|Fastest Finger First|
September 4, 1998 (UK)
October 2, 2010 (Philippines)
May 5, 2018 (UK)
Fastest Finger First (also FFF) is a round that is played on a lot of versions of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? to grant a contestant the right to play the main game.
A group of ten (or six) contestants (or less) are given a question asking them to put four choices in the correct order in 20 seconds or less. The four choices pop up after the three synthesized notes. On some early versions (like UK version's first season, Australian version's first season and Spain version's first season), it was a multiple choice question like the questions in the main game. The contestant who get the order right in the fastest time wins and earns the right to play the main game.
If two or more contestants get the correct order in the same fastest time (times are either to the 1/100 second or to the millisecond), they will compete again in another Fastest Finger First round to break the tie. If none of the contestants get the order right, they will all be asked another Fastest Finger First Question. The pattern will repeat until they end up with one single winner.
If one or more of the contestants are blind, the answer screens for all contestants are disabled for the whole game and the letter buttons on the blind person's console are replaced with buttons that include braille. Then, using an envelope that contains the question, the host will then read the question out twice and will slowly read out the answers and the corresponding letters before starting the clock. The game then continues per normal rules but still without the answer screens.
In the first series of the UK version, the Fastest Finger First originally consisted of a multiple choice question and the contestant who locks in the right answer in the fastest time wins. They then converted to putting the four choices in the correct order in the second series and kept it that way until they retired the Fastest Finger First in 2010. Fastest Finger First was reinstated for the 2018 revival, but with 6 contestants rather than 10.
The original primetime U.S. version had Fastest Finger in the "put four options in order" format for its entire run, but was dropped altogether in 2002 when the show went into syndication. It was temporarily brought back for Super Millionaire and the 10th Anniversary Primetime Celebration. It did not return for the 2020 primetime revival.
In Russian version, FFF from October 1, 1999 to August 14, 2010 existed in the classic format only. From September 4, 2010, FFF was dropped with the advent of the high-risk format and Double Dip, a new lifeline.
From 2000 to 2010 seasons, in Philippine version of show, FFF with 10 candidates was held. In 2011-2015 seasons, FFF was cancelled.
In the Arab World since the very beginning, there are only 8 contestants in FFF.
In the Hungarian version from 2012 until 2013, five contestants played Fastest Finger First instead of the usual ten.
In the Vietnamese version from 2015 until 2017, six contestants played Fastest Finger First instead of the usual ten.
In 2016, in season 3 of Tamil version, in FFF of Couples Special episodes, in total 8 couples (later - 6 couples) appeared. In FFF, three questions were asked instead of one. A couple sat in a hot seat and answered the most questions in the least amount of time (see screenshot in gallery below).
The Brazilian version does not use Fastest Finger First. The host invites the contestant in turn to the studio.
Since 2018, Bulgaria became the next country where FFF was also canceled in the revived version. Instead, the host (like in Ivory Coast and Vietnam) invites the contestants alternately in the studio.
In the Iranian version, as well as in some other versions of the show, the FFF was also dropped, as five contestants in turn were invited to play. After the host gave his name and surname, the player's hot seat rises from the bottom to the top.
Since 2019, the British version also has a different version of Fastest Finger First for the blind.
Since 2019, in Slovenian version in FFF only 6 candidates appeared. From on April 13, to May 4, 2020 (season 15, episodes 13-19), in empty studio FFF was not held due Covid-19. Since on May 5, 2020 (season 15, episode 20), in FFF only 4 candidates appeared.
Since 2019, Argentina has no Fastest Finger First round.
In 2019, when Chile revived their series, FFF was cancelled due to changing the new host.
Staring from May 14, 2020, on the Croatian version, four contestants instead of the usual six played Fastest Finger First due to the need for social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Most versions filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic have dropped Fastest Finger First altogether, however.
Since 2021, in Uruguayan version, in FFF 6 candidates appeared.
Since 2022, in Nigerian version, in FFF 6 candidates instead of 10 appeared.
In Season 13 of U.S. version only "Fastest Feet" mini-game existed. It’s a challenge in which four audience members are given themed cards and are tasked with physically putting them into the right order to split a $1,000 prize. They should stand in the correct order within 60 seconds. Whose position coincides with the correct order, he earns $1,000.
- Shannon McGehee, in 0.87 seconds, became the first contestant worldwide to do so in under 1 second in a "place 4 in order" question, even though she admitted she guessed.
- Jonathan Pash, in 0.97 seconds, became the second to do so under 1 second in a "place 4 in order" question on May 6, 2008 in UK.
- Gaetano Marra in 0.24 seconds, became the fastest in Italy to put the answers in to the correct order in 2002, making it the fastest FFF winner worldwide in "place 4 in order" format
- Emilia Busquets in 0.06 seconds (in November 18, 1999), is now holding the world record as well as Spain version's record for answering a Fastest Finger Question in the quickest time. She also became the fastest contestant worldwide to answer correctly a "Choose the right answer" FFF question. It is unknown if she could do it for real or it was just a computer error.
- In the original 1998 UK series, the A, B, C and D labels on the Fastest Finger First machines were rather inappropriately written in the controversial font Comic Sans.
- In Croatia, on December 26, 2002, all 10 contestants made the correct order.
- In Philippines, on one episode in 2009, all 10 contestants made the correct order.
- In Tamil version, on May 3, 2012, all 10 contestants made the correct order. Also, on June 20, 2016 episode, in 3rd question of 3-question FFF all 8 couples made correct order.
- In Vietnam, on January 6, 2015, all 10 contestants inputted the correct order. This happened in Vietnam at least 10 times before the FFF was dropped.
- Nguyễn Thị Thanh Vân, on September 1, 2015, with just 1,91 seconds, she become the fastest FFF winner in Vietnam when the Fastest Finger First appeared in Vietnam from 2005 to 2017.
- Fastest Finger First returned to Millionaire Hot Seat in January 23, 2017.
- In Kazakhstan, on October 20, 2018, January 19, 2019 and June 29, 2019 episodes, all 10 contestants inputted the correct order.
- In Nepal on April 22, 2019 episode first case occured, when in first FFF all 10 applicants made right order.
- In Marathi version, on July 8, 2019, all 10 candidates made right order.
- In Telugu version, on September 6, 2021, all 8 candidates made right order.
- In Uruguayan version, on January 24, 2022, all 6 candidates made right order.
- In the Thai version and Rồng vàng, the correct order and result are shown together.
- In 2003, University of Suseex mathematician John Haigh concluded, after analysing past British FFF rounds, that D-A-C-B was the most likely correct sequence, appearing twice the average number of times. C-B-A-D is second. A-B-C-D and A-B-D-C are the least popular sequences.
- In 2022, the United Kingdom announced a Fastest Finger First spin-off show.