Category: Archive

Editorial Million-error

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

"Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" has arrived on Irish television – but with more of a boob than a bang.

Some commentators are already complaining that the questions are so hard that the chances of anybody walking away with a million pounds are negligible. But even worse than that – one of the first questions was impossible to answer correctly because of the way it was phrased. A contestant, a woman – and given the lack of women on the U.S. version to date that at least is a positive start – was asked for the "colloquial name given to the Irish government’s short policy statement."

The contestant was given four possible answers by veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne, Ireland’s answer to Regis-of-the-wardrobe Philbin. The answers to chose from were white paper, blue paper, green paper or yellow paper. This wasn’t an easy question when the prize for a correct answer was just £2,000.

The contestant chose a 50/50 and the answer came down to either a white paper or a green one. She opted for green, an incorrect response. But she would have been wrong to say white as well, according to one newspaper, which checked with the Irish government’s official information service.

A "white paper," it turns out, is indeed a statement of government policy. But there is no requirement that it be short, long, or any specific length at all.

Of course, the contestant would have been allowed proceed if she chose "white paper" for her answer and perhaps nobody would have said a word about the phrasing of the question. But the fact that she is not being allowed a second chance to go for the big pot in the face of the show’s blooper is unsporting.

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RTE Television should give her a second chance and the penny-pinching producers should loosen the purse strings. That’s our final answer in the matter.

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