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Greed (game show)

Greed was an American television game show where a team of contestants answered a series of multiple-choice trivia questions for a potential prize of up to $2 million.

Broadcast history

Greed, produced by Dick Clark and hosted by Chuck Woolery, debuted on November 4, 1999. It was widely considered as Fox's answer to ABC's prime-time hit Who Wants to Be a Millionaire

After initially planning to renew the series for a second season, Fox abruptly canceled Greed on July 14, 2000, after 44 episodes. Repeats of Greed have aired on Game Show Network since January 2002.

Greed has also been exported to other countries. Jerry Springer hosted a British version of the show in 2001.

Rules of the game

The object of Greed was to complete a climb up the "Tower of Greed," which consisted of eight multiple-choice questions, with the value of each question increasing with the level of difficulty. Anyone who correctly answered all eight questions won or shared the $2 million grand prize.

Qualifying round

Six players competed in a qualifying round that determined who made the team. The host asked a question that always had a numerical answer. The correct answer was given after all the contestants locked in their answers, and the contestant who was closest to the correct answer became the captain of the team. The remaining players were ranked based on how close they were to the correct answer; the player who was furthest away from the correct answer was the only one who did not qualify.

The first four questions

Each contestant, except for the captain, was given a multiple-choice trivia question to answer. Once the contestant answered it, the captain had the option to accept or reject that answer. The first two questions (worth $25,000 and $50,000) had four possible answers; the second two (worth $75,000 and $100,000) had five possible answers. An incorrect guess at any time ended the game.

For each question after the fourth, the host gave the category of the next question. He also gave the captain the option to continue the game, if the team felt "the need for greed," or to end it and split the winnings among the players.

The Terminator

If the captain decided to continue, the host activated the "Terminator," which randomly selected a team member. That player then had the opportunity to challenge another team member for a guaranteed $10,000 (regardless of the outcome) plus any winnings that the challenged player had accumulated up to that point. If the contestant opted to challenge, the two players competed in a sudden-death face-off trivia question. The loser of that question was eliminated from the game and lost his or her winnings to the winner.

Higher-level questions

Once the Terminator round was over, the remaining team members were given a new question, with four correct answers. (The number of possible choices depended on the value of that question: the $200,000 question had six choices, the $500,000 question had seven, and the $1 million question had eight.) Before the $200,000 question, the captain of the team was given a "freebie" that he or she could use on any -- but only one -- question from that point onward. The "freebie" eliminated one of the incorrect answers from the question that it was used for.

After the team gave its four guesses, the captain was given the opportunity to change one of them if he or she desired. The answers were then revealed, one at a time. If three of the four guesses were correct, the host offered the captain a cash incentive (usually one-tenth of the value of that question) to end the game before revealing the fourth answer. If the captain refused, the fourth answer was revealed. If the fourth answer was correct, the team won; if any guesses were incorrect, the game ended and the contestants forfeited all money (except for Terminator wins) they had won up to that point.

The $2 million question

If the team won the $1 million question, it was up to each remaining player to determine if he or she wanted to go for the $2 million or stop and take the money that was already won.

The $2 million question had nine possible answers; the contestant was given 30 seconds to think about his or her four selections and another 30 seconds to select them. In Greed's nine-month run on Fox only one contestant made it to this level. He was given a question on which odors were the most recognizable based on a Yale University study, and three of his choices -- peanut butter, coffee, and Vicks VapoRub -- were correct answers. However, he guessed "tuna" as his fourth choice, and lost; the fourth answer was "chocolate."

Rule changes

In the first month of Greed's run, the top prize was worth $2 million plus an additional $50,000 for each game where the top prize was not won.

In February 2000 some previous Greed contestants were brought back for "Million-Dollar Moments." Two players faced off in a Terminator round, and the winner was given a question with eight possible answers and 60 seconds to give his or her answers. Four correct answers gave the contestant $1 million.

In May 2000, Greed was temporarily renamed Super Greed and the values for the top three questions were doubled, making the eighth question worth a potential $4 million (that level was never reached). In addition, any team that went for the seventh question (worth $2 million here) was guaranteed $200,000 regardless of the outcome of the game.

Toward the end of the show's run, the qualifying round was eliminated, and the five contestants for the team were chosen in advance.

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