!!The film:

* "I don't want to be the only asshole in Heaven."
* All the shows previous... ''winners''.
** This is mitigated somewhat when you consider that unlike Richards, those men were probably ''not'' innocent.
*** But let's remember, the audience believed these men had been pardoned by the hellish experience, only to be murdered off-camera.

!!The book:

* Holy crap, where to begin. For starters, you've got Richards' only option to save his wife and child being entering the contest, a certain death sentence for him.
* And then you've got the little girl dying of lung cancer. By the time Richards comes along, the disease has spread from her lungs and into her belly. Her family has no choice but to keep her doped up to at least dull her agony while she slowly wastes away.
* Elton's [[spoiler: death. Made even worse by the fact that it was caused by his senile mother calling the cops on Richards.]]
* But the king of them all has to be [[spoiler: when Richards finds out about his family's death. All of his hope, all of his reasons for entering the contest, or even keeping himself alive comes crashing down in those few moments. The man has literally ''nothing left to live for.'' The revelation sends Richards into a HeroicBSOD and is what ultimately makes him decide to take down the Games Corporation once and for all.]]