Being embarrassed in front of friends is embarrassing, but hopefully soon forgotten. Getting embarrassed on national television is, well, set in stone on video. For those who haven’t watched the show, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? is a game show where contestants receive cash prizes for answering a series of multiple choice questions (4 choices each) in order of increasing difficulty. If they answer all questions correctly, they win $1 million, which is pretty rare.

Players get three lifelines that they can use if they are unsure about the answer to the question. Each lifetime has a one-time usage. The three lifelines are: fifty-fifty, in which the computer randomly removes two incorrect answer choices, ask the audience, where the members of the studio audience select what they believe to be the right answer, which is then shown to the contestant in the form of a poll, and phone-a-friend, in which contestants can call a contact to ask them for help.


Here are 5 of the most embarassing moments on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?. So are you ready? Let’s play... Who Wants To Be A Millionaire!

#5. Does he pick the wrong answer or did he pick the wrong answer?

This contestant got a $500 question wrong. It’s interesting how people can speak a language fluently but can’t identify parts of the grammar of a language. What makes this video confusing is that he uses up all three of his lifelines, with most of the audience choosing "verbs" as the answer, the 50/50 selecting adverbs and verbs (and the phone a friend not helping), yet despite his uncertainty in picking the correct answer, he still decides to go against the audience and pick adverbs! Regis Philbin once mentioned that the audience is correct 95% of the time. Even if his phone a friend contact told him it was “verbs”, who knows, he probably would still go with adverbs. After all, going with the less familiar term that was less popular is a safer bet!

#4. Kitchen items and a hemisphere

This contestant got a $300 question wrong. I feel bad for him, but he took it somewhat in stride at least. He’s clearly embarrassed by his wrong answer and keeps on trying to justify his thinking behind his decision. Nevertheless, the answer was pretty obvious.  Although to be fair it was worded a little strangely. Still, don’t kid yourself, sir. Half a sphere still looks more like a cereal bowl than a spatula. 

#3. Punctuation marks?!

This contestant got a $200 question wrong. She shouldn’t have followed the advice on the $100 advice and should asked the audience instead. Maybe the first question convinced her she had to do it herself if she wanted the question done right, which is why she answered the next question, which was fairly easy, wrong in a confident manner. As a commenter says, the answer is mentioned in the question four times:

“Which punctuation mark is commonly used to introduce a list of items?


B: Apostrophe

C: Period

D: Exclamation point”


Nope, no periods seen here.

#2. Whose ink sac was that?

This contestant got a $500 question wrong, which is the first question (old game format). I’m not quite sure what she’s thinking here when she decides to pick “owl”. Since when did owls have ink sacs? Then again, apparently scientists have not discovered the majority of species on earth, and ink squiring owls just might be one of them. Maybe this woman was actually ahead of the game! Then again, Choice D: Paris Hilton seemed like a plausible answer to me. So many great answer choices. Why was this selected as the first question again?

#1. Surge Protectors

This contestant got a $100 question wrong. Too bad that as a college student, he wasn’t taught what a surge protector is used for. You can see the total shock and dumbfounded look on his face after he realizes that his answer was wrong. He was in complete surprise, probably thinking "what about the water flow? I can't use surge protectors to protect my house against water?" Guess he wasn’t feeling so good by the end of it. 

The Elephant vs. The Moon

Those were the top most embarrassing moments on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?. Questions that could have be answered easily for some quick cash were answered incorrectly, leaving the contestant in surprise, embarrassed, a sudden realization that the answer was incorrect, or a combination of these factors. Finally, some of you might be wondering, “What about that lady who thought the elephant was bigger than the moon?”.



Unfortunately, Hoax-slayer confirms that, as entertaining as the situation would be if it were to be true, it is actually a doctored photo by, a website that doesn’t take itself and its articles too seriously (the fact that the name starts with BS is a giveaway). The real question asks what is the everday name of the Trachea, which she answers correctly and wins 32,000 pounds (British show). If it were a real question, though, the obvious quick answer would be the moon. Of course, one could argue that the elephant is larger in relation to the moon since the elephant is so much closer so it looks larger. That is stretching it for a response though...I mean I'm just trying to help out a little bit. 

A Closing Note

So now you know what to avoid when you go on a game show. Think carefully, don’t try to spend time justifying your wrong answer and don’t over think it to the point that a blatantly wrong answer becomes the right one. Otherwise, your brain will freeze up, and you will start thinking that an elephant really is larger than the moon. And then your moment on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire will be immortalized.