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Midday Money

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There are many little games within morning magazine shows1 that offer the viewer the chance to win a big valuable prize, the holiday of a lifetime, or indeed, lots of money, if you answer a predetermined number of questions correctly, or indeed, as many questions as you can in a certain time limit. One such game, from such a morning magazine programme in the UK called This Morning, is 'Midday Money'.

How to Be a Contestant on 'Midday Money'

As the name of the game suggests, it is played at midday2. An hour or two beforehand, the presenters of This Morning will set a question. Contestants must phone in and answer it correctly in order to be given the chance to participate. A sample question could be as follows:

What is Lake Windermere?
Is it:

  1. A football pitch
  2. A lake
  3. A tree

At midday, a name will be selected at random from all those who phoned in with the correct answer. This person will be phoned up, and the game will then commence.

What is 'Midday Money'?

The objective of 'Midday Money' is to answer as many questions as possible in a predetermined time-limit. For every question that the contestant answers correctly, they win £1000. The more questions answered, the more money they will eventually receive.

The Questions

The questions asked are general knowledge questions which encompass everything from politics to popular culture. Here are a few sample questions that span all of the topics covered in the show.

Who is the Prime Minister of Britain; Tony Blair or Lionel Blair?
What date is Christmas Day?
What is 2+1?
Was Einstein a scientist or a used-car salesman?
What sport is played at Wimbledon; tennis or snooker?
Who painted the Mona Lisa; Leonardo da Vinci or Leo Sayer?
What is my name?
The 10 o'clock news can be seen at what time?
What animal is Felix the Cat?

Even though these questions are samples, they are of an equal difficulty level to the actual questions asked.

Time is an Illusion, Lunchtime Doubly So...

The contestant has a minute to answer all the questions that the presenters throws at them. However, the interpretation of the minute as the major unit of time in the game is very creative. Even after the full 60 seconds is up, the presenters will allow the contestants another five or so questions, often discarding the ones that they think are, quote, 'too hard'.

Redefining Correct

The term 'correct' has, in this game, been interpreted in an entirely original fashion. The primary sense is:

Correct adj. [adjective] 1. true, right, accurate
- The Oxford English Dictionary

Within the game, the definition of 'correct' is slightly different. It may be sufficient to answer 'correctly' when you have given an apparently partly-true, partly-right or partly-accurate answer. The proportion of your answer which must be true, right or accurate to successfully give a 'correct' answer is at the presenter's discretion.


'Midday Money' is probably the most berated game for the difficulty level of the questions, and has been parodied on a Saturday morning radio show, on BBC Radio 1.

'Midday Chocolate Money'

This game runs along the same lines as the original 'Midday Money', but instead the contestant wins chocolate coins proportional to the number of questions answered correctly (with reference to above for the definition of 'correct' in the game). The questions asked are also of the same difficulty level as the original, as well as the rather inventive interpretation of one minute.

'Midday Money' has been one of the latest developments in morning television features, and its continuing success can only pave the way for similar spin-offs in the future.

1Shows that are similar to lifestyle magazines, with features on cooking, home improvements, and crunchy gossip.2Although midday, or noon, is generally accepted to be at 12pm, This Morning is a live broadcast. Hence subsequent features such as 'Midday Money' may vary from their original scheduled time-slot

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