40th edition on Whit Monday

This Monday, June 1, 2023, RTL (8:15 p.m., also via TVNow ) will show the 40th celebrity special of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”. Anke Engelke (54), Horst Lichter (58), Henning Baum (47) and Ilka Bessin (48) will be there. The first star-studded special of the quiz show for a good cause took place in 2000. Since then, many rate celebrities have provided the best entertainment – be it with millions of dollars or a special role change.

In 20 years of celebrity specials, a wide range of stars from all areas took a seat on the Ratestuhl: models like Heidi Klum (2001) or Eva Padberg (2005), comedians like Hella von Sinnen (2000) or Bastian Pastewka (2002), politicians like Claudia Roth (2003), athletes like Matthias Steiner (2009), TV chefs like Nelson Müller (2018) or Tim Mälzer (2019), writers like Sebastian Fitzek (2019), moderators like Harald Schmidt (2000), Johannes B. Kerner (2003), Elton (2017) or Ruth Moschner (2017) and actors such as Til Schweiger (2003), Jürgen Vogel (2010) or Uwe Ochsenknecht (2012). So far, three celebrities have been able to answer the very last question correctly.

In May 2008, comedian Oliver Pocher (42) earned the million. The last question: “The Nagel-Schreckenberg model provides an explanation for the emergence of …? A: sandy deserts, B: traffic jams, C: flu waves or D: stock market crashes ”. Pocher rightly relied on “traffic jams”. In the same year Thomas Gottschalk (70) cheered. In November he answered the million-dollar question “What was the name of Franz Kafka’s last partner, whom he met in 1923, a year before his death?” With “Dora Diamant” and was correct. The first and to date the only female “WWM” celebrity millionaire is Barbara Schöneberger (46). In 2011 she tapped “Walter” on the final question “What is the name of the boy from whom William Tell shoots the legendary apple?”. Two millionaires were repeat offenders when they participated: Thomas Gottschalk went home in 2001 with 500,000 Deutschmarks, Barbara Schöneberger in 2003 with 64,000 euros.

However, Anke Engelke holds the record for celebrity “WWM” participation. As a candidate for the 40th special, she was featured on the show seven times, previously in 2006 (500,000 euros), 2007 (500,000 euros), 2009 (125,000 euros), 2012 (125,000 euros), 2015 (500,000 euros) and 2017 (500,000 euros) ). Two of her colleagues, who will compete with her on Whit Monday, were already sitting on the advice chair: Ilka Bessin was there twice as her artificial figure Cindy from Marzahn (2009: 500,000 and 2012: 125,000 euros), Horst Lichter earned 32,000 euros in 2012.

The performances by Hape Kerkeling (55) and Michael Kessler (52) will also be particularly remembered. Kerkeling took part in the 2006 World Cup special in his popular role as Horst Schlämmer and made Günther Jauch (63) work up a sweat. He drank brotherhood with him, gave him a smack and did back exercises with him. In the end, he even swapped places with the moderator and took on the role of the quiz master: Jauch asked himself the million dollar question, but he had to pass. Michael Kessler went one step further: on the occasion of the RTL donation marathon in November 2012, he parodied Jauch in the 25th edition of the show – together, Jauch and Jauch won half a million euros.

When celebrities take part in “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”, The Telefonjokern are often just as famous personalities. However, Waldemar Hartmann (72) was not covered in fame; he was unable to help Guido Maria Kretschmer (55) and Lena Gercke (32), who competed in 2013, nor Chris Tall (29) in 2018 with the correct answer. A spontaneous call to Chancellor Angela Merkel (65) was also remembered: Wolfgang Bosbach (67) tried to consult her in the 2014 celebrity special. Only the mailbox ran twice and Bosbach called instead the moderator Maybrit Illner (55), who could not help him – so he had to leave it at 125,000 euros. At the end of the broadcast, the Chancellor sent an SMS to Bosbach and wrote: “OK, whatever it was, best regards on.”



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