Saturday, August 23, 2014
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Try out in Philadelphia for NBC's ‘Million Second Quiz’

Or download the app for another shot at millions in prize money.

NBC´s "The Million Second Quiz" will hold auditions on Sunday, Aug. 18, at McFadden´s on Third Street in Old City. Would-be contestants and anyone who wants to follow the marathon trivia tournament should download the show´s app, shown at right. Ryan Seacrest will host the prime-time telecasts.
NBC's "The Million Second Quiz" will hold auditions on Sunday, Aug. 18, at McFadden's on Third Street in Old City. Would-be contestants and anyone who wants to follow the marathon trivia tournament should download the show's app, shown at right. Ryan Seacrest will host the prime-time telecasts.

Know-it-alls wanted.

If you’re a trivia nut with the stamina of a long-distance runner and you’d like to win the biggest prize in game show history, you might want to try out Sunday in Old City for NBC’s The Million Second Quiz.

Or you might choose to play along at home or on your phone.

You could still wind up in “the money chair” inside a giant hourglass in Manhattan after the 11-day, round-the-clock trivia tournament begins next month.

Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., fact freaks 18 and older can get grilled at McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon, 461 N. Third St., a couple of blocks north of the Ben Franklin Bridge.

Those selected will have a shot to be in line to challenge whoever’s racking up $10 a second in the so-called money chair.

But don’t just show up at McFadden’s. Bring a completed application, available here online, as well as a non-returnable photo of yourself. (You could also separately send along a video or a link to one, as explained on the Open Calls page, but that's optional.)

Also, be sure to download the new Million Second Quiz smartphone app, which lets anyone – even non-auditioners – compete against others to build a record of your brain power.

(During a test, I managed to tie a Kentucky dad because I guessed right on the final question. Score 110 points for me! Only 3,390 points to go for a shot at an invite to New York!)

Yes, it’s a bit confusing.

Basically during this trivia marathon, two people at a time will engage in “quiz bouts” inside the giant hourglass, starting Monday, Sept. 9, explained co-executive producer Brian Veskosky.

Ten prime-time shows, hosted by Ryan Seacrest, will carry the competition live for a TV audience, but the competition will continue at all hours, streaming to computers and presenting questions through the app, allowing folks to play along.

And playing can pay off for some. Anyone racking up 3,500 points will get the show’s attention and might get a sudden knock on the door with an invitation to be a “Line Jumper” in New York – that’s right, to go to Manhattan and challenge for the money chair. Accuracy will count toward who gets the nod for a given night.

To fuel the rapid-fire format, about 25,000 questions were written – more than three season’s worth for Jeopardy! Veskosky said.

It will only take about six minutes to go through as many questions as a viewer might see on a single show of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Veskosky said.

Contestants will get bathroom breaks, but whoever’s in the money chair won’t get much chance to sleep, he said.

Getting knocked out of the money chair doesn’t automatically kick anyone out of the contest.  The top four scorers will be part of the two-hour live finale on Thursday, Sept. 19.

Only Sunday night, when pro football rules on NBC, will skip a prime-time presentation.

For more, go to The Million Second Quiz website.  

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.

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