If the Hero won the battle, they banked whatever money was hidden on that Stranger's podium (ranging from $1,000-$20,000, with no connection to the Stranger's intelligence; at least one episode used amounts ranging from $1-$50,000, as on the Israeli version). The prize went up to $250,000, $500,000, and $1,000,000 regardless on the final three), and the contestant got dropped through a hole under them, after which the Hero had to decide to continue on or go home.
If a Hero elected to quit, they were allowed to go "through the door" or "through the floor"; unlike what you may expect, several players opted to walk out. If the Hero lost, they went through the hole and the Stranger won $10,000 (raised to $25,000 in the eighth/ninth rounds, and $50,000 in the tenth). On the American version, the game ended right then and there. On the Chinese and Spanish versions, a Stranger who beats the Hero becomes the new Hero, and also inherits the previous Hero's prizes.
This show contains examples of:
- All or Nothing: Players either walked away with money "through the door" or went "through the floor" with nothing.
- Bonus Round: After a game concluded, the remaining Strangers played a Sudden Death Speed Round where they were asked questions going around the circle with 10-second time limits. Each correct answer increased the pot (some episodes gave $1,000, others $2,000), and last one standing won it all.
- Catchphrase: "Through the door, or through the floor?" (Contestants who walked away with winnings could choose their exit method. Contestants who lost, however, couldn't, for obvious reasons.)
- Christmas Episode: The series debuted as a special holiday "event". Problem is, those first shows weren't taped under a holiday spirit, so Christmas-themed bumpers and music were shoehorned in during post-production.
- Commercial Break Cliffhanger: This show took breaks mid-question.
- Eject the Loser: All of the losers, some winners (if they chose this way out), and finally Ben at the end of the show were disposed of through the floor.
- Game Over: Used when a Hero lost, before the Stranger that beat them got their $10,000 graphic.
- Game Show Host: Ben Bailey, taking some time outside of the Cash Cab for once. D. L. Hughley hosted the pilot.
- Lifelines: Two (later three) Passes for the Hero, none for the Strangers. Passing a question forced the Stranger to answer it, with a fresh 20-second clock. If the Hero chose to continue past the fifth round, he got one more Pass. In the premiere, the Rules Spiel didn't mention the Passes.
- Musical Spoiler: When the music started to ramp up, a commercial break's imminent...unless they just returned from commercial, in which case somebody's going out on the current question.
- Speed Round: The whole show (and especially the "bonus" round) could be seen as one.
- Think Music: Okay, who thought epic, loud orchestral music would be a good idea for the score of a quiz show?
- Viewers Are Goldfish:
- After every single elimination, an animated clip reminded the viewers how many people have dropped and how many still need to be eliminated to win the Million.
- Every drop got about 20 different instant replays.
- Who Wants to Be "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?": $1,000,000 top prize, epic music, circular set with lots of lighting effects, etc. Rather than using a straightforward money ladder, they used a variant of the "shuffle" format the syndicated Millionaire adopted just one year prior. Dollar amounts are hidden behind questions (or, in this case, defeated contestants) and added to a bank, and the final dollar amounts are earned sequentially in traditional money ladder fashion.