Patrick Christie: Who wants to be a millionaire?

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? debuted in 1998, and as we all know from the title, offered a cash prize of £1,000,000, the largest ever prize from a quiz show.

Over the years, that cash prize has remained the same, with no adjustment for inflation. Inflation changes every year, increasing on average by two per cent per annum in the UK. A small but significant change.

So, two questions. How much is the £1,000,000 you would win today worth in relation to the original 1998 prize? How much would the prize have to be now for it to have the same purchasing power as it did in 1998?

We can see the £1,000,000 prize money from 1998 has decreased in value to be worth £530,000 in today’s money. For the prize to have retained the same purchasing power as it had in 1998, it would need to increase to £1,840,000.

Substantial differences.

When investments increase in value, it is always worth keeping one eye on inflation as the real value of savings and investments can quickly be eroded. The ‘under the mattress’ approach does not expose you to investment risk; it exposes you to reduced purchasing power, resulting in significant real-world losses.

Patrick Christie graduate trainee financial planner at Wealthflow