The Money Drop Jackpot

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Headquartered in the Netherlands, Endemol is an international television production and distribution company that has been pushing the envelope when it comes to integrating traditional media, new media and social networking. A fine example of their innovation is the BAFTA-winning game show called “The Million Pound Drop Live,” which began broadcasting on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom in 2010 with Davina McCall hosting.

The show employs Facebook and Twitter to identify contestants, promote the show and allow viewers to play along with the live broadcasts. Its format is relatively simple. Contestants are each given a million in cash at the top of the show. Answering eight questions correctly allows them to take home the money. However, one wrong move and they could watch it all disappear, quite literally, via a trapdoor located under the stacks of currency.

For Endemol’s online casino version of this popular programme called “The Money Drop Jackpot,” the quiz questions have been eliminated. Instead, the difference between winning a cash prize and losing it all comes down to positioning the money correctly on trapdoors that don’t open up and send the potential winnings plummeting into the void.

The game opens with a video intro of security guards loading cash into an armoured vehicle and delivering it to the studio. This gives way to the game display, which features the Money Drop trapdoors in the middle. Each trapdoor is number and has a red surface. At the bottom of the screen is the control panel with three sets of up/down arrows used to select the number of Trapdoors in play, the number of Rounds and the amount of the Stake. There is also a Play switch on the right to initiate the game.

At the top of the screen inside an elongated red oval is the counter for the number of “Rounds to Go,” along with an indicator for the amount of the “Current Prize.” At the upper right corner of the screen is a special counter for the Jack Prize, which starts at £100,000. In the lower left corner is an “Information” button, which can be used to open a text window showing “How to Play.”

The object of The Money Drop Jackpot is to retain as much of the prize money as possible after placing it on the game’s Trapdoors over a number of Rounds. First, the player must select a Stake to wager from £0.50 to £50. Next, the number of Trapdoors must be set from 2 to 4, and then the number of Rounds is selected from 2 to 5. The greater the Stake, Trapdoors and Rounds, the higher the potential prize, from a minimum of £1.55 up on a £0.50 wager up to £20,000 for the maximum.

After all the selections have been made, clicking on Play will start the first round. The player then has the option to place all of prize money on a single Trapdoor, hoping it will not open, or to divide the prize into two, four or ten equal amounts to be distributed on top of the Trapdoors as desired. No matter how many Trapdoors are in play, all of them will open but one, so dividing the prize money is equivalent to sacrificing some of it.

After putting the prize money in place, clicking on the “Drop” button will activate the Trapdoors. Whatever cash remains after the Money Drop is available to distribute for the second Round. This process continues until all the prize funds have been lost or the Final Round is competed and the remaining amount is won.

After each game, a Golden Ticket may be awarded at random, win or lose. When five Golden Tickets have been collected, access is granted to the Jackpot game. The frequency of winning Golden Tickets increases with the value of the main game Stake. The Jackpot game features eight rounds in total—four Rounds with four Trapdoors, three Rounds with three and the Final Round with two—just like the TV show. Note that the prize money may not be split during the Jackpot game.

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