Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Brewing Troubles for the Money Drop?

Photo: Leadership
Gideon Okeke

After its first few episodes, it's fast becoming clear that anyone who wants to lose a large amount of money in record breaking time should simply apply to be on the money drop. Starting a game with 100,000 dollars raw cash only to lose it all is bound to make some people really, really angry.

Before each quiz question, contestants are given a choice of two categories. Once they choose a category, they are asked a question from it and are given a choice of possible answers. Contestants must then place the money on the answer they think is correct.

Or they can split the money and place different amounts on different answers. The one rule - they must use all USD 100 000. Although they start with four options, contestants can only put all their money on one option at the seventh question.

And it won't be the first time; a couple from California, Andrew and Patricia Murray, sued Fox, the producers of the original television show over $580,000 in prize money they lost while playing the game in 2010. The "trick question" the Murrays allege cost them their chance at winning was, "According to the Data Security Firm IMPERVA, what is the most common computer password?"

The answer choices given were "Password," "1234563 or "I Love You." According to the complaint filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, the "Plaintiffs decided, based on their personal knowledge of surveys and articles, having read numerous studies on the Internet and other media that 'Password' was most commonly regarded as the most common password, to wager all their money on that answer."However, host Kevin Pollak informed them the correct answer was actually "1234563 and the couple was eliminated from the show.

Hmmm...this does bear a striking resemblance to recent episode where the host of the Nigerian show insisted that Nigerians drink more wine than beer according to a particular report. Because it was the last question, the contestants lost all the money they had worked for from the beginning.

If you were a bank, you might want to distance yourself from a publicity stunt that implies the phrase above. Since they deal in 'precious stones,' we can't help but hope that the sponsors of money drop Nigeria have enough funds to pay legal fees just in case they get some 'disgruntled customers.'

The rule of law however is not always our way of dealing with issues in this country, we prefer more practical means; An eye for an eye, a drop for a drop. So the show's host, Tinsel's Gideon Okeke, should spend more time at the gym just in case a suicidal contestant decides to follow the money unto the great beyond or worse send Gideon 'downstairs' instead.

If such palaver happens, the models in heels who arrange the money after every drop won't get to Gideon just in time. Soon and very soon, the show's producers may just have to learn how to resurrect the money to the surface the same way they have no issues dropping it.

Criticisms aside, the money drop is fun to watch; and you just might learn a lot depending on what 'report' you're interested in. The show's host is great, although it's quite difficult not to compare his 'Step up, and let's see what drops' to Frank Edoho's 'Is that your final answer?' One more thing Gideon, thanks for dropping the earring!

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