Who Wants To Be A Millionaire jackpot is now worth just £500,000


The Who Wants to Be a Millionaire top prize is now worth half what it was when the show was launched 22 years ago due to inflation.

The sixth winner of the show was revealed as over the weekend as teacher Donald Fear, 57, who scooped the million-pound jackpot.

When the game show was first aired two decades ago in 1998, £1million was an enormous top prize to be won.

But number-crunchers have worked out that the mega-jackpot isn’t worth as much in 2020 as was when the show first aired, The Mirror reports.

Donald Fear, 57, scooped the million-pound jackpot over the weekend

Inflation of 2.8 per cent means Donald’s six-figure payout is worth the equivalent of just £564,000 in 1998.

Business expert Guy Shone, from Explain the Market, said: “When the show launched winning the top prize would have changed your life completely.

“People still think to themselves ‘I will win Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and retire.’

“But in actual fact unless you are near retirement age £1million doesn’t go very far these days if you want to stop working.

“It’s still a fabulous prize and would shift a lot of worries away for most people.

“However, at some point the producers will have to up the prize.”

When Chris Tarrant launched Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, the average house price in the UK was £69,000, with a pint of beer costing £1.91.

Over the last 22 years these figures have risen to £228,000 and £3.79.

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On Friday new host Jeremy Clarkson announced Donald, of Telford, as the latest winner.

But inflation means he would need to have been paid £1.77 million to match the 1998 top prize.

Donald, whose brother Davyth previously won £500,000 on the show, plans to give away much of his winnings.

He will spend the rest of the money retiring from his school two years earlier than planned.

A total of six contestants have now won the top prize on the UK version of the show.

Ingram Wilcox was the most recent winner when he took home £1m in 2006.

The other champions were Judith Keppel (2000), David Edwards (2001), Robert Brydges (2001) and Pat Gibson (2004).

This does not include Major Charles Ingram who hit the jackpot but was later accused of cheating.

The story of the infamous ‘coughing’ scandal was recently revisited in the ITV drama Quiz.





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