Before there was Deal or No Deal, there was Miljoenenjacht. The original Miljoenenjacht didn’t actually have the briefcase element, and was based entirely around an elimination quiz with the last person standing getting a crack at a ten million guilder prize. This is the German version of the idea, although if you’ve watched Miljoenenjacht recently you’ll recognise quite a few of the things that are happening here.
Die Chance Deines Lebens means Your Chance of a Lifetime (well, the literal translation is The Chance of Your Lifetime, but that’s not very English) . It offered a ten million DM top-prize, which translates to roughly three million quid (as a rough point of reference, you can divide the Mark by three to get its value in sterling at the time).
The format has made many changes over the period it was on. This episode comes from May 2000. The show goes out live, and fills a two hour slot.
Is this looking familiar to you?
They’ve even got the top prize present and correct on the number plate.
The truck is driving through to drop off its payload to a big old stadium in Koln (Cologne). The Colloseum, I think it’s called.
The security girls open up the truck…
It’s your chance of a lifetime!
And here’s the stadium!
It is packed with 1,000 contestants, split into ten sections of 100.
Hans van Eijck’s music kicks off here, sounding quite similar to a tune many will be familiar with. And in a special multimedia presentation, you can listen to a rip of it here.
And it’s our host, TV’s Kai Pflaume!
Security guards bring out the cash.
Kai says hello to some people off camera at this point, but I have no idea who they are. Question writer? Director?
And it’s time to give Endemol your money in the viewer’s competition. There’s 10,000- DM to be won. The cunning bit is that you have to pick the final digit, it’s any number 0 through to 7.
The idea is that you have to predict how many questions tonight’s winning player will get correct during the show’s endgame. If you predict correct, one of you will get picked at random for the prize.
He we go with round one, which pits the red half of the audience against the blue half of the audience.
A short film is played before each of the audience questions. Here they’re being asked what the Olympic rings stand for.
The answer is the five continents.
The totals build slowly, and the lead often changes hands every few seconds to build the tension up.
And with a score of 468 correct answers, the red half of the audience are our winners!
They move on to round two. There’s no chance to catch up here – if your team stuffs up just one question, you’re out.
Each section of one hundred is now pitted against each other on a sudden death question.
And section five are our winners, by quite some way!
We’re now down to 100. Kai goes up into the winning section to point out that they’re split into five blocks of twenty.
A further question is asked, and Block D are the winners!
They make it onto the main stage for further whittling after the break.
We have twenty, but only ten will go through to the next round. They are split and lined up at opposite sides of the stage.
The front person from each line goes up on stage to face-off against each other.
These are open-ended questions. Again, it’s sudden death – buzz in with the right answer and you go through to the next round. Get it wrong, and your opponent goes through instead. Repeat for all ten pairings.
This is round four. There are nine rounds in total that the contestants will need to survive in order to win.
Round five has the ten split into two groups of five. Within each group, three will make it on to the next round, two will go home.
A clip of new film Mission to Mars is played. Each group then have thirty-seconds to answer an estimated guess question.
The first team are asked (I think) what the circumference of Mars is at its equator, and the answer is 6,794km.
The three winners are revealed starting from the closest and getting further away.
The two loser’s guesses are revealed as 40,000 and 25,000 respectively.
The other group gets a question on how many days it takes for Mars to orbit the Sun.
The six winners line up.
Kai brings out a wad of notes worth 10,000- DM.
This is the evening’s first temptation. Are any of them willing to give up their shot at 10,000,000-DM for a guaranteed 10k?
On Kai’s go, several people step forward to hit their floor buzzers. But the person on the middle left is the first person to do it, so he is given the money (counted out) and leaves the stage.
But that means there’s a space that needs filling. How are they going to decide who is going to fill it?
Well how else? The Random Remote of Doom!
The lights dance round the numbers then stop. The grid moves on to show the Block letters, and finally a seat number is chosen. The music for this is quite good.
It’s another line-em-up and face-em-off round.
This time each question has three possible answers. The first one to buzz in gets first crack, but if they’re wrong their opponent must guess from the two remaining answers to win. If they’re wrong, then the first person gets to pick the one remaining answer left, which of course must be correct.
The three winners play the clue game.
A question is asked, and then clues pop up to make it easier.
Players buzz in when they think they know the answer. The first two players to two points are through to the next round, the third player is dumped.
But in a twist! The loser’s place is going to get filled by someone in the audience.
Round eight involves putting seven events in chronological order.
The contestants are given 30 seconds to do this on their keypads.
The bloke in the middle only got one event in its correct position. He’s out!
Two people left and just one round to go. Will either of our finalists opt to give up at this late stage for this top of the range Ford?
Well yes as it happens, one of them buzzes in immediately for it. He wins the car and leaves the stage.
Unfortunately for him, Kai points out that had both contestants waited the full ten seconds, he would have offered it again but sweetened the deal by throwing in 10,000 DM.
The money has to be given away, so the remote picks out this man here.
However, there is still a space to be filled. One lucky audience member is about to bypass the entire game for a shot at the money by playing in the final duel.
The ninth and final round is a best of seven face-off.
A question is read out, then seven possible answers flash up on screen. A player can buzz in at any time, even before their choice of answer flashes up if they want to take a lucky guess.
If all seven answers have flashed up and nobody has buzzed in, the answers will cycle round again, but this time one of the wrong answers will have been eliminated (so it becomes a choice from six. Then five, and so on).
A right answer claims you the point. A wrong answer gives the point away. The first to four right answers gets to play for the ten million.
This man is our winner. He sits on a chair on a platform that raises skywards.
He is asked seven questions, each one with seven possible answers of which only one is correct. For each question, he is given thirty seconds to come up to a decision.
He won’t find out which are right and which are wrong until afterwards.
After the break and both host and contestant are standing on the raised platform now.
As you can see, 10m is formed by a 1 and seven zeroes. The one is given for free. Each correct answer he has given lights up one of the zeroes.
The questions are gone through in a random order. As you can see, they’re going to look at question two first.
Which is correct! So that’s at least 10 Marks he’s leaving with.
In fact he doesn’t do badly at all – five right answers means 100,000 DM – about £35,000. Not bad for an evening’s work.
And here comes the money!
In traditional gameshow style, it’s counted out and handed over in batches of 20,000.
All that remains is to congratulate tonight’s viewer winner (who is mentioned by name by the host to emphasise how live everything is) and for everyone to come back and do it all again next Saturday.
This article was originally written in 2006, the following comments were left in the original comment box:
I prefer it to the game it turned into actually. I think that endgame especially is superb.
I do quite like that endgame, but let’s be honest, the replacement endgame only became the biggest show on the planet in its own right.
Music sounds a bit like the Miljoenenjacht music, yes, but also blatantly Millionaire-inspired. Mind you, what 21st-century show’s music ISN’T?
And the audience of 1,000… wow.
I think Miljoenejacht’s original audience was 1,000 as well. By 2001, this was reduced to 500 (according to the page on the show at Gameshow=Kult).
I wonder how long the show lasted for? Gameshow Kult suggests (but doesn’t outright say) it finished in 2001. MJ used this format up until 2003 (?).
I think the first episode of Miljoenenjacht with the DoND endgame was 2002. I’d presume they decided to change the endgame after the switch to the Euro meant that keeping everything the same would have meant doubling the already-insane top prize. (10m guilders, the prize on Miljoenenjacht, equated to roughly €5m at the time of changeover.) And presumably Dick de Rijk had this idea before and they decided to go with it, and… wow.
Dick de Rijk doesn’t actually get mentioned on the credits here (subject to rechecking), which suggests what a major leap in innovation the briefcase element was.
Incidentally, not wanting to be nitpicky, but the title actually means The chance of your lifetime – you had the articles the wrong way round =)
I actually had a feeling that would be the case, but I made an EDITORIAL DECISION to do it my way, because it’s more in keeping with English structure.
Yeah, that’s right.
Sorry, that Anonymous for me.
Incidentally, according to the titles the game is “Die Chance Deines Lebens”
The title states “Des Chances…”, and the header and the link from the front page states “Die Chances”
Sorry, this is being nitpicky!!
No, that’s my bad and I’ve changed it thanks.
For some reason I have it in my head that it’s Des rather than Die, despite all evidence to the contrary. That’s the D in GCSE German coming to the fore, there.
Des is masculine or neuter dative; Die is feminine nominative or accusative.
Oh, the fun of German grammar.
Oh, just noticed.
I saw a clip of the intro to the $2m Aussie DoND and EXACTLY THAT theme tune was used, as opposed to the similar-but-not-identical Martijn Schimmer theme for Miljoenenjacht.