Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (Philippine game show)

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (abbreviated as WW2BAM, informally called as Milyonaryo)[a] is a Philippine game show based on the original British format of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. The main goal of the game is to win 2 million Philippine pesos (earlier 1 million) by answering 12 multiple-choice (previously 15) questions correctly. If an incorrect answer is given, the contestant will leave with the guaranteed amount in the last safe haven they have correctly answered. However, a contestant may opt not to answer a question and walk away with their full winnings. Contestants are given various "lifelines" to help them answer the questions.

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
The TV5 version of the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? logo
GenreGame show
Created byDavid Briggs
Based onWho Wants to Be a Millionaire? franchise
Written byPaolo Bustamante (TV5)
Directed by
  • Arnel Natividad (IBC)
  • Bert de Leon (TV5)
Presented by
Theme music composer
Country of originPhilippines
Original languageFilipino
No. of seasonsIBC: 7
TV5: 14
No. of episodesIBC: unknown
TV5: 220 (final)
Executive producersVic del Rosario, Jr. (IBC)
Toni Rose delos Santos (TV5)
Production locations
  • Viva Television Studio (2000–2002)
  • Riverbanks Center (2002)
  • TV5 Studios (2009–2015)
Camera setupMultiple-camera setup
Running time
  • 50 minutes (IBC)
  • 40 minutes (TV5)
Production companies
Original network
  • IBC (2000–2002)
  • TV5 (2009–2015)
Picture formatNTSC
Original release
  • IBC: November 13, 2000 (2000-11-13) – December 14, 2002 (2002-12-14)
  • TV5: May 23, 2009 (2009-05-23) – November 22, 2015 (2015-11-22)

The show first aired from November 13, 2000, until December 14, 2002, on the government-sequestered channel IBC. It was produced by Viva Television[1][2] and hosted by actor Christopher de Leon. This incarnation of the show ran until December 14, 2002.

On May 23, 2009, the game show was revived by TV5, with actor-host-comedian Vic Sotto as the new host. The show ran until November 22, 2015.


2000–2002: Viva/IBC VersionEdit

The first version of the show was hosted by the actor Christopher de Leon.[3] The first season of the original Millionaire, which began on November 13, 2000, had its 15th question prize of ₱1,000,000. In 2001, the final question's prize was doubled to ₱2,000,000.

The show lost its popularity soon after its studio, the Viva Television Studio in Parañaque, was destroyed by a fire due to faulty wiring on April 4, 2002,[4] and the show moved to Riverbanks Center in Marikina.[5] The final episode of this incarnation aired on December 14, 2002.

The show was featured in the 2002 film Mahal Kita, Final Answer, produced by Viva Films, with de Leon on a cameo role.[6]

2009–2015: TV5 VersionEdit

Joey de Leon (right) plays as a contestant with Vic Sotto (left) as host

In April 2009, promotional videos and content about the comeback of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? started airing on TV5. Vic Sotto was announced as the host of the show.[7][8][9]

The revival began airing on May 23, 2009. Following the network move, the show was taped in a new set in the TV5 Studio and used the updated graphics, title sequence, and music from the 22nd series of the original UK version.[10][11] It premiered as a celebrity special, featuring 10 celebrities as contestants in the Fastest Finger First—Ara Mina, Mo Twister, Manilyn Reynes, Polo Ravales, Megan Young, Jay Manalo, Nadia Montenegro, Rafael Rosell, Gladys Reyes, and Assunta De Rossi.[12]

The Fastest Finger Finger round which determined the contestant who be playing was removed in favor of auditioning through text entry and mall shows starting season 6. Producers now have a predetermined list of contestants from the auditions.

This incarnation of the show featured different money tree and lifeline formats. The last episode was aired on November 22, 2015.

Top prize winnersEdit

Throughout the original run on IBC, no contestant completed the game by answering all fifteen questions correctly. There were two contestants who came the closest—De La Salle University associate professor Amelita Lopez-Forbes, and actress Sharon Cuneta on December 25[13]—who each answered 14 questions correctly and won a million pesos in 2001.

In the TV5 incarnation, there were 3 contestants who have won the top prize.

Sharon Cuneta (January 9, 2010)Edit

₱2,000,000 (15 of 15)
According to Act 4 of Macbeth, which is an ingredient the witches used in making the potion?
⬥ A: Serpent's fang ⬥ B: Dragon's tails
⬥ C: Lizard's leg ⬥ D: Bat's tooth
Sharon Cuneta's final question

Sharon Cuneta had previously played in the IBC version of Millionaire and walked away at question 15 with ₱1,000,000,[13] splitting her winnings equally in thirds—for the San Lorenzo Ruiz Formation and Learning Center, for the Chosen Children Foundation, and for the sick daughter of her colleague.[14]

On January 9, 2010, three days after her birthday, Cuneta once again played on the show and won ₱2,000,000, making her the first top prize winner in the Philippine franchise's history.[15] All of the money she won was donated to the Hospicio de San Jose.[16] Coincidentally, the 13th question in her game was about the name of the island where the orphanage is located, Isla de Convalecencia.[16] The final question was about William Shakespeare's work, Macbeth.[17]

Karl Jonathan Aguilar (September 18, 2011)Edit

₱2,000,000 (15 of 15)
What is the name of the list of old books prohibited by the Roman Catholic Church for its members?
⬥ A: Index Literatura Prohibitre ⬥ B: Index Librada Prohibantum
⬥ C: Index Librodo Prohibitore ⬥ D: Index Librorum Prohibitorum
Karl Jonathan Aguilar's final question

On September 18, 2011, the Philippine version gained its second top prize winner: IT specialist Karl Jonathan Aguilar.[18][19] The final question was about the name of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum.[17] He did not use his lifelines up to the 13th question worth ₱600,000.[20] When his last lifeline, Phone-A-Friend, was used during the final question; his friend suggested one of the wrong answers.

Eduardo Gaeilo Pajinag, Jr. (October 20, 2013)Edit

₱2,000,000 (15 of 15)
What is the title of the poem by Lewis Carroll that uses nonsense words?
⬥ A: Gibberish ⬥ B: Jabberwocky
⬥ C: Twaddle ⬥ D: Gobbledygook
Eduardo Gaeilo Pajinag, Jr.'s final question

The third top-prize winner was IT auditor Eduardo "Gaeilo" Pajinag, Jr. on October 20, 2013. He said that he auditioned seven times unsuccessfully before being accepted.[21][22] He was the first winner of the new money tree, the High-Risk money tree. The final question was about Jabberwocky, the nonsense poem written by Lewis Carroll. The other options were synonyms of "nonsense". After considering where the dance group Jabbawockeez got their name,[23] he answered correctly to win the ₱2 million peso top-prize.[24][25]


Game rulesEdit

Screenshot of the show illustrating how the question and choices appear on-screen
Payout structure
Question value
2000 2001–2002 2009–2015 2013–2015 2015
Classic High Risk Money Tree 1 Money Tree 2
15 ₱1,000,000 ₱2,000,000
14 ₱500,000 ₱1,000,000
13 ₱400,000 ₱500,000 ₱600,000
12 ₱300,000 ₱400,000
11 ₱200,000 ₱250,000
10 ₱100,000 ₱150,000 ₱150,000 ₱150,000 ₱150,000
9 ₱50,000 ₱100,000
8 ₱40,000 ₱70,000
7 ₱30,000 ₱50,000
6 ₱20,000 ₱35,000
5 ₱10,000 ₱20,000
4 ₱5,000 ₱10,000
3 ₱3,000 ₱5,000
2 ₱2,000 ₱3,000
1 ₱1,000
  Safe haven
  Top prize

The 10 contestants who have passed the auditions play in the preliminary round called "Fastest Finger First". Contestants must arrange the four answers in the correct order stated within the question (i.e. alphabetically, chronologically). The contestant who answers the question correctly and in the fastest time plays the main game. In the event that nobody answered the question correctly, a new question is asked. If two or more contestants gave the correct order at the same time, there is a tiebreaker question between the contestants to determine who advances to the main game.

After completing Fastest Finger First, the contestant begins the main game where he/she must answer a series of increasingly difficult questions. The questions are valued at progressively higher sums of money, up to the top prize of ₱2,000,000 (₱1,000,000 in 2000). The 15 questions are randomly chosen by the computer from a list of pre-generated questions based on general knowledge. For each question, there are four options labelled from A to D. During the game, contestants are given three lifelines to help them with a question at any time. There are two safe havens at questions 5 and 10. If a contestant answers a question incorrectly but has passed a safe haven, they leave with the safe haven amount. If a contestant is unsure about a question, they may walk away and leave with the amount they have already banked. To confirm that their answer is final, the host asks "Is that your final answer?". Upon saying "final answer" together with the selected option, their answer is deemed final and cannot be changed. The host is not shown the correct answer on his monitor until a contestant has said "final answer". If the episode has reached the end of its allotted time, a klaxon is cued to highlight this. Contestants who are still playing the main game would return in the next episode to continue their game.

Over the course of the show's run, the format of Millionaire was changed in a number of aspects, mainly relating to the setup of questions and the payout structure used in the game, along with minor tweaks and changes in other aspects:

  • In 2000, contestants had to answer fifteen questions, with two safe havens at ₱10,000 and ₱100,000, and could use the 50:50, Phone-A-Friend and Ask the Audience lifelines at any time within the game.
  • The following year, the ₱400,000 question was removed. ₱500,000 and ₱1,000,000 became the 13th and 14th question values, respectively. The top prize was increased to ₱2,000,000.
  • The TV5 version launched with a new money tree with modified cash values, but still with a top prize of ₱2,000,000. The safe havens were ₱20,000 and ₱150,000. The same 3 lifelines were offered.
  • In the 6th season, the Ask the Audience was replaced with People Speak. Switch was also introduced as a fourth lifeline in the 6th season. It was available only after passing the second safe haven. Additionally, the Fastest Finger Finger round was removed in favor of auditioning through text entry and mall shows. Producers now have a predetermined list of contestants from the auditions.
  • In the 10th season, Phone-A-Friend was removed. Instead, Switch was available from the beginning of the game. A new format was also introduced where the contestant may choose between the Classic and High Risk money tree. In the High Risk money tree, the second safe haven at ₱150,000 was removed, but a fourth lifeline, Double Dip, was added and could be used at any point within the game.
  • In the 14th season, the questions were reduced from 15 to 12. Unlike its British counterpart, the first three questions were simply removed. The money trees were identified as Money Trees 1 and 2, where 1 is the Classic format and 2 is the High Risk format. The lifelines available were Phone-A-Friend, Switch and Double Dip. 50:50 was added as a fourth lifeline in High Risk format. Also, the three pre-arranged friends were displayed onscreen.


Contestants are given a set of lifelines to help them in the game. Lifelines may be used once only.

  • 50:50: The computer removes two random incorrect answers, leaving the correct answer and one incorrect answer.
  • Phone-A-Friend (2000–2002; 2009–2012; 2015): The contestant calls one of their friends from their predetermined list. They are given 30 seconds to discuss the question.
  • Ask the Audience (2000–2002; 2009–2010): The members of the audience are polled using a keypad with buttons labelled from A to D. They press the button corresponding to the answer they think is the correct one. The percentage of the answers are shown onscreen and on the monitors.
  • People Speak (2011–2015): Members of the audience who think that they know the answer are instructed to stand up. The contestant selects three people to be asked for their answer. A ₱20,000 cash prize is split equally to the selected people who have answered correctly.
  • Switch (2011–2015): The computer picks a new question of the same value. Any lifelines used on the original question are not reinstated. This lifeline was initially available after question 11. It was made available from the beginning of the game in the succeeding seasons as a replacement for Phone-A-Friend.
  • Double Dip (2013–2015): The contestant is given two chances to answer a question. If the first answer is incorrect, they cannot walk away and must give a second answer.

The set of lifelines used per season is tabulated below.

Lifeline Season
1–7 1–5 6–8 9 10–13 14
Ask the Audience
People Speak
Double Dip
  Available from the beginning
  Available only in High Risk format
  Available only after question 10
  Not available

Season overviewEdit

Main seriesEdit

Season Premiere Finale Episodes Host Network
1–7 November 13, 2000 December 14, 2002 Christopher de Leon IBC
1–5 May 23, 2009 October 2, 2010 71 Vic Sotto TV5
6–8 May 15, 2011 February 26, 2012 42
9 July 1, 2012 October 7, 2012 15
10–13 September 15, 2013 January 11, 2015 70
14 May 10, 2015 November 22, 2015 29


Who Deserves to Be a Millionaire?Edit

For four episodes starting from December 12, 2009, to January 2, 2010, a special charity edition of the show was held called Who Deserves to Be a Millionaire?.[26] Each episode comprised one celebrity and a representative from his/her chosen charity playing as a team. Rules stayed the same. The special charity edition returned on December 4, 2011, and lasted until December 25, 2011. Four celebrities have played for their chosen charity.

Date Player Amount won Notes
December 12, 2009 Efren Peñaflorida ₱400,000 For the Dynamic Teen Company
December 19, 2009 Lucy Torres-Gomez ₱150,000 Incorrect on question 13
December 26, 2009 Senator Chiz Escudero ₱250,000
January 2, 2010 Ruffa Gutierrez ₱400,000
December 4, 2011 Gloria Diaz ₱400,000
December 11, 2011 Atty. Persida Rueda-Acosta ₱600,000
December 18, 2011 Tessa Prieto-Valdez ₱400,000
December 25, 2011 Aiza Seguerra ₱400,000

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Ikaw Na Yun!Edit

On September 2013, a week before the premiere of the tenth season, a special was aired featuring the history of the show and its international variants. Past contestants were interviewed regarding their experience on the hotseat. Several clips of the show were also shown.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The simplified title is the Tagalog translation of "Millionaire" and often used by Christopher De Leon in the Viva/IBC version.


  1. ^ "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire: Feature Show Archived". Viva Communications, Inc. Retrieved April 5, 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?". Telebisyon.net. Retrieved April 5, 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ Paras Jr., Ernesto (August 31, 2008). Ernesto on Who Wants to be a Millionaire Philippines (Television production).
  4. ^ Francisco, Butch (April 9, 2002). "Stars who join Millionaire for charity". Philstar. Retrieved September 27, 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ Biadora, Percival (December 9, 2013). "Who Wants to be a Millionaire? I do". PERS' WORLD. Retrieved September 27, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Lo, Ricky (January 20, 2002). "The 'Forgiven': Bong Revilla: The healing has begun". The Philippine Star. Retrieved November 11, 2022.
  7. ^ "Vic Sotto will host TV5's Who Wants to be a Millionaire?". PEP.ph. Retrieved September 27, 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ "Who Wants to be a Millionaire on TV5 hosted by Vic Sotto" (Press release). TV5. Archived from the original on May 18, 2009.
  9. ^ Bossing Vic Sotto hosts Who Wants to be a Millionaire (Trailer). May 17, 2009.
  10. ^ Celebrity WWTBAM UK - 18th August, 2007 (1/2) (Television production). June 30, 2017.
  11. ^ TV5: Who Want to be a Millionaire - First few minutes (Television production). May 24, 2009.
  12. ^ Bossing Vic Sotto hosts Who Wants to be a Millionaire (Trailer). May 17, 2009.
  13. ^ a b Torre, Nestor (December 24, 2001). "Sharon Cuneta wins a million". Sharon Cuneta. Archived from the original on April 6, 2008. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  14. ^ Amoyo, Aster (February 4, 2002). "Sharon nag-donate ng P1-M". Philstar. Retrieved September 27, 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ ABS-CBN News (January 9, 2010). "Sharon Cuneta wins P2-M in 'Millionaire' game show". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved September 27, 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ a b Almo, Nerisa (January 11, 2010). "Sharon Cuneta wins P2M in Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?". PEP.ph. Retrieved September 27, 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ a b Elpedes, Andre (May 20, 2020). All WW2BAM? PH Winners (2010 - 2013) (Television production).
  18. ^ "TV5 shows topped Sunday primetime, based on Nielsen Media Research data". PEP.ph. September 19, 2011. Retrieved September 27, 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. ^ Salterio, Leah (September 13, 2013). "Your chance to be a millionaire is back". Philstar. Retrieved September 27, 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. ^ Aguilar, Karl Jonathan (September 10, 2015). Who Wants to be a Millionaire PH (9/18/2011) (Television production).
  21. ^ "IT auditor wins P2M jackpot in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire". Interaksyon.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. ^ "IT auditor P2M richer". Philstar. October 22, 2013. Retrieved September 27, 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. ^ Who Wants To Be A Millionaire 06.2 (Television production). October 22, 2013.
  24. ^ Umbao, Ed (October 22, 2013). "Eduardo Pajinag Jr.: Winner of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" 2013". Philippine News. Retrieved September 27, 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  25. ^ Who Wants To Be A Millionaire 06.3 (Television production). October 22, 2013.
  26. ^ "Stars on TV5's Weekend Winners". Philstar. December 20, 2009. Retrieved September 27, 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External linksEdit