How to Be a Contestant on 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire'

Here's How to Get a Chance to Be a Big Winner

Who wants to be a millionaire contestant
Terry Crews Hosts Millionaire. courtesy Heidi Gutman/Disney-ABC Domestic TV

"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" is a fairly straightforward quiz show that has seen many contestants walk away with big cash winnings over the years. Once a huge hit in prime time, the show is now a half-hour syndicated game show hosted by Chris Harrison.

Eligibility Requirements

As is always the case, there are some eligibility requirements you'll need to adhere to in order to qualify to be on the show.

These include:

  • You must be a legal resident of the United States
  • You must be 18 years of age or older
  • You must have never played in the hot seat in either the prime time or syndicated version of the show
  • Employees, immediate family members or those living in the same residence of employees of any company related to the show are ineligible to play (companies include Disney, Embassy Row, Capital One and any other advertiser)
  • You must be willing and able to travel to Stamford, Connecticut, at your own expense for the show taping

For a complete description of all eligibility requirements, see the official rules.

What You Need to Bring

You'll find all of the different ways to audition for the show below, but no matter which way you choose you'll have to have the following pieces of identification:

  • Photo ID
  • Proof of age
  • Proof of residency

Applying for Themed Episodes

Each season ​"Millionaire" has a few special theme weeks, like Movie Week or Wedding Week.

Check the official website for audition dates for these. Since the show only tapes from July to November though, these spots are very limited.

Auditions for themed weeks work the same as other ​"Millionaire" auditions, beginning with a written test and culminating with the interview. If you are accepted into the contestant pool, you will be notified by postal mail.

Open Calls and Team Auditions

"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" also conducts open casting calls in locations around the country to find contestants. These usually take place in late spring/early summer, and all dates and locations are listed on its website. If you plan to attend one of these open calls, get there early because the show makes no guarantees on how many people will be tested at each venue.

Occasionally the show features "team" play, in which two people play the game together. In this case, contestant auditions are announced on the website, and both members of the team must pass the written test and the interview to be considered. If only one person makes it through the audition successfully, that person will be placed into the contestant pool for individual play.

Video Auditions

If you can't make it to New York to audition in person and none of the open casting calls are in your area, you can fill out the application form online and submit it with a link to a 30-second video audition that you've uploaded to YouTube. This is great news for anyone who feels too nervous to audition in person too.

In your video, explain in 30 seconds why you think you deserve to be the next contestant on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" --  that's it.

Couldn't be easier. Make sure that you've made an effort to look presentable and speak clearly, and smile a lot.

What's Next

If you made it into the contestant pool, congratulations. Now you have to play a waiting game to see if you're chosen to be on the show. If you're one of the lucky ones, you'll get a phone call from a staff member, and this call will be recorded. You'll be asked to confirm the information on your initial application form and to verify that you meet all of the eligibility requirements. Then you'll be given a date for your scheduled appearance on the show.