Lifelines are functions of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? which are given to contestants in all worldwide formats of the show. Each lifeline is ideally only used once per game. Contestants can usually use more than one lifeline during the same question in any order they want. Each lifeline has a different effect, and many contestants use them strategically (for example, not using a lifeline during the question after a safety net has been achieved, as it usually is a free shot).

Most formats use three lifelines available to the contestant (50:50, Phone-a-Friend and Ask the Audience being the most popular ones, having been the original three lifelines), however, some versions offer more lifelines (sometimes added in after a certain point) and some may even have less than three of them in total.

Originally, they were intended to be called "helping hands".


Lifelines on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

  1. 50:50
    Removes two incorrect answers, leaving the correct answer and one remaining one answer. In versions which allow 50:50 and Double Dip, they can both be used to guarantee a correct answer.
  2. Phone-a-Friend
    Allows the contestant to speak to one of a few contacts they nominated before the show for 30 seconds (25 in some versions) to try to agree on a right answer.
  3. Ask the Audience (Audience Poll)
    Allows audience members to input an answer on their keypads to advise the contestant as to which option to pick.
  4. Switch the Question (Flip)
    Allows the contestant to swap the question for a different one.
  5. Ask the Expert
    Allows the contestant to speak to a knowledgeable person (but not necessarily on that subject).
  6. Double Dip
    Allows the contestant to have another go at answering the question after their first pick, however they cannot walk away on that question if they use it. Can be used with 50:50 in some versions to guarantee a right answer.
  7. Three Wise Men
    Gives a team of three knowledgeable people 30 seconds to consult and advise the contestant.
  8. Extra Help
    Allows the contestant to consult an audience member they know, who will come onto the playing area.
  9. Jump the Question
    Used in the U.S. shuffle format to allow the contestant to proceed past the current question without giving a correct answer, but the contestant doesn't win the money. Could originally be used twice.
  10. Plus One
    Similar to Phone-a-Friend but the 'friend' is in the audience. That audience member is allowed to come down to the playing are and discuss the answer with the contestant.
  11. Crystal Ball
    Used in U.S. Shuffle in 2012. The contestant can see the money behind the current question.
  12. Ask One of the Audience
    Lifeline named as appropriate to how many people are asked. The number of members of the audience are allowed to speak to the contestant to advise them on the question.
  13. Pass
    Used in Hot Seat to deflect a question onto the player next in line.
  14. Ask A Friend
    Used in some versions of Hot Seat to allow the contestant to consult the member of the audience that they know.
  15. Cut the Question
    Used on the U.S. syndicated version in 2016 to swap the current question for an easier one. This lifeline can only be used until the $50,000 question.
  16. Power Paplu
    Allows the contestant to reuse a lifeline that they've already used up. Only available on Kaun Banega Crorepati.
  17. Code Red
    Allows the member of the audience the contestant knows to hit a button if they are going to answer incorrectly.
  18. Chat Room
    Allows the contestant to consult a group chat on the social network JioChat to see if they know the answer. Used only on Kon Hoeel Marathi Crorepati from 2016 until 2017.
  19. People Speak
    The version of Ask One of the Audience used on the Philippines version.
  20. Ask the Host
    Allows the contestant to consult the presenter for guidance.
  21. Ask the Star
    Allows the contestant to consult a celebrity for guidance.
  22. Ask the Nation
    A variant of Ask the Audience which also allows viewers to phone a premium-rate phone number to vote for their answer.
  23. Three of the Audience
    Same as Ask One of the Audience, however three people are asked instead of one.
  24. Ask Two Experts
    Same as Three Wise Men, however only two intellects are consulted instead of three.
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