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Strategies and Fixes – Part 1 - December 8

Once again, I don the papaya cap and turn into Dr. Pepper. Why do I do this? For you the fan, of course, as we look at two of the new kids on the block – 1 Vs. 100 and Show Me The Money. I’m going to try to fix what ails these shows and give you strategies on how to do the best against them in their current state.

This week, we focus on 1 Vs. 100. The execution of the show is tighter in the new episodes than the first five. Saget is clearly more comfortable and is coming into his own. The mob, with the addition of celebrities, is becoming more humanized and makes them more compelling. Despite the quick exit of K-Fed Ex (for speedy exit) and the cast of Las Vegas, you have players like Sister Rose and Annie Duke, who have been very impressive on the show. Of course, people like Jennings, Rutter and Legler don’t hurt, and I hear through the Grapevine that we may be seeing very soon at least 2 Lingo Tourmanent of Champion finalists and one spiky haired ex-airline worker who grabbed over one million dollars in Greed…

…and before I continue, let me go on a tangent here. I do NOT have a problem with the show being semi-celebrified. You are going to have morons who get booted quickly. You may as well let them be recognizable morons who get made fun of by Saget first before leaving the stage. Besides, it’s a safe sensible way of cross-promotion, and who wouldn’t mind seeing a Hilton or 2 up there?

Despite the cleanups, there’s still one GLARING change that they did NOT make, which is Mob Compensation. That Bailout Lifeline, which would have been very fascinating to see, isn’t there, and instead we get ‘Trust The Mob’, which is almost a carbon copy of Ask The Mob except that you must go with the majority. There are some significant differences between the Moblines, but this game becomes near-perfect if they added the bailout option.

The show did add that you had to answer 5 questions before leaving, but the much better play is that you must play until you use the Bailout. Why does Bob Saget tells the player that they have won the game when they quit with $150,000? You have NOT won the game, because you don’t have the million. As a matter of fact, the Mob should claim the win, because although you took $150,000, you still left $850,000 on the table. It should never be deemed a win in any game when you only seize 15% of the prize.

Therefore, it should be within the Mob’s right to take 25% of the contestant’s take. Why? Because by NOT knocking out all of the Mob, the contestant loses and should be penalized by giving a portion of the winnings to the same Mob that blocked them from taking all of the money. This is also a reward to the Mob for stopping the player from taking everything, rather than being given nothing as a reward.

Add the Bailout and force the player to keep answering questions until they use it. That’s how they do it almost everywhere else. That’s where it should be done here, too.

Strategies: The One: Besides knowing the right answer, the main strategy is when to use the Moblines. Believe it or not, the first one that should be used is the newest one – Trust the Mob. This Line should be used on a Pop Culture question or on one that seems to be easy and you are the only moron in the room that doesn’t know it. Chances are that if you use this on a harder question, that over half of the Mob could be just as stumped as you are. Also keep in mind that The Mob only has 3 second to answer the question, so if it’s a tricky one, they may all go for the obvious answer and not think the complete question out.

Poll The Mob should be the next Mobline used. It’s especially good if you think you know but you’re torn between two answers and you can see how the Mob answered one of them. If you get a good response, then use that answer. If not, then use the other answer you were thinking of.

Finally, it’s time to Ask The Mob, which should also be used if you have no clue on any of the choices. That will lead you to a 50/50 guess at what the right answer is.

When to stop? You should probably stop when you are all out of Lifelines or when you have discarded the Poll the Mob Lifeline. Asking the Mob in the later rounds is only going to help if you are torn between 2 answers and they knock out the one that you were thinking it could be. Since you are under no obligation to use any of the Mob help before quitting, that could be a viable option.

Strategies: The Mob: Yes, you are here as well. There’s not much strategy for you, but the one chance you have is vital. I’m talking about ‘Ask the Mob’, where you have an answer right…or wrong. Should you be one of the two selected, you can use one of 2 strategies – either make it look like you know you’re wrong, or give a completely non-sensical answer and hope that the other person selected plays along with it.

Bob: ‘Mr Smith, why did you select that Jennifer Hudson is in the movie Dreamgirls?’
You: ‘Because I think that one of the marshmallows in a box of Lucky Charms is a Horseshoe’

Either way, the only way you are going to make money if off of the player’s miss, so set him up that his decision is going to be as hard as possible. Hopefully, with this strategy, you can come out being the one with cash.

Perhaps you would rather play pricing games than answer trivia questions…

Clearance Sale – Yes, it is a glorified version of Easy as 1-2-3. Line up the prizes from least expensive to most expensive. The catch here is that you do have tags, which should help you at least mentally put prizes in a specific range.

Clock Game – There is no prize worth more than $1,000 in this game. Even when they had them, you only had to worry about the last 3 digits. Keep in mind that most of the prizes end in 99, so go for a 699 or 899 if you’re running out of time. The first guess on the second product should ALWAYS be 999.

Coming or Going - Watch for the 95 rule here. If there’s an option where the prize will end in 95 (4095 vs. 5904), take the last 2 digits as 95.

Gordon Pepper has some more strategies and fixes next week. E-mail him at


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