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New TV5 game show gives contestants a million bucks at the outset

The colorful set of 'The Million Peso Money Drop'. (Analy Labor/InterAksyon)


So you want to play in a game show that gives you a chance to be a millionaire? What if you’re playing to keep your million pesos instead of just earning them?

That is the premise of “The Million Peso Money Drop,” TV5’s newest game show hosted by “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” quizmaster Vic Sotto.Based on the franchise that began with “The Million Pound Live Franchise” and now available in more than 40 international versions all over the globe, it follows the same format where a pair of closely related contestants are given a million bucks in the country’s currency (in our case, pesos) to play with.

“It’s about as exciting as ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’ except instead of trying to win their first million, here in ‘Money Drop’ the role is reversed as the contestants already have a million pesos at the outset. How much money they get to keep at the end of the show will depend on how they’ll handle their money,” said Bert De Leon who happen to direct shows.

De Leon and headwriter Paolo Bustamante revealed that game mechanics work like this: A pair of contestants who have a “pre-existing relationship” with each other (they could be spouses, siblings or very close friends) must risk the entire amount by placing desired portions on any of the four trap doors that correspond to possible answers to each of the eight trivia questions.

Headwriter Paolo Bustamante. (Analy Labor/InterAksyon)


“For each question, there are two categories that contestants can choose from. They can place the most amount of money in the trap door of the answer which they think is most correct. They must, however, keep at least one drop “clear” with no money in it. The trap doors for all the wrong answers will open and all the money placed there is lost for good. At the end of the eighth question, whatever money they have left is theirs to keep,” Bustamante further explained.

Sounds easy enough? There’s more. The contestants are entitled to one “Quick Change” at any point during the game except for the final question. This allows them to request for a change of category and buys more time to distribute their cash among the trap doors.

Finally, on the eighth and final question, the team must go “All or Nothing” and placed their cash on just one trap door,. If they get the answer right, they get to take home the remaining cash. If they get it wrong, they go home empty-handed.

“To add to the pressure, there’s also a time limit. Any money not placed on any of the trap doors when time runs out will also be lost,” Bustamante continued.

De Leon, best known for directing Bossing in “Eat Bulaga” and many other shows, admits to being a big fan of game shows. He said what drew him to “The Million Peso Money Drop” is its different kind of excitement.

“It depends on how much of a gambler our given contestants are, how much confidence they have in playing this game. Every question is a make or break situation for them, anything can happen at any given moment,” he stressed.

Bustamante said viewers can see the contestants discussing and arguing on which answer is correct and how much money they are willing to wager. The reactions of the contestants when they lose their money when a trap door opens or when they keep their winnings when it remains closed also adds to the thrill and drama of the show.

Direk Bert added that one crucial element of the show is that like, “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?,” the contestant really needs to brush up on his trivia. But unlike that other show, there is no such thing as a lifeline for the contestants to hold onto.

“That adds to the pressure and the excitement of the show. It’s more dynamic and I think out viewers will like it because vicariously it’s like taking a gamble and they get to experience the dynamics and thrills of being a contestant as they physically move their money from one trap door to another.”

Aside from the show’s elaborate set design, the dazzling lighting and soundtrack music, the presence of Bossing also enhances the entertainment value of “The Million Peso Money Drop.”

“That’s what we told the representative of the franchise during our meetings, to give Vic some levity in hosting the show. Vic is not just an ordinary host, he is the number one comedian in the country so just like in ‘Millionaire,’ he is allowed to inject his personality here.”

Director Bert de Leon. (Analy Labor/InterAksyon)


Although Vic cannot help the contestants once the game begins and can only remind them of the time remaining, Paolo added that he can add his commentary and analysis at the end of the game.

Whether each pair of contestants will become a millionaire for just a day or maybe for a few months more will depend on how they will play the game. While the possibility of going home with your one million intact or totally gone at the end of the show are pretty much the same, De Leon and Bustamante are both one in saying that there is a very good chance that our contestants can also end up with a good amount of cash balance when they finish the game.

“Nasa sa diskarte pa rin nila yan,” Direk Bert concluded.

“The Million Peso Money Drop” premieres on TV5 on October 14.