Campus News

Sixty Members of the Bowdoin Community Compete this Friday to Become Thousandaires

Story posted May 01, 2000

Your Life Will Change
5.5.00

When that message began showing up on fliers posted around campus, Bowdoin College hopped aboard the "Millionaire" bandwagon.

Members of Howard House let the College community know how that day would change their lives when they announced they would stage "Who Wants to be a Thousandaire" at 8 p.m., Friday, May 5 in Smith Union. (The budget prohibits a million dollar prize.)

After months of planning, a Web site debuted last week on which students, faculty and staff could attempt to qualify to sit in contestants’ row. Who Wants to be a Thousandaire Those wishing to qualify took a quiz on the site. Each person answered a different set of 10 questions chosen randomly by the computer from a list of 100 questions. More than 450 people took the quiz last week.

The game works just like its famous counterpart "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." It will open with a "fast fingers" round to choose a contestant from among the 10 people in contestants row. Then a host will ask the contestant a series of progressively more difficult questions, with a correct answer to the 15th question resulting in a prize of $1,000. As on "Millionaire," they’ll be able to "phone (or ask) a friend," "poll the audience," or eliminate two of the incorrect answers from the multiple choices on a question. $30,000 worth of computer hardware will be used in the production.

The students have about $2,000 in prize money available, and they expect that to be enough. The difficulty of the final questions makes it unlikely that anyone will actually win, $1000. Of course, it could happen, said Justin Watras, the executive producer of the event. If too much is won early on, the games will have to end early, he said.

Six games are planned, with 10 people competing for the contestant’s chair in each game. The 60 participants will be those who had the highest score in the fastest time on the qualifying quiz.

Howard House is a substance-free house. Its members are committed to sponsoring campus entertainment that doesn’t center around alcohol. "The goal is to have fun and to bring people together who aren’t usually together," Watras said. For this reason the competition is open not only to students, but to faculty and staff of the College. Co-sponsors of the event are the Interhouse Council and the sophomore class.

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