If you and a friend were handed a million dollars in cash and only had to answer a few simple questions to keep it, could you do it? MILLION DOLLAR MONEY DROP, the ultimate high-stakes game show, created and produced by Endemol, the masterminds behind “Deal or No Deal,” gives a team $1 million in cold, hard cash and all they have to do to keep it is correctly answer seven multiple-choice questions.
Actor and comedian Kevin Pollak will host the suspense-filled game show premiering Monday, Dec. 20 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and airing on four consecutive nights, Tuesday, Dec. 21Wednesday, Dec. 22 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, Dec. 23 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Additional airdates to be announced. (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT),
During each game, two contestants work together as a team to beat one of the most difficult challenges of their lives: saving the million-dollar mountain of cash in front of them from disappearing forever. Unlike any other game show, the duo is given their prize money – bundles of real cash totaling $1 million – at the start of the game, and it’s up to them to keep this life-changing cash. Once the question is revealed, the duo must debate and decide the answer(s) on which they will risk all of their money. Are they confident enough to place all of their money on one answer? Or will the relentless pressure cause them play it safe and spread their money across a few answers?
When time is up and they have allocated all of their money, the team must step up to the drop to find out if their choices were right or wrong. In a dramatic reveal, the duo sees any cash placed on wrong answers disappear through the money drop below. Will they move on to the next question with their money still on the table, or will they lose it forever? As the game progresses, the questions get harder and the answers become fewer but after seven questions whatever cash – if any – is left on the table is theirs to keep.
I caught up with Executive producer, Jeff Apploff (“Don’t Forget The Lyrics!”) and Actor and comedian Kevin Pollak (host) to discuss the concept of the game and risking their money.
How would you risk your $1 million?
Kevin, what is the most important lesson you’ve learned about money from the Million Dollar Drop or from any other game shows you’ve watched or been involved in?
Kevin Pollak: I don’t know that I’ve learned a lesson about money other than if you ever have the ridiculous opportunity to face that much in cash be as focused as a couple, which our contestants are, in your determination to work together to hold onto it. I mean it’s a non-reality situation. That’s what makes it so much fun, that is to say I could venture a guess, but no one who’s been on the show or will come on any time soon has faced a million dollars in cash let alone had to physically move it onto correct answers in order to hold onto it. That scenario has not happened in any of these people’s lives. So, in terms of the lesson that one takes from that experience, it’s maybe: have a little more compassion for the loss of money. I don’t know that there’s a lesson necessarily other than a damn good time watching a game.
Jeff Apploff : I’d like to just piggyback on that with Kevin really quick. The one thing that I think Kevin and I, because we talked about this in the dressing room after, that we both really did find out, not specifically just about money, but about our game specifically is if you’re not 100% sure, then go ahead and spread your money out. Because what ends up happening in every other game show that you’ve ever watched there’s one answer and you can only kind of risk your money on one answer or be able to pick one answer. Here we tell them if you’re not 100% sure we tell them spread it out. So when you watch a couple have a lot of money, getting further and further in the game; you know, as the game progresses the questions get much harder, which Kevin keeps repeating to people, letting them know. He keeps telling them, “Listen, if you’re not 100% sure, spread your money around, play it safe and just get to the seventh question,” because it’s a game of all or nothing.
When you reach the seventh question the rules remain the same; there’s only two drops and you have to risk all of your money on one of them and leave the other one clear. So, whatever you have at the end of the seventh question you get to take home. So, if you’re not spreading your money around in the last few questions just to make sure, unless you’re 100%, that’s where people really get hurt. That’s the one thing I think we’ve learned about the game is if you’re not 100% sure spread it around to keep yourself in the game to the seventh question.
Jeff, you mentioned earlier the idea of offering the money first will get the contestant drawn into the game or get more engaged. Do you think the viewers will feel the same way and be hooked into this series?
Jeff Apploff: I think 100%. I’ve never experienced the type of tension, the type of drama that you feel, the type of intensity that you feel from the first second. Again, you have a million dollars in your hands and your whole job is to hold onto it, through every single question. So, the first one even when it may feel easier to you, they’re never easy. None of our questions are like let’s say, on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, where it was totally a gimme for the first few questions. It’s not like that. There’s always the possibility of spreading your money around. So, from the first second you’re taking a million dollars and you’re starting to put it down and if, in fact, you do feel like you know the answer 100%, you’re putting a million dollars on one answer and then watching trap doors open and possibly losing it. It is so dramatic and so intense and I think that all of America is going to relate to that and embrace it and I do think it’s going to be really, really big for people.
Kevin, you’ll be in a film with Jack Black; can you just describe working with him and who will you actually risk a million dollars to work with?
Kevin Pollak: Yes, Jack Black is a true original in his energy and comedic style. He’s a force to be reckoned with when you watch him. When you work with him, on the other hand, he’s an angel and really easy going and super nice and just easily, with absolute ease the friendliest guy in any room.
The last question was who would I risk a million dollars to work with?
Jeff Apploff: Besides me, Kevin.
Kevin Pollak: You know, that’s the answer. Other than Jeff, no one. That was the correct answer. I didn’t realize it until he said, but yes, that is the correct answer.