|Mark L. Walberg|
This is an article for the 2009 unsold pilot. For the 1984-85 syndicated series, see Every Second Counts (1).
"You're looking at the final destination, where one of our four players will race against the money clock they cannot see for a chance to win $1,000,000, today on Every Second Counts! Slingo Productions presents: Every Second Counts, and here's your host, Mark L. Walberg!"
Every Second Counts was an unsold show where four contestants competed for the right to enter a money booth with a clock they cannot see for a chance at $1,000,000.
Host Walberg asked a series of questions for a random amount of time (ranging from 45 to 60 seconds) only seen by the home audience, as everyone in the studio couldn't see the clock. On a player's turn, an incorrect answer kept control, but a correct answer passed control to the next player. When the time was up, the player in control was eliminated from the game and received a Croton watch. The last player standing went on to play for $1,000,000.
Walberg and the winning contestant entered a soundproof booth, where s/he had three attempts to make every second count for $1,000,000.
To begin, backstage, the contestant's supporters would select one of five time cards ranging from 30 to 50 seconds in 5-second increments. Next, the contestant was shown six possible answers for all the questions to be asked (generally forming a common bond). Finally, after the first question was asked, the hidden clock would start.
The object of the game was to answer enough questions correctly to win the $1,000,000. Each correct answer moved one step up the money ladder, while each incorrect answer moved one step down.
Here's how the money grows:
If the contestant ran out of time, s/he lost the money; so to prevent this from happening, if the contestant feared that s/he wasn't going to make it to the top and run out of time, s/he had to press the blue stopper button next to him/her. Pressing it allowed the contestant to bail out and keep whatever s/he won up to that point in that attempt.
After each of the first two attempts s/he could give back the money, and try again one step higher on the money ladder than the previous attempt (this meant starting at $750 after bailing out once, and $1,000 after bailing out twice). If time ran out on either of the first two attempts, the contestant would have the same starting point as the previous attempt for the next one.
For each new attempt, the supporters would have one fewer time card to choose from, making the situation better or worse.
In the third attempt only, when the contestant reached the $100,000 level, the clock would be stopped temporarily and Walberg would give the contestant a one-time offer to hit the stopper button to bail out. If the contestant declined to do so, the game would resume (the contestant would still be able to hit the button anytime thereafter however).
For the first game, there was a random contestant backstage dubbed "The 10-Percenter" (supposedly the winner of an interactive game). This meant that whatever the main contestant won, he/she would receive 10% of those winnings (up to $100,000).