now out of lifelines, but, he knew the answer to the question worth £500,000, and risks it, and became the first person to win £500,000!!! He now decides to walk away with £500,000 because the other questions he was about 90-95% sure, but, not the £1,000,000 question. Finally, Margaret Whittaker, reached to £32,000 with all 3 lifelines left, she used Ask the Audience on the £64,000 question, 50:50 on £125,000, and Phone a Friend on £250,000, and thanks to her friend Ronda, Margaret just won £250,000! She delighted to take £250,000 and run and became the first woman to win £250,000, after only one woman (Sylvia Nixon in the Christmas Special) won £125,000. Two records in a row had been broken.
  • 4 November 2000: contestant is going for £64,000 with all three lifelines intact. His question was, "What was the name of Woody Allen's 1998 film featuring Leonardo Di Caprio" A. Everybody Says I Love You, B. Deconstructing Henry, C. Celebrity, D. Sweet and Lowdown. He starts by using his Phone a Friend, who says "B", then uses 50:50, eliminating A and D.
    • You'd Expect: The contestant to trust his friend's confirmation and answer B, since his answer was still there.
    • Instead: He decides to ask the audience. 73% said B, the other 27% said C.
    • You'd Then Expect: For the contestant to finally choose "B" since all three of his lifelines steered toward that answer.
    • Instead: He was preferred that the answer would be C and goes with that.
    • However, It Turns Out: The friend and 73% that said "B"...were wrong!
  • 26 February 2002: Roger Walker uses all lifelines by the £16,000 question, but, answered the next fix questions correctly without them and won £500,000!
  • 29 March 2003: Isabel & James Morgan on the Mother's Day Special, uses all lifelines by the £4,000 question, but, answered the next six questions correctly without them and £250,000.
    • They would’ve been seven questions and would’ve won £500,000, if they had with James's guess.
      • But, it was just a guess, so they wouldn’t want to risk losing £218,000.
  • 16 & 23 September 2006: Ingram Wilcox who became the fifth and last person to win £1,000,000, went through the last five questions without any lifelines!
  • 11 July 2009: Chris Mapp uses all lifelines by the £5,000 question, but, answered the next fix questions correctly without them and won £150,000!

     Portuguese Version 
  • December 29, 2003: António Franco who won the top prize of €250,000, went through the last six questions without any lifelines!

     Danish Version 
  • October 22, 2012: Charlotte Bircow and Lasse Rimmer who, before winning a Million Danish krone, answered the first 14 questions without using a single lifeline.
  • Anders and Peter Lund Madsens made history on October 28, 2013 when they became the first people in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire history to win the top prize twice.

     Swedish Version 
  • April 11, 2014: Birgitta Hedström who, before winning a million Swedish krone, answered the first 14 questions without using a single lifeline.

     Italian Version 
  • January 27, 2011: Michela De Paoli who, before winning a million euros, answered the first 14 questions without using a single lifeline.

     Hong Kongese Version 
  • September 24, 2001: The Zhou Brothers ran out of lifelines by the $10,000 question, but, answered the next eight questions correctly without them and won $500,000!!!