Country of origin
Theme music composer
Million Dollar Money Drop is an American game show which aired on Fox in the United States and Canada. It is based on the UK series The Million Pound Drop Live. However, unlike the original UK version, it was not broadcast live, and there were several changes to the format. The show premiered on December 20, 2010, and was hosted by Kevin Pollak.
On May 18, 2011, TVSeriesFinale.com reported that Fox had cancelled Million Dollar Money Drop and would not be producing a second season. However, more than 15 different international versions of the program will continue to air in other countries.
A team of two people with a pre-existing relationship is presented with US$1,000,000 in $20 bills, banded in 50 bundles of $20,000 each. The team must risk the entire amount on a series of seven multiple-choice questions.
For each question, the contestants choose one of two categories, then indicate which answer(s) they wish to risk their money on by moving the bundles of cash onto a row of trap doors, termed "drops," each of which corresponds to one answer. However, they must always keep at least one drop "clear" with no money on it. In addition, six of the seven questions have a time limit; any money that is not placed on an answer when time runs out will be lost. Once the money is in place, the drops corresponding to the wrong answers are opened, and any money placed on them falls into a chute below the stage and is lost. The contestants then continue the game with the next question, keeping the money they had placed on the right answer.
The seventh and final question has only two answer choices, forcing the players to put all their remaining money on one drop. If they answer correctly, they win the money; if not, they leave with nothing. In addition, if the players lose all of their money before reaching the final question, the game ends and the players leave with nothing.
The contestants may use one "Quick Change" during the game, on any question except the seventh. This feature allows them an extra 30 seconds to distribute their cash among the trap doors. If none of the trapdoors are left open and the contestants still have the Quick Change, it will automatically be used. Contestants are not allowed to use the Quick Change on the final question because it has no time limit. The Quick Change was later implemented on the German version in early 2011.
For the seventh question, once the contestants have placed their money on one of the trap doors, the host reveals a piece of information about the answers. They then have 60 seconds to switch their answer or leave the money where it is.
For the twelve episodes aired, the average viewership was 5.03 million.
No one won $1,000,000, but a couple named Nathan Moore and Lana McKissack are the most successful pair, having won $300,000 on the episode that aired on Tuesday, January 18, 2011. Twelve contestant pairs have finished with $0 or have been eliminated from the game.
On the very first episode, Gabe Okoye and Brittany Mayti lost $800,000 on a question that asked, "Which of these was sold in stores first?" The three possible answers were: Macintosh computer, Sony Walkman, and Post-it notes. Gabe placed the bulk of the team's money on the answer "Post-it notes." The correct answer was then revealed to be Sony Walkman.
Later, viewers began to dispute the accuracy of the question because of information on the Internet that indicated Post-It Notes were "launched" or "introduced" under the name "Press 'N Peel" in four cities in 1977, based on an interview with the inventors of the Post-It Note published in the Financial Times. On April 6, 1980, the product debuted in US stores as "Post-It Notes." The Sony Walkman went on sale in Japan on July 1, 1979, and was later introduced to the US in June 1980.
On December 21, 2010, Gawker published an article on this controversy, and the web site was later contacted by a Fox representative. Jeff Apploff, the show's executive producer, initially issued the following statement: "The integrity of the questions and answers on our show are our No. 1 priority. In this case, our research team spoke directly with 3M, and they confirmed that although they had given out free samples in test markets in 1977 and 1978, it wasn't until 1980 that Post-Its were sold in stores. Million Dollar Money Drop stands behind the answer that was revealed on the show." Two days later, Apploff issued another statement: “Unfortunately the information our research department originally obtained from 3M regarding when Post-it notes were first sold was incomplete... As a result of new information we have received from 3M, we feel it is only fair to give our contestants, Gabe and Brittany, another shot to play Million Dollar Money Drop even though this question was not the deciding question in their game. The revised information regarding the Post-it is as follows: the product was originally tested for sale in four cities under the name ‘Press ‘N Peel’ in 1977, sold as ‘Post-its’ in 1979 when the rollout introduction began and sold nationwide in 1980."
On December 28, host Kevin Pollak said, "They never had a chance to win that money. Ever. No matter what," and added, "This story is a moot point." He provided further detail when he said, "They lost everything on the next question. It's a non-story."
On September 25, 2012, BuzzerBlog reported that the next couple to play after Gabe and Brittany, Andrew and Patricia Murray, also planned to sue Fox and Endemol because they also had a faulty question, which asked, "According to the data security firm IMPERVA, what's the most common computer password?" The choices were "PASSWORD", "123456", and "ILOVEYOU", placing the $580,000 they had left on "PASSWORD"; however, according to the show, "123456" was the correct answer. In a statement from the Murrays, "IMPERVA did not conduct its own objective survey of computer users but rather supports its assertion that 123456 is the most common password based on analysis of a hacking incident involving a website known as RockYou.com." They also concluded that had the show known that the question was pertaining to one incident, they would've, in the couple's words, "hedged their bets and played differently." They are suing for their prize money of $580,000 because of this.