Who wants to be a millionaire? Fans of the Offspring, apparently — about 500,000 of them entered a $1 million contest on the group’s official Web site.

Beginning Sept. 29, the punk rock quartet allowed fans to download “Original Prankster,” the first single from its upcoming Conspiracy of One album, which is due in stores Nov. 14. Each downloader was entered in a drawing, with the grand prize winner to receive $1 million from the band. But it’s not that straightforward; the Offspring started randomly picking finalists who will appear on MTV’s Total Request Live with the group on the album’s release day. The lucky fans will compete in a three-round trivia elimination contest to determine the million-dollar winner.

“It’s kind of an exciting, outrageous way to announce that our record’s coming out,” says Offspring frontman Bryan “Dexter” Holland, who saw his band’s last record, Americana, go quadruple-platinum. “But I like the fact that it doesn’t try to soak the kid for every last dollar, and gives something back to the fans. All our money has come from our fans; we thought it would be a nice gesture to give something back. I think that’s nice for bands to do. They should realize that their fans are what got them there.”

After making the winning fan very happy — and rich — the Offspring will, in short order, hit the road to promote Conspiracy of One with handpicked opening acts Cypress Hill and MxPx. The tour begins Nov. 18, and Holland says he anticipates the Offspring being out well into 2001.

“Usually we try to hit all the places that we need to go,” he explains. “That takes the better part of a year, because we need to go to South America and Australia and Europe. It’s really fortunate, on one hand, that we’re able to do well and go to lots of places, but it also takes a lot of time for us to get there and play even one concert in each city that knows us. I think we’ll be spending most of the next year touring.”