Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Who Wants To Be a Thousandaire?

It is difficult now to remember just how insanely popular the prime time version of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? was when Regis Philbin debuted it in 1999.  It was on several nights a week, and USAmerica became obsessed with the show.  As with so many things in our culture, the show was just begging to be copied and integrated into student ministry- so that is exactly what we did!

We picked a Sunday evening well in advance and advertised that we were going to playing Who Want To Be a Thousandaire?  Wesley Memorial UMC didn't have any cash to give away, but we would have many levels of prizes, starting with a milk shake and moving up through CDS, dinner for 2, a new Bible, individual trips and the "million dollar" prize of an entire free year of youth ministry activities.  That included a free Mission Trip, free New York trip, free Night of Joy and and any other trips we took.  Free meals at events like SHO-Time.  Free everything.  If you used it all, it would be worth close to $2000 by our estimate, so it was a huge prize.  Kids got excited.  We also let them know well in advance that all of the questions would be based on the Bible.  They needed to know the books of the Bible; the parables of Jesus; the great Old Testament stories; the 10 Commandments; the Beatitudes; and the Christmas and Easter stories.  I found a few resources with questions, but wound up writing them all myself.  Just as on the show,they would get harder the deeper into the game a contestant went.

We also tried to make the game seem real when we played it.  We used lighting, sound effects, video and everything we could think of to make it special.  One of our Youth Counselors played the Regis role (except when we played in Waycross; I did it then- see picture).  We picked contestants at random, then allowed them to decline if they didn't want to play.  Each player got 3 lifelines- ask an adult, poll the audience and 50/50.  It was quite an event.  Everyone had a blast, and we gave away a lot of great stuff- but no one ever won the big prize.

If you are looking for a way to get some of your "fringe" students into the Bible and to pump up some excitement for your youth meetings, I highly recommend this event.  And yes-  that's my final answer!  Blessings!


  1. AnonymousJune 28, 2011

    Great idea!!!!

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