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sunday mail OPINION: Only winners are pounds 350K TV quiz bosses.

THERE is nothing wrong with a wee flutter - whether it is down the bookies, on the lottery or even on a TV quiz.

But there is something sickening at the way TV bosses are raking in pounds 350,000 a night from cheap-as-chips programmes where you have a snowball's chance in hell of winning.

The Sunday Mail spent pounds 365 on 250 calls - and surprise, surprise, did not get through once.

And that experience is shared by viewers up and down the country.

Questions on shows like Brian Dowling's The Mint are mind numbingly simple.

TV bosses want as many of us as possible to dial their premium-rate lines. Every call is another 75p.

They also want as FEW people as possible to get through and win.

TV firms argue that the one million of us who tune in every night KNOW it is a premium-rate number.

But what we don't know are the chances of actually getting through.

The fact is they are not running a quiz show - but a lottery.

There is as much skill in picking lotto numbers as in answering such brain-teasers as: "Name a pop band."

The questions should be made harder - so it becomes a real game of skill. Or, like Lotto firm Camelot, they should give a large chunk of the profits to good causes.

Until then, here's a question for that annoying presenter who yelps: "Pick up the phone and keep calling - we want to give you this money."

Who DO you think you are kidding?
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 8, 2006
Words:254
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