ABSTRACT: The study examined the influence of who wants to be a Millionaire TV programme on the social behaviour of the youths in urban areas with a particular focus on Uyo Metropolis. The study was anchored on Social Learning Theory, Cultivation Theory and Uses and Gratifications Theory. However, for the purpose of this study, a cross-sectional survey research method was employed while questionnaires were administered to elicit responses from the respondents. The data were analyzed in frequency and percentage method while the data were presented with the aid of tables. Findings show that 94.4% of the respondents watch “Who Wants to be a Millionaire TV regularly. Almost 50% of the respondents had been watching the show between 4-6 years. A larger percentage of the respondent (89%) admitted that who wants to be a millionaire programme have influenced them in many ways as a result of this, 94.4% of the respondents established that the programme is educating. The study recommended that “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” presents contestants with challenging questions, often requiring quick thinking and strategic decision-making under pressure. Watching the show can help young people develop critical thinking abilities, improve their problem-solving skills, and enhance their decision-making capabilities in various aspects of life.
Who Wants to be a Millionaire
1.1 Background to the Study
Television programmes have a significant impact on the social behavior of viewers, especially among youths who are highly susceptible to media influences. One such influential show is “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” a globally recognized game show that has garnered immense popularity since its inception. This research explores the influence of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” on the social behavior of youths, highlighting both positive and negative aspects. “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” showcases ordinary people striving for financial success by answering a series of challenging questions (Bada, 2017).
However, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” made its debut in Nigeria in 2004, adapted from the original British version created by David Briggs, Steven Knight, and Mike Whitehill. The Nigerian adaptation was produced by Ultima Limited, a media production company founded by veteran broadcaster and entrepreneur, Olisa Adibua. The show follows a format where contestants answer a series of multiple-choice questions to win cash prizes, with the ultimate goal of becoming a millionaire (Nigerian Bulletin, 2020).
The Nigerian version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” quickly gained popularity and became a household name in the country. The show’s charismatic host, Frank Edoho, played a pivotal role in engaging the audience and creating a captivating atmosphere. Over the years, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” achieved significant milestones, including the celebration of its 10th anniversary in 2014, marking a decade of entertaining and educating Nigerian viewers (The Guardian Nigeria, 2014).
Apart from its entertainment value, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” in Nigeria has also made a positive social impact through its philanthropic initiatives. The show introduced the “Lifelines” feature, where contestants could seek assistance from the audience, phone a friend, or use the 50:50 options to narrow down the choices. Additionally, the show initiated the “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Hot Seat Charity Specials” which featured celebrities playing for charitable causes, raising funds and awareness for various social issues.
After a successful run, the Nigerian version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” went on a hiatus in 2017 due to sponsorship challenges. However, the show made a comeback in 2020 with a new production company, MTN Nigeria, taking over as the title sponsor. The revival of the show reinforced its enduring popularity and showcased the audience’s continued enthusiasm for the format. There is not a doubt that the programme has significantly impacted the aspirations and motivations of young viewers. A study conducted by Heuvelman and his colleagues (2018) found that exposure to game shows like “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” increased the desire for achievement and financial success among adolescents.
The format of the show, which involves contestants answering a wide range of general knowledge questions, contributes to the acquisition of knowledge and intellectual stimulation among young viewers. Watching the programme encourages youths to expand their knowledge base and engage in independent learning. A study by Rojas-Méndez and Ramírez-Alvarez (2020) demonstrated that viewing educational games shows positively influenced cognitive development and increased general knowledge among adolescents.
“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” often presents contestants with challenging decision-making scenarios, such as whether to risk their accumulated winnings for a chance to win more. Observing these decision-making processes can foster critical thinking and strategic skills among young viewers. A study by Karakus, Celik, and Kilicer (2019) revealed that exposure to the show enhanced decision-making abilities, including risk assessment and problem-solving, among adolescents.
The show has a profound influence on the social behavior of youths, with both positive and negative implications. The show’s focus on achievement and knowledge acquisition can inspire aspirations and intellectual growth among young viewers. However, the emphasis on wealth and instant gratification may contribute to materialistic attitudes, unrealistic expectations, and impulsive decision-making. It is crucial for parents, educators, and media regulators to be aware of these influences and engage in responsible media consumption discussions to mitigate potential negative effects. To this end, the research investigated the influence of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire Television Programme on Social Behaviour of the Youth with a particular focus on the Youth in Uyo Metropolis.
1.2 Statement of the Study
Who Wants To Be a Millionaire (WWTBAM) is a popular television game show that has been broadcast in over 100 countries. The show challenges contestants to answer a series of multiple-choice questions in order to win a large cash prize. WWTBAM has been praised for its educational value, as it encourages viewers to learn new things and test their knowledge. However, some critics have argued that the show can have a negative impact on the social behavior of youths. Although, lots of studies have studied the influence of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire on youth. However, this research is on the thrust to look at it youth social effect on behavior, thus this research investigates the influence of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire Television Programme on the Social Behaviour of the Youths with a particular focus on the Youth in Uyo Metropolis.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general objective of this study is to investigate the influence of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire Television Programme on Social Behaviour of the Youths, while the specific objectives are:
- To determine the extent to which the youths in Uyo Metropolis watch the Who Wants To Be a Millionaire television programme.
- To identify the factors that influence the youths’ decision to watch the programme.
1.4 Research Questions
In order to explicate the aforementioned objectives, the listed questions provide answers to the research problem:
- To what extent do youths in Uyo Metropolis watch the Who Wants To Be a Millionaire television programme?
- What are the factors that influence youths’ decision to watch the programme?
1.5 Significant of the study
The study on the influence of the “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire” television program on the social behavior of youths holds significant importance for several reasons:
Understanding Media Effects: Investigating the impact of a popular television program like “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire” on social behavior contributes to our understanding of media effects on individuals, particularly the younger generation. This study can shed light on how exposure to specific media content shapes attitudes, decision-making processes, and communication skills among youths.
Youth Development: The findings of this study can provide valuable insights into the social development of young individuals. By examining the influence of a widely watched program, researchers and educators can gain a deeper understanding of the factors that contribute to positive or negative social behavior among youths.
Media Literacy: Analyzing the influence of a television program like “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire” can enhance media literacy efforts. By studying the effects of such programs, educators can empower young individuals to critically evaluate the media they consume, helping them develop a discerning approach towards media content and its potential impact on their behavior.
Decision-Making Processes: Investigating how the program affects decision-making processes among youths can be crucial. Understanding whether exposure to the show influences their decision-making skills, risk perception, and problem-solving abilities can inform educational interventions and programs designed to enhance these skills among young individuals.
Communication Skills: Television programs have the potential to shape communication skills, including verbal articulation, listening abilities, and persuasive techniques. By studying the impact of “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire” on communication skills among youths, researchers can identify the positive and negative aspects of the program’s influence, offering insights for educational strategies aimed at promoting effective and meaningful communication.
Attitudes Towards Wealth: The program’s focus on financial success and the pursuit of wealth makes it particularly relevant to examine its influence on youths’ attitudes towards wealth. This study can provide insights into whether exposure to the program shapes their perceptions of wealth, materialism, and financial aspirations, which can have implications for their future financial decisions and goals.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study which investigates the influence of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire Television Programme on Social Behaviour of the Youths shall be narrowed in scope to youths in Uyo metropolis. This, the geographical state location of this study is Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. The choice of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State is due to its proximity to the researcher while it will be difficult if not impossible to study all youths across the federation, funds and inadequate time among other logistics. However, the demographical variables of the youths in Uyo metropolis will be examined before the administration of the data collection instrument.
1.6 Operational Definition of Terms
Influence: This refers to the effect or impact of who wants to be a millionaire on youth social behavior in Uyo.
Social Behaviour: In this study, it means the way youth behave, act and react towards issues.
Youths: In this research, youths are young people, both male and female between the age of 18-30
Uyo Metropolis: This is the capital of Akwa Ibom State, South-South Nigeria.
Who Wants to be a Millionaire: This is a programme sponsored by MTN showcase on NTA, STV, AIT etc.