NBC’s ‘Take It All’ – Ultimate Display of Greed

Take It All (a sick man’s version of a “game”)

This past week Mrs. WSL (a.k.a. “Toots”) and I enjoyed some nights at home for a change. Our lives have been hectic so we were looking forward to getting in the PJ’s, crashing on the couch, and watching some TV.

Well, for those of you that haven’t seen it, NBC has a new game show called Take It All. When we first started watching the show, I couldn’t help but be intrigued because of all of the cool prizes they were giving away. However, what I witnessed at the end made me sick to my stomach, which then led to me writing about it. 🙂

How the Show Works

The show starts with 5 contestants and contains 4 different rounds. The first 3 rounds work very similar to one another:

  1. The first contestant walks onto the center of the stage.
  2. Howie Mandel (the host) asks them to pick a number (1-5) on a video board that stands in front of them.
  3. After picking a number, a prize is revealed to that contestant.

Now, the goal of each round is to NOT have the least expensive prize. If you have the least expensive prize, then you’re eliminated.

After the first contestant chooses a number (and associated hidden prize), the next contestant strolls out. That contestant (and the ones thereafter) now have two options: (1) they can steal a prize from one of the contestants that’s already selected or (2) they can choose a number from the video board to reveal their hidden prize.

Sure, there’s a little bit of drama when one contestant “steals” from another contestant (which you would do if you thought a prize was the most valuable of the round, therefore ensuring you don’t get eliminated), but that’s not what makes this game the ultimate display of our greed.

So, after each contestant has either picked a number or “stolen” a prize from their counterparts, then Howie goes about eliminating the person that has the cheapest prize. The first round has prizes ranging from $5,000-$11,000.

The 2nd and 3rd rounds are precisely the same as the first (except there is 1 less contestant in each round). The only difference is that the 2nd round has more expensive prizes ranging from $12,000 – $24,000. The third round then has prizes ranging from $45,000 – $100,000.

The Ultimate Display of Greed

Once they’ve gotten down to the final round, only two contestants remain. Each of these two contestants now are asked to choose between 10 sealed envelopes which have an undisclosed dollar amount inside. The dollar figure can range anywhere between $25,000 and $250,000.

Keep in mind that these contestants have gone through 3 rounds thus far and have received prizes in each of them (in addition to this cash infusion they’re about to receive). These aren’t WSL-style, frugal gifts. No…each of these contestants has already won nearly $100,000 each! For this particular show, here is what the contestants had won up to this point:

Contestant #1: Street Striders ($5,800), trip to Australia ($24,000), a Jet Pack ($99,500)

Contestant #2: Jewelry ($7,800), Tree Lodge ($20,000), 2013 Jaguar XF ($47,000)

After taking their envelopes (with an undisclosed amount of cash they’re going to receive), Howie (the host) then explains that they will have a choice to make: (1) vote to “take it all” or (2) vote to “keep mine”.

Now, what makes this choice difficult is that:

  1. If they BOTH vote to keep what they have, then they both keep what they have.
  2. If they BOTH vote to “take it all”, then they both get NOTHING.
  3. If they vote opposite each other, then the one that voted “take it all” gets EVERYTHING. And by everything I mean all of the cash/prizes he/she won plus all of the cash/prizes the other contestant won.

What ensues after this explanation is the most sickening display of greed that I’ve seen in a long time.

Before the contestants decide how they’re going to vote, they are required to talk to each other. They basically feel each other out, get to know one another, and these contestants both even agree that they won’t screw each other over. In this episode at least.

Needless to say, the exchange of words between the contestants was emotional. I mean…they were trusting the other person with upwards of $300,000 of their money.

Unfortunately, regardless of how genuine you may believe somebody to be, reality is that there are greedy a-holes out there. People that wouldn’t be satisfied with winning a minimum of $100,000. People that wouldn’t mind lying to your face, taking what you’ve won, and doing so without even feeling bad about it.

You obviously don’t need for me to tell you how it ended. But if you’d like, you can take 3 minutes and watch it below.

While I’m all for fun and games, I felt this show went overboard. I personally won’t ever watch it again and it makes me sad to think how greed is so prevalent in our world today. Can’t we all just be content, have peace andbe thankful for what we have?

About the Author

By , on Dec 19, 2012
Andy Tenton
Andy is a 30-something New Yorker who turned his financial life around. He took charge of his finances, got out of debt, and is now working his way toward financial success. He is the publisher of WorkSaveLive.com.

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  1. Pauline says:

    I’m glad I don’t own a TV! It looks like they don’t know what to invent anymore, a game where you just choose stuff to go back home with, really?

  2. Money Beagle says:

    I saw various bits and pieces of it and happened to see the end, it was pretty low of her to take it, but I actually watched the minutes of the exchange that had taken place up to the decision and I had a feeling that the winner would end up screwing over the other woman.

  3. Sadly, this is something that studies have shown over and over again. It does seem kind of lame to make a game show out of it. Just like that other game show with Howie Mandel with the briefcases.

    • Andy says:

      The brief case thing isn’t nearly as bad as it doesn’t involve you having to trust a greedy person with what you’ve just won.

  4. JT says:

    After watching that display, I don’t ever plan on watching the show. Not that I watch a lot of television anyway. I don’t think I could handle someone lying to me. I would have to be restrained.

    • Andy says:

      I was shocked at how well the lady composed herself. She had just lost $350,000!!! No…let me rephrase that: somebody STOLE $350,000 from her! I’d have punched the lady in the face (assuming I was a lady myself). lol.

  5. Well, on the bright side it must mean the economy is doing well…there’s no way they put a show like that on the air in the middle of a recession!

  6. Brian says:

    I had reality shows – except for The Amazing Race, they’re all pretty stupid. Whatever happened to scripted shows??

  7. Matt says:

    Thbtbtbtbt. I can’t see it in the UK! Do you get to listen in on their conversation as well??

    • Andy says:

      Could you not watch the video I had embeded in the post? It’s only 3 minutes and it shows the them talking to each other (and the lady getting screwed).

  8. Andy Hough says:

    I haven’t seen the show but it sounds like it is based on the Prisoner’s Dilemma. It is a game that shows people often don’t cooperate even if it is in their best interests to do so.

  9. Ahhh, the basic prisoner’s dilemma. Taken to extremes. That’s pretty gross.

    • Andy says:

      I must be the only one that’s never heard of this game. Maybe I need to come out from under my rock…

      • Riley says:

        Yeah, the prisoner’s dilemma is one of the most popular examples in game theory. Really fascinating study of philosophy, ethics, and economics. Makes you really question one of the basic assumptions of economics, that humans action in a rational matter.

  10. Wow, that is kind of a ‘sick’ show. This is the first time I’ve heard of it, but I’m guessing the draw is to see one person lose everything while the other swindles them out of it. Very sad.

  11. Thad says:

    Thanks for the recap. Reminds me why I rarely watch NBC (same can be said of other networks).

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