Game Show Controversy

“Million Dollar” debate misses point: host

By Bryan
Alexander Mon Dec 27, 6:07 PM PST

While controversy swirls around Fox’s new game show “The Million Dollar Money
Drop” after two contestants lost $800,000 despite answering a question
correctly, the show’s host says many people are missing the point: the duo
legitimately lost the game on the next question anyway.

“They never had a chance to win that money. Ever. No matter what,” Kevin
Pollak told The Hollywood Reporter. “They got the last question wrong. None of
the clips show the last question.”

Instead, what the viral YouTube clips show is Gabe Okoye and girlfriend
Brittany Mayti in deep despair after losing $800,000 on a Post-it note answer
deemed correct days after their elimination from the show. Pollak pointed out
that even if the couple had been awarded the cash for that question, they still
would have met the same demise on the show.

“This story is a moot point. They lost everything on the next question. It’s
a non-story.” said Pollak. “There’s one aspect of the story that hasn’t been
covered that much.”

Pollak said he was pleased, regardless, that the couple has been invited to
participate on the show again, but not pleased that they were said to be
hesitant to return due to the pressure of the show.

“I say right on,” he said of the do-over episode. “But now they are saying
there’s too much pressure? Oh my God! Way to get the country to turn against
you.”

The show, based on a British format, works in the reverse of the standard
game show. Contestants start off with money — in this case $1 million — and
watch it disappear if they answer questions wrongly.

On the very first episode, which aired December 20, Okoye and Brittany Mayti
were asked to guess which item was sold in stores first, the Macintosh computer,
the Sony Walkman or Post-it Notes. They bet $800,000 of their $880,000 stash on
Post-its, but the answer was deemed to be the Walkman. They lost the remaining
$80,000 on the next question, after wrongly picking Brian Williams over Jon
Stewart as the most trusted newscaster of 2009.

But in the ensuing days, it emerged that Post-its preceded the Walkman by
about two years, thanks to incorrect information supplied by Post-it maker 3M,
and an Internet controversy was born.

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