Did You Know?
This was the series' last episode to include the Phone-a-Friend lifeline (although the episodes which aired earlier from November 30-December 4 were taped later), which was not replaced by a different fourth lifeline; in ensuing episodes, the Ask the Expert lifeline would become available immediately, instead of after the $5,000 question. On the following episode, it was explained that the producers eliminated the longstanding feature of the show due to their disappointment that Phone-a-Friends frequently could be heard using a computer to find the answer, and they felt it unfairly penalized those individuals who perhaps did not have a computer available, preferring that those who assisted contestants should answer the question purely from memory (this did not address the possibility that Phone-a-Friends, even without a computer, might always have been able to answer questions by consulting reference books such as dictionaries, atlases, etc.). However, viewers of the show widely speculated that a major reason for the change was an effort to eliminate the expenses and time involved in making the phone calls. See more