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Goshawk Syndicate (GS), a London-based insurance underwriter, is screaming FOUL. Basing their agreement to insure the big money prizes given out on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire on the British version of the same show, GS considered that the Brits had taped 51 segments of the show and never had a million dollar winner. In fact, only three contestants walked away with $500,000. The American version, however, has given out more than $10 million in prize money since beginning including two million dollar checks.
The deal is that GS must pay prize money to those players who win $500,000 or $1,000,000, although there is a $1.5 million policy period deductible and a pay out ceiling of $5 million.
So far, it’s a BIG loser for GS. Underwriters claim the questions are too easy, citing the example of “What condiment is also known as a Latin dance? A. Mustard, B. Mayonnaise, C. Salsa and D. Relish.”
GS wants assurances that the questions will get harder and the selected contestants will be dumber. ABC, riding the coattails of the runaway sensation of the year show, might not mind losing the insurance policy, because with an average of $30 million viewers per show, Millionaire’s advertising revenues are strong enough to carry the show.
We want to know the cause of the problem. Is it A. Bad underwriting, B. Fraud, c: Americans are just smarter than Brits or D. Plain dumb luck.
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