“Whammies, you can drop dead… STOP!”

2 minute read

December 16, 2009, 10:15 PM

I do a trivia contest at work every year to divvy up some freebie items that we get from our office supply company. The past two years, I’ve done a shout-it-out format, where I come up with some questions, and then the first person to shout the answer wins a pick at a prize.

However, a few of my coworkers have been saying that they would like to see me juice up the format a little. They suggested teams, but I couldn’t come up with anything that would achieve the desired result (getting rid of all the prizes), and still not make it too overly complicated, and still get a lot of gameplay and participation. I’d thought about pricing games or something for it, but couldn’t come up with something that we could fit into an hour and get rid of the prizes (we usually have around ten or so).

But then it hit me. I came up with an idea of how to spice it up. I determined how to work in the trivia bit, and get some action. Each correct answer will earn spins. Then they take those spins and win points. And the spins, when taken, will look like this:

Yes, I’m thinking about playing a modified version of the television classic Press Your Luck. Take them up in groups of three, and have them play a round with their spins. Like the real show, they can take their spins, or they can pass them. And hopefully they’ll avoid the Whammy, which, when hit, will come in, shout, “IF ELECTED, I WILL RAISE YOUR TAXES!” and take all your points away. Four Whammies, and you’re history. See, I have a Windows version of the game, and so I just have to load it onto my laptop, and we’ve got it.

Then after everyone’s finished playing, the score determines what order you go in to pick a prize. The person with the most points gets to pick, and then second place, and on down the line. I just hope we don’t have any prizes that no one wants. We had a red handbag set the last time we did this that I couldn’t give away. No one wanted it. The only thing I still need to determine is how to determine how to rank the people who finish with zero or Whammy out of the game. Of course, those who finish with zero points but less than four Whammies would rank ahead of those who had four Whammies, but the exact way we’ll rank those folks would require some thinking, because it may be the case that we have enough prizes that people with zero points could end up picking.

So there’s my idea. I think it’s a pretty good one, but I’m still open to suggestions about how to make it better, or just plain better ideas. After all, we probably won’t actually be playing this until next October or November. So let me know. Otherwise, my coworkers are going to have to figure out how to avoid the Whammy…

Web site: A particularly memorable moment, when two contestants kept passing spins back and forth between each other.

Song: A whole bunch of Whammies...

Quote: Meanwhile, this certainly will take me back. I haven't hosted a game show since I did The East Coast Price is Right back in 1999...

Categories: Television, Work