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New prize levels for 'Millionaire'

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New prize levels for 'Millionaire'

'Millionaire' host Chris Tarrant

The prize levels on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? are to be changed for the first time in the show's nine-year history

The familiar lineup of fifteen prize levels, ranging from £100 to the top £1 million jackpot, will be replaced by a new system on August 18.

The new "money tree" will comprise just twelve questions, starting with £500 and followed by the first "safe haven", £1,000.

The prize fund then rises to £2,000, £5,000, £10,000, £20,000 and £50,000, the second safe haven. The remaining questions are worth £75,000, £150,000, £250,000, £500,000 and £1 million.

The change coincides with a new audience selection process that aims to encourage "the broadest possible range of potential contestants into the hotseat".

Kees Abrahams, chief exec of producer 2waytraffic, said that the moves would keep the format "fresh" and allow the show "to evolve", adding: "The new configuration of the money tree is about getting to the big money - and therefore the real excitement - faster."

The changes come off the back of reports that ITV was considering axing the long-running gameshow if ratings fail to improve.

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