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Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Is Ending After Nearly 20 Years on Air

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Is Ending After Nearly 20 Years on Air

Your chance to become a millionaire has come to an end — at least on the game show, Who Wants to Be A Millionaire. 

“After a successful 17-year run, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire will not return in national syndication for the 2019-20 season,” a show spokesperson told PEOPLE.

The longstanding game show, which premiered on ABC in August 1999 before moving to syndication in 2002, has been a staple in American pop culture over the years. If you’ve ever used the phrase, “Is that your final answer?” or joked that you needed to “phone a friend,” those are references to the show.

The show poses multiple-choice questions to contestants with increasing difficulty, with each level bringing them closer to the million dollar prize. Contestants also have lifeline options that they can use once each, including the popular “phone a friend,” “ask the audience,” and “ask an expert.”

An array of famous hosts have presented the show over the years, beginning with Regis Philbin in 1999. Meredith Vieira took the reigns when the show went into syndication and hosted until 2013. She was followed by Cedric the Entertainer and Terry Crews, and, most recently, Bachelor franchise host Chris Harrison, who took over in 2015.

RELATED: Who Wants to Be a MillionaireCelebrates $100 Million Season — Play PEOPLE’s Own Quiz!

The game show has aired more than 3,000 episodes in its nearly 20-year run.

Chris Harrison previously told PEOPLE about how The Bachelor inspired themed weeks on Millionaire.

The TV personality said that after the Bachelor-themed week, he was encouraged to invite couples onto the game show, and that resulted in some of the most dramatic episodes.

“I thought, let’s take this a step further. Instead of like, bachelors and bachelorettes — cause I like giving money away, I don’t mind doing the theme weeks where it goes to a charity, but I find that it’s more compelling, more dramatic, more fun, when it’s going to the people that are playing,” he said.

RELATED: PEOPLE’s ‘Sexiest Doctor Alive’ Competes on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Does He Win Big?

“Half the couples broke up I think,” Harrison joked about the fate of his contestants during the couples week.

A highlight

Read more: https://people.com/tv/who-wants-to-be-a-millionaire-ending-after-nearly-20-years/


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