Lifetime (ended 1998)


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Show Summary

In the game of Debt, three players who are in the red by anywhere from $6,000 to $8,500 compete for the chance to win enough money to pay off their bills (or as they said on the show, "Go home with nothing!") At the beginning of the show, the debts are averaged to make things fair. In the first season, the first round consisted of 5 categories, each with 5 questions ranging in value from -$50 to -$250 in increments of $50. A box was picked, the clue was read, and the player who buzzed in got to guess. If correct, the player had that amount reduced from his/her debt. All questions used an "I am/You are" format, and players were penalized if they gave an incorrect answer. One of the questions was the "Debtinator" that was the round's most difficult question in the producers' opinion, and was worth -$500, regardless of the face value of the question. When time runs out or all the questions had been asked, the contestant with the highest debt was eliminated and got a consolation prize of $250 in a piggy bank. Round 2 is called Gambling Debt. 5 categories had values of -$300, -$400, -$500, -$750 and -$1,500. All categories had a list of something (IE: States I-35 Travels to). In turn, the contestants bid on how many they can name (ala Name That Tune's Bid-A-Note). The bidding's over once a contestant reaches the maximum amount or if a contestant tells an opponent to "Prove it!" (Name That Tune). The controlling contestant would have to get every answer right to win the money, but if he or she failed to complete the contract, the other player's debt was reduced. This game was played until either there's no way the opponent could catch up or the $1,500 question is played. The loser got a consolation prize of $500 in a piggy bank (for the record; I-35 travels to Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma & Texas). Bonus (Part 1): The winning contestant now played for his/her original debt to be erased. The player had 60 seconds to answer 10 questions correctly in a specific category. If he or she does, their debt is paid in full. If not, they kept whatever money they earned in the first two rounds, and had a chance to win $1,000 in a piggy bank on the next step. Wink would tell the contestant that they have a chance to win the value of their debt in a case the security guard holds. They can either stop or risk their newly paid debt and go for the question in which the contestant chooses a category s/he selected before the show. Bonus (Part 2): The final question is asked. If the player guessed correctly, they won the money they originally owned (or the $1,000 piggy bank if they failed on the first part of the bonus round). One male contestant was so happy, he ripped off his toupee & danced around all over it.moreless