Cash Explosion was doing (relatively) fine, did things really need to change? Apparently, yes. Make Me Famous, Make Me Rich was an attempt by the Ohio Lottery in 2006 to replace its long-running Game Show with something a little different.
It began with ten teams of three contestants each, who as with many other lottery game shows, qualified by sending in winning Make Me Famous, Make Me Rich scratch cards. The first round required the teams to collect as much money as they could, with five teams each competing in a "semi-final" heat; on each of their turns, a team voted to pick a card from the "Safe" side (which contained lower dollar amounts) or the "Risk" side (which had higher amounts, but $0 cards as well). Certain values were marked with "Extended Play" bonuses, which could award additional bonus prizes if the contestant in question had qualified for the show using the slightly more expensive "Extended Play" versions of the scratch cards.
The highest-scoring team in each heat advanced to the next round, while the losing teams split the money they collected as a Consolation Prize. The six members of the winning teams played in a "Championship Game" to determine who would face the returning champion in the final "Face-Off" (hold on, shouldn't that be the "Championship Game"?). It was basically a White Elephant exchange with six cards - four were "Bye" cards (which eliminated the player), one had a $5,000 buy-out, and the last card was worth $10,000 and allowed the player to advance to the final round. Contestants could take from the remaining cards or steal one from someone else. The player with the $5,000 card could either trade it to someone else who hopefully has the Win card, or take the $5,000 and leave. Then three people who held Bye cards were eliminated, and the remaining players could also swap.
In the Face-Off, the returning champion and the winner of the Championship Game alternated drawing balls from a canister - 7 were red, 2 were white, and 1 was green. The first person to draw a green or white ball won the game and $50,000. Drawing the green ball also awarded a progressive jackpot, but only for the Extended Play contestants. It increased by $5,000 for every white ball win by an Extended Play contestant, and $2,500 for each time a contestant traded away the $5,000.
No, it's not our fault that our summary of the gameplay is a confusing mess - Make Me Famous, Make Me Rich really was a confusing mess. Bad reviews, poor viewership, and worse ticket sales led the Ohio Lottery to cancel MMFMMR after just one year and bring back Cash Explosion (with MMFMMR host David McCreary onboard); those with winning MMFMMR tickets could use them as entries to appear on the revived Cash Explosion, while the final MMFMMR champ was given an option to carry over as returning champ on Cash Explosion (they passed and took a $100,000 bonus instead).
Due to the show being Cut Short, one element touted in promos never came to fruition: a contest to become David's cohost.
Game Show Tropes in use:
- Audience Participation: During the first round, the audience members had paddles with "SAFE" and "RISK" written on their faces, presumably to make suggestions to the players.
- Bonus Space: The Extended Play bonuses.
- Golden Snitch: In the third turn of the opening round, there was a $30,000 space on the Risk side.
- Product Placement: Not surprising, given this was a production of the Ohio Lottery.
This show provides examples of:
- Instant Mystery, Just Delete Scene: To speed up the show, later episodes edited out the first turns in the semi-final. Rather than, you know, making the game less complicated or removing a couple rounds of picks from the actual format.
- Luck-Based Mission: The entire game, but that's standard practice (by law) for lottery game shows.
- Non-Indicative Name: The naming of the rounds was rather odd - presumably, the "Championship Game" would be the last round rather than the next-to-last.
- Now Buy the Merchandise: So, do you want to win that progressive jackpot, or not?