'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire'

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on April 15, 2001

On Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, how do they get a phone friend on the line so fast, and where are they since they can't see the program while it's being taped?
—Eileen S., Ohio

When contestants are selected, they name five people as their phone-a-friends. The phone-a-friends are called and advised to be available during a certain time the day of the taping. Each show taping lasts about two hours. The show has an agreement with AT&T, so the AT&T operators are given the list of five names ahead of time (that's why last names don't have to be used), and they actually do the dialing. Although it seems fast, it's all shown in actual time. The friends are sitting by the phone, waiting for it to ring. That's why they're not surprised when it's Regis Philbin on the other end of the line.