Million Dollar Minute

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Million Dollar Minute
Genre Quiz show
Presented by
Country of origin Australia
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 311 (as of 27 February 2015)
Location(s) Global Television Studios
Running time 30 minutes (including commercials)
Original channel Seven Network
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
Audio format Stereo
Original run 16 September 2013 – 27 February 2015
Preceded by Deal or No Deal (Evening time slot)

Million Dollar Minute is an Australian quiz show which airs on the Seven Network. It premiered on 16 September 2013.

The show is hosted by Simon Reeve and airs at 5:30 pm on weeknights, replacing Deal or No Deal as the primary lead-in into Seven News.[1]

On 26 February 2015, Million Dollar Minute was canceled after 3 seasons.


Million Dollar Minute is filmed at Global Television Studios in Melbourne and occupies the same studio as Deal or No Deal.

In November 2013, original host Grant Denyer resigned due to "family reasons" and was replaced by Weekend Sunrise sports presenter Simon Reeve[2] for the 2014 series, with sound effects and themes also upgraded.


The game is first played by three opposing contestants in a buzzer game played over four rounds. The contestants begin with 15 points each. In one episode broadcast in 2014, a contestant achieved the lowest score in Million Dollar Minute history, -5. He ended up winning the game.

Round 1[edit]

A series of six questions are asked and the first player to buzz in has a chance to answer. A correct answer adds five points to the contestant's score, but an incorrect answer deducts five points from the score. After the questions, the contestant with the highest score is offered $2,000 of "safe money". The contestant is given five seconds to decide whether to take the money, which will drop their score down to the same as the contestant with the second highest score, or decline it. If two contestants are tied for the lead, the first contestant to buzz in during the five seconds wins the money and drops back to the other contestant with the second highest score. If all three contestants have the same score, no safe money is offered.

Viewer question[edit]

From March 2014, before the commercial break, Reeve asks a question to the viewers and the answer is revealed after the break.

===Round 2===

The first game played in the second round is Snap Shot in which the contestants are given a visual multiple choice question. The category of the question is revealed with the three answer options, and then the question related to an out of focus picture is asked. In 2014, a new category called "MDM News" was made where instead of an out of focus image, a newspaper heading is used. The picture with three parts is revealed one frame at a time. If no one answers, or a contestant buzzes in and chooses an incorrect option, the next frame is revealed and so on until the last frame is revealed which focuses the picture. Only one answer per frame is accepted and if the full picture is revealed with no correct answer given then the game ends. It is possible for one contestant to win the game by default if the other two contestants both choose the incorrect answers on the first two frames, leaving the correct answer as the only option left. The contestant who chooses the correct answer is given the choice of $1,500 in safe money or 15 points added to their score.

The gameplay then continues with the same buzzer game as the previous round. In 2014, one of the questions asked the second and third round presented a list of four multiple choice answers before the question was read out. After the round, safe money is offered again, this time $5,000.

Round 3[edit]

Another set of six questions is asked in the buzzer game, and then another game of Snap Shot. This version of the round has three images as the options presented before the question is read out. The contestant that chooses the correct answer is again offered $1,500 of safe money or 15 points. Like the previous Snap Shot, it is possible for a contestant to win it by default.

Double points decider[edit]

Questions are asked under a 90 second time limit, with correct answers now worth 10 points to the contestants' scores and an incorrect answer locking them out for the following question. When the time runs out the contestant with the highest score continues to play the Million Dollar Minute. If two contestants have the same score, another question is read out. The first contestant to buzz in and correctly answer it wins and then the other contestants battle it out by buzzing the answer. If two of the contestants get the question wrong then the last contestant wins.

Million Dollar Minute[edit]

In 60 seconds, Reeve reads out five multiple choice questions with three answers. After each question is read out, the answers on the contestant's touch screen flash for two seconds, and the contestant decides which answer is correct. Once all five questions are answered, five numbers which represent the contestant's choices are showed on a screen and checked one at a time. If all answers are correct, the contestant has won the jackpot. If any answer is incorrect, the contestant will play again in the following show's game for the same jackpot.

When the contestants have won, they can choose to walk away with the jackpot along with any accumulated safe money or they can decline the jackpot and play another game for a higher jackpot. The Million Dollar Minute needs to be won nine times in order to win $1,000,000.

From 2014, the $75,000 amount became a safe level. Any contestants who reach this point on their way to the million dollars is guaranteed to walk away with at least $75,000 in addition to any safe money earned during their time on the show.

From 17 November 2014, the prize ladder changed to include a safe level at $300,000, in addition to the $75,000 safe level, and a $750,000 level.

Win Prize
1 $20,000
2 $50,000
3 $75,000
4 $100,000
5 $200,000
6 $300,000
7 $500,000
8 $750,000
9 $1,000,000

Notable winners[edit]

  • Brydon Coverdale (an editor at ESPNCricinfo), won $307,000 (including safe money) after opting not to return to play for $500,000 on 4 March 2014.[3]
  • Pierre Sutcliffe, won $503,000 (including safe money) after opting not to return to play for $1,000,000 on 5 May 2014.[4]
  • Lisa Paton, first contestant to play for $1,000,000. After two attempts, she lost her third buzzer game and left with $77,000 on 22 May 2014.[5]
  • Jonathan Maher, won $510,500 (including safe money) after opting not to return to play for $1,000,000 on 8 July 2014.[6]
  • Dougal Richardson won $535,500 (including safe money) after opting not to return to play for $1,000,000 on 7 October 2014.

International broadcast[edit]

The show was broadcast in New Zealand from 30 June[7] through 31 October 2014 on TV3. It aired on weekdays immediately before 3 News, from 5:25 pm–6 pm.

Special episodes[edit]

For the 2014 AFL Grand Final, three AFL players Tim Watson, Wayne Carey and Cameron Ling competed in a special one off episode (episode #201) of Million Dollar Minute on 27 September 2014.[8] $60,000 (including safe money) was donated to the The Royal Children’s Hospital in Victoria after Tim Watson answered all five questions in the minute.[9]