Can You Answer These Million-Dollar "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" Questions?

Let's see if you have what it takes to go all the way.

Can You Answer These Million-Dollar "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" Questions?
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When Who Wants to Be a Millionaire made its debut in the U.S. in 1999, it became an instant success. Millions of viewers tuned in every week to watch Regis Philbin call one lucky competitor into the hot seat to answer questions and win money, hopefully reaching the legendary million-dollar question and getting it right.

But no matter how many lifelines they used, friends they phoned, or family members they had in the audience cheering them on, contestants rarely correctly answered that final question. If you sat on your couch thinking you could've won Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, this is your chance to prove it with the hardest and most obscure questions of the bunch. Test your luck with these 20 million-dollar questions from Who Wants to Be a Millionaire to see if you have what it takes to be a winner!

Who did artist Grant Wood use as the model for the farmer in his classic painting American Gothic?

Grant Wood American Gothic painting
classicpaintings / Alamy Stock Photo

A. Traveling salesman
B. Local sheriff
C. His dentist
D. His butcher

C. His dentist

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Grant Wood painted the famous American Gothic while visiting the small town of Eldon, Iowa, where he grew up. He used his dentist as a stand-in for the male farmer and his sister as the model for the farmer's daughter.

When Nancy Christy correctly answered this question on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in 2003, she became the first woman to take home the top prize on the show.

Which of these U.S. Presidents appeared on the television series Laugh-In?

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A. Lyndon B. Johnson
B. Richard Nixon
C. Jimmy Carter
D. Gerald Ford

B. Richard Nixon

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Richard Nixon made a cameo on Laugh-In in 1968 while he was campaigning for president. While campaign cameos on shows like Saturday Night Live are commonplace now, Smithsonian magazine notes that Nixon's Laugh-In appearance was a "revolutionary effort to reach out to younger voters."

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire contestant John Carpenter correctly answered this question in 1999, only using his lifeline to call his dad and tell him he was certain he was taking home the million-dollar prize. He was right, twofold.

Which insect shorted out an early supercomputer and inspired the term "computer bug"?

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A. Moth
B. Roach
C. Fly
D. Japanese beetle

A. Moth

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Yes, the first computer "bug" was an actual moth lodged in between relay contacts. It was discovered in 1947 and noted by Grace Murray Hopper, a computer scientist and pioneer of computer programming.

When Who Wants to Be a Millionaire player Joe Trela correctly answered this question in 2000, he became the third American contestant to go all the way and win the million-dollar prize.

Which of the following men does not have a chemical element named after him?

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A. Albert Einstein
B. Niels Bohr
C. Issac Newton
D. Enrico Fermi

C. Isaac Newton

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Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, and Niels Bohr had elements named after them in 1952, 1953, and 1981, respectively. However, there is currently no element named after Sir Isaac Newton.

In 2000, Bob House correctly answered this Who Wants to Be a Millionaire question, making him the next million-dollar winner after Trela.

The Earth is approximately how many miles away from the sun?

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A. 9.3 million
B. 39 million
C. 93 million
D. 193 million

C. 93 million

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This tricky question used the right numerals in every answer choice, making it especially difficult for Dan Blonsky to get it right. However, though he had used his last lifeline on the previous question, the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire contestant still managed to answer correctly and win the million-dollar prize in 2000.

Which of the following landlocked countries is entirely contained within another country?

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A. Lesotho
B. Burkina Faso
C. Mongolia
D. Luxembourg

A. Lesotho

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Though Kim Hunt also used all of his remaining lifelines on the $500,000 question prior, he managed to narrow down the answer to this million-dollar question to either A or B. Confident enough about one answer over the other—the African country Lesotho—he risked his winnings and went with A. And with that, Hunt became the fifth American million-dollar winner of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in 2000.

In the children's book series, where is Paddington Bear originally from?

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A. India
B. Peru
C. Canada
D. Iceland

B. Peru

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True fans of Paddington Bear, who author Michael Bond dreamed up and put on paper in 1958, may recall that the character hails from "Darkest Peru." He only arrives in London after his guardian, Aunt Lucy, sends him there as a stowaway.

David Goodman correctly answered this Who Wants to Be a Millionaire question in 2000, making him one of only three American contestants to reach the million-dollar question with all three lifelines still available. (He ended up using all three during this final question.)

Which of these ships was not one of the three taken over by colonists during the Boston Tea Party?

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A. Eleanor
B. Dartmouth
C. Beaver
D. William

D. William

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In 1773, American colonists took over three British East India Company ships carrying tea from China: Dartmouth, Beaver, and Eleanor. There was no William ship ransacked, because it didn't exist.

While Ogi Ogas admitted that he had a strong hunch on this million-dollar Who Wants to Be a Millionaire question, he ultimately decided to walk away and keep his $500,000 rather than risk it. His hunch ended up being the correct answer, but being a half-a-millionaire isn't too bad of a consolation price.

Who is credited with inventing the first mass-produced helicopter?

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A. Igor Sikorsky
B. Elmer Sperry
C. Ferdinand von Zeppelin
D. Gottlieb Daimler

A. Igor Sikorsky

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Russian aviation designer and developer Igor Sikorsky is credited with creating the first practical helicopter in 1939, which took flight in Stratford, Connecticut.

In 2001, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire contestant Kevin Olmstead correctly answered this question and went home with $2,180,000 since the final prize was increased by $10,000 for every show that had no winner.

The U.S. icon "Uncle Sam" was based on Samuel Wilson, who worked during the War of 1812 as a what?

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A. Meat inspector
B. Mail deliverer
C. Historian
D. Weapons Mechanic

A. Meat inspector

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Sam Wilson, who Uncle Sam was named after, was a meat inspector from Troy, New York. It was there that he supplied barrels of beef to the U.S. Army during the War of 1812.

Kevin Smith correctly answered this million-dollar Who Wants to Be a Millionaire question in 2001 and he couldn't have been more calm about winning the top prize.

What letter must appear at the beginning of the registration number of all non-military aircraft in the U.S.?

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A. N
B. A
C. U
D. L

A. N

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The letter "N" must come before registration numbers for all non-military aircrafts in the United States. Other countries have different designated letters or letter combinations, like "D" in Germany and "SE" in Sweden.

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire contestant Bernie Cullen used his final two lifelines on this million-dollar question, and with help from the audience, he correctly answered it and took home the jackpot.

During World War II, U.S. soldiers used the first commercial aerosol cans to hold what?

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A. Cleaning fluid
B. Antiseptic
C. Insecticide
D. Shaving cream

C. Insecticide

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This question was posed to Ed Toutant, a Who Wants to Be a Millionaire contestant who had previously been on the show before and was invited back due to a "bad question" that the producers later deemed unfair. During his second appearance on the show, Toutant won the million-dollar prize with this correct answer.

For ordering his favorite beverages on demand, Lyndon B. Johnson had four buttons installed in the Oval Office labeled "coffee," "tea," "Coke," and what?

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A. Fresca
B. V8
C. Yoo-hoo
D. A&W

A. Fresca

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Lyndon B. Johnson was serious about his beverages—so much so that he had buttons marked "coffee," "tea," "Coke," and "Fresca" installed in the Oval Office that he could use to request his favorite drinks without saying a word.

This final million-dollar question was posed to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire contestant Ken Basin, who incorrectly answered "Yoo-hoo" and unfortunately became the first American to miss the million-dollar question in 2009.

In addition to his career as an astrologer and "prophet," Nostradamus published a 1555 treatise that included a section on what?

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A. Training parrots to talk
B. Cheating at card games
C. Digging graves
D. Making jams and jellies

D. Making jams and jellies

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Early in his career, Nostradamus published his Treatise on Cosmetics and Conserves. It was essentially a cookbook in which he offered recipes for marzipan paste, candied orange peel, marmalade, cherry jam, pear preserve, and quince jelly.

On Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in 2013, Josina Reaves was faced with this final million-dollar question—and unfortunately, she lost the top prize when she incorrectly guessed "digging graves."

Now used to refer to a cat, the word "tabby" is derived from the name of a district of what world capital?

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A. Baghdad
B. New Delhi
C. Cairo
D. Moscow

A. Baghdad

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The word "tabby" originally referred to a silk cloth made in the Baghdad district of Al-'Attābīya. By the late 1700s, though, the word was also used to describe a specific breed of striped cats.

Jeff Gross, a former contestant on the British version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, was faced with this final million-dollar question during his 2004 appearance on the American version of the show. Ultimately, he decided not to risk it and walked away with $500,000.

"Nephelococcygia" is the practice of doing what?

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A. Finding shapes in clouds
B. Sleeping with your eyes open
C. Breaking glass with your voice
D. Swimming in freezing water

A. Finding shapes in clouds

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Nephelococcygia describes the act of seeking and finding shapes in clouds. It comes from the play The Birds, written by Greek playwright Aristophanes.

If this one tripped you up, you're not alone. During the Tournament of Ten challenge on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in 2009, Jeff Birt decided to walk away from this million-dollar question.

The most-watched TV episode of all time, the final episode of M*A*S*H, aired at 8:30 p.m. on February 28, 1983, following what sitcom?

M*A*S*H (1972) final episode
IMDB/20th Century Fox

A. Private Benjamin
B. Square Pegs
C. Alice
D. Newhart

C. Alice

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The final, record-breaking episode of M*A*S*H, "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen," aired on February 28, 1983, after Alice, an American sitcom starring Linda Lavin in the title role.

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire contestant Matt Schultz was posed this final million-dollar question during the Tournament of Ten in 2009, but he decided to walk away instead of submitting an answer (even though his guess ended up being the correct one).

A rare example of a word that rhymes with "orange," the Blorenge is a what?

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A. River in Ireland
B. Forest in Scotland
C. Mountain in Wales
D. Desert in Australia

C. Mountain in Wales

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The Blorenge is a rounded mountain overlooking the valley of River Usk in Abergavenny, Monmouthsire, a town in southeast Wales.

This was Jehan Shamsid-Deen's final million-dollar Who Wants to Be a Millionaire question in the Tournament of Ten. Ultimately, she decided to walk away from it, and the top prize went to the final contestant in the tournament, Sam Murray.

The song "God Bless America" was originally written for what 1918 musical?

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A. Oh, Lady! Lady!
B. Yip, Yip, Yaphank
C. Blossom Time
D. Watch Your Step

B. Yip, Yip, Yaphank

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"God Bless America" was written by American composer and lyricist Irving Berlin. He originally wrote it during World War I for Yip, Yip, Yaphank, an all-soldier Broadway musical he had created. Though he never used the song in the musical, it eventually became a patriotic anthem for the country at large.

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire contestant Armand Kachigian was faced with this final million-dollar question in 2003, but he decided to walk away when he couldn't settle on a single answer.

In the TV series The Brady Bunch, what is Carol Brady's maiden name?

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IMDB/Paramount Pictures

A. Martin
B. Tyler
C. Nelson
D. Franklin

B. Tyler

carol brady mom from the brady bunch, who wants to be a millionaire
IMDB/Paramount Television

On "The Honeymoon" episode of The Brady Bunch, it is revealed that Carol Brady's full name is Carol Ann Tyler Martin Brady. ("Tyler" is her maiden name and "Martin" was her previous married name.)

Contestant Steve Perry breezed through his other Who Wants to Be a Millionaire questions with no lifelines necessary, but when this difficult million-dollar question flashed on screen, he decided not to risk it and instead walked away with $500,000. And for more chances to test your knowledge, see if you can Guess the State Based on Its Weirdest World Record.

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Kali Coleman
Kali is an assistant editor at Best Life. Read more
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