|Apploft Entertainment/Endemol USA|
ANNOUNCER: "Earlier tonight, armed guards picked up $1,000,000 in cash from a secret vault. It was transported under maximum security to our protected set, where the entire million will be handed over to one couple. Their challenge? Hang on to it, through the most heart-pounding game ever imagined!"
KEVIN: "I'm Kevin Pollak, and this is the Million Dollar Money Drop!"
Million Dollar Money Drop was a short-lived primetime game show where a team of two people with a pre-existing relationship (to date, couples) was presented with $1,000,000, banded in bundles of $20,000 (50 bundles of 1,000 $20 bills). The team had to risk the entire amount on each of seven multiple-choice questions.
For each question, the contestants chose one of two categories, then indicated which answer(s) they wished to risk their money on by moving the bundles of cash onto a row of trap doors, each of which corresponded to one answer. However, they had to always keep at least one answer "open," with no money on it. In addition, six of the seven questions had a time limit; any money that was not placed on an answer when time ran out was lost.
Once the money was in place, the trap doors for the incorrect answers were opened, and the cash on them fell out of sight and was lost. The contestants then continued the game using the cash they had placed on the correct answer. They were allowed to keep whatever money was left after the seventh question; if they lost everything before reaching this point, the game would end immediately and they left with nothing.
|Question(s)||Answer choices||Time limit|
|1 - 3||4||60 seconds|
|4 - 5||3||75 seconds|
For the seventh question, once the contestants had placed their money on one of the trap doors, the host revealed a piece of information about the answers. They then had 60 seconds to switch their answer or leave the money where it was.
The contestants were allowed to use one "Quick Change" during the game, on any question except the seventh. This feature allowed them an extra 30 seconds to distribute their cash among the trapdoors. If the contestants did not leave any trapdoors open and the lifeline was still available, it would automatically be used.
Contestants and their winnings
|1||Gabe Okoye and Brittany Mayti||December 20, 2010||$0|
|2||Andrew and Patricia Murray||December 20, 2010||$0|
|3||Kyle and Casey Kaczmarek||December 21, 2010||$80,000|
|4||Steve and Jennifer Standage||December 22, 2010||$240,000|
|5||Tyler and Roshelle Baier||December 23, 2010||$0|
|6||Chris and Jamie Senesac||December 23, 2010||$0|
|8||Omar Williams and Sherman Mitchell||January 6, 2011||$40,000|
|11||Lana McKissing and Nathan Moore||January 18, 2011||$300,000|
- Most money won: $300,000
- Total winnings: $660,000
- Average won per episode: $55,000
- Before Million Dollar Money Drop, host Kevin Pollak was originally signed on to host Our Little Genius in the same year. However, it was pulled before it made it to air due to controversial actions of its integrity.
- On the first show, Gabe Okoye and Brittany Mayti, the show's first contestants were involved in some controversy. This happened when they missed on a question in which they lost $800,000 for it. Their two subject choices were "Inventions" & "Makeovers", they selected "Inventions". The question went like this: "Which of these was sold in stores first: A. Macintosh Computer, B. Sony Walkman, or C. Post-It Notes?" Gabe instantly thought it was Post-It Notes (despite the fact that he thought wrong, 3M was nonexistent at the time for which it actually did exist). So Gabe & Brittany placed 2/5 of their starting money (they had $880,000 at the time) on Post-It Notes, and the rest on Sony Walkman. The end result of course was that they lost all that money on Post-It Notes, but kept the rest for Sony Walkman. They eventually went on to lose the game.
- After the show, viewers disputed the question noting that Post-It Notes were indeed sold first. FOX refused to believe them after doing a little bit more research, and said that they are standing by the answer "Sony Walkman". However, the controversy continued when viewers learned that the question did not contain the word "nationwide" or "internationally", thinking that this was restricted to the US. The crisis finally ended on December 23, 2010, when FOX and the show's executive producer Jeff Apploff found out about this new information: the product was originally tested for sale in four cities under the name "Press 'N Peel" in 1977, then reintroduced as "Post-It Notes" in 1979 when the rollout began and sold nationwide in 1980. FOX finally admitted its mistake by stating that the information it received was incomplete, and decided to invite Gabe & Brittany back on a future show to play the game again (although they would never appear on the show after their initial appearance). The couple appeared on Good Morning America to comment on this new matter; they were interviewed by hostess/anchor Robin Roberts.
- Later in the show's run, another dispute about one question on the show came into effect. On September 25, 2012, long after the show ended, BuzzerBlog reported that contestants Andrew and Patricia Murray (who ironically were the next couple to play after Okoye and Mayti) were planning to sue upon losing all of their winnings after being asked this question: "According to the data security firm IMPERVA, what is the most common computer password: A. PASSWORD, B. 123456, or C. ILOVEYOU?" The Murrays bet $580,000 on the answer "PASSWORD"; however, according to the show, the answer was revealed to be "123456", and they lost the money. In a statement from the couple, they said, "IMPERVA did not conduct its own objective survey of computer users but rather supports its assertion that 123456 is the most common password based on analysis of a hacking incident involving a website known as RockYou.com," and if they had known it pertained to just that incident, they would've, in the couple's words, "hedged our bets and played differently."
- A 2nd season was thought to have been in the works (along with a board game), but in May 2011, it was confirmed that the show would not return for a 2nd season. FOX had not commented on why the show was cancelled, but it is likely due to low ratings (the show drew about 5 million viewers per episode).
The following is a list of countries that did their own versions of the Million Dollar Money Drop:
- Argentina (Salven los Millones)
- Australia (The Million Dollar Drop)
- Brazil (Um Milhão na Mesa)
- Cambodia (200 Million Money Drop)
- Chile (Atrapa los Millones)
- Colombia (Millones por Montones)
- France (Money Drop)
- Germany (Rette die Million!)
- Greece (Money Drop)
- India (Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu languages)
- Japan (2000万円クイズ! マネードロップ; ¥20,000,000 Quiz! Money Drop); aired as a series of specials
- Malaysia (Malay language only)
- Myanmar (The Money Drop Myanmar)
- Nigeria (The Money Drop)
- Philippines (The Million Peso Money Drop)
- Singapore (English language only)
- Slovenia (Denar pada)
- South Africa (English language only as Million Rand Money Drop)
- Spain (Atrapa un Millón)
- Switzerland (German language only)
- United Kingdom (country that originated the program as The Million Pound Drop; later known as The £100K Drop)
- Uruguay (Salven el Millón)
For its series finale in 2011, FOX introduced an online play-along with the show.
In the late-2010s (around 2017-2018), Vocala Co, released a skill game version of Million Dollar Money Drop for the Amazon Alexa where you get to play the contestant by picking a category and deciding how much of your $1,000,000 you want to place over different answer choices.
In 2019, a news report said that TV personality and current Pyramid host, Michael Strahan with SMAC Productions along with Endemol Shine North Americawants to develop a revival of the Million Dollar Money Drop. According to Strahan, he said that "I was in London the first time I saw Money Drop and I immediately knew we had to help bring it back to the U.S. On Behalf of myself, Constance Schwartz-Morini and the rest of the team of SMAC, were excited to take Money Drop to market with the amazing team at Endemol Shine and make it SMAC's third game show next to The $100,000 Pyramid and The Joker's Wild." According to executive vice president of syndication Michael Weinberg, he said that "We are thrilled to be partnered with Michael and the team of SMAC Entertainment to develop an all-new version of The Money Drop for an American audience, this is a format that has worked successfully all over the world and the game concept itself is a lot of fun and engaging"; no network is currently attached at the moment but both Endemol and SMAC are said to be looking into potential primetime and daytime opportunities for the show, including national syndication.
Based on the British series The Million Pound Drop Live.