Game Shows Wiki
Kevin Frazier
The Money Pump 2013 U.S. Pilot.jpg
Unsold Pilot for CBS Primetime: 2013
ITV Studios America
Reshet TV

The Money Pump was an unsold adaptation of an Israeli format where contestants compete against an enormous money pump for $1,000,000.


The Money Pump is presented onstage as a spherical tank connected to pipelines, all of which are covered with displays that can show money swirling around or being transferred in or out. Two contestants play each game and are initially credited with $1 million. They must answer a series of eight questions in order to keep as much of that money as possible. 

On each turn, they choose one of three categories, then are asked a question with four answer choices. They must each lock in a guess without discussing the question. If they have not both responded after three seconds, the pump activates and drains money from their total until they have done so.

If at least one contestant answers correctly, the game continues. If both of them answer correctly within three seconds, $50,000 is added to their total. Whenever one contestant answers correctly and the other misses, the money draining rate increases for all subsequent questions.

The team has three bailouts, each of which may be used once.

  • Talk: The contestants may discuss the question, with the pump still running.
  • Control: One contestant responds for the team, with the $50,000 bonus out of play for that question.
  • Buy: The team may receive the answer to the question, at a cost of half their total.

After the fourth question, the team has 60 seconds to answer as many true/false questions as possible. Each correct answer given by both contestants adds $10,000 to their total.

After eight questions, the team receives whatever money they still have. If the total reaches zero at any time, or both contestants miss the same question, or both contestants answers differently more than twice (given that both contestants meet the above criteria for each time), the game ends immediately and the team leaves with nothing.


Gili Golan, Adi Golan, & Harel Joseffson