Minute To Win It: fun game show premieres this Sunday on NBC

My friend Eric Hoberman helped develop a new game show that will premiere on NBC on Sunday March 14 from 7-9 p.m. ET/PT. It's called Minute To Win It, and the object is to win a series of 10 easy-to-understand but increasingly-hard-to-win challenges. As the title suggests, the players must successfully complete each of the games in a minute. The award structure is like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire -- the cash amount increases with each game up to a million dollars, you can walk away with what you've won at any point, and you can lose it all if you blow a challenge.

Eric gave me a box of props so I could try out the games myself. The show's contestants are also given props and rules for the games before they come on the show so they can practice. The props are household items -- golf balls, cookies, a deck of cards.

Here are a few of the challenges contestants will have 60 seconds to complete:

• Move two Oreo cookies from your forehead to your mouth using your facial muscles only. (I failed!)

• Stack three golf balls vertically. (I failed!)

• Balance a deck of playing cards on a soda bottle and blow all the cards off but the bottom one, the joker. (I failed!)

• A dollar bill is sandwiched between two bottles, one upright, the other inverted and placed on top of the upright bottle. You have four tries to remove the bill without touching or toppling the bottles. (Success!) I'm interested to know if anyone can successfully complete the tasks I failed at. If you make a YouTube of it, please provide the link so we can watch it!

Minute to Win it site on NBC


  1. I think a UK show had something very similar to this. If I remember right, they had a week to practice a difficult task to win a lot of cash. Very similar.

  2. For the blowing-away-the-cards-on-the-bottle trick, I’d use vacuum to stick the bottom one down by heating the bottle beforehand, and/or saliva, depending on if there’s a bottle cap or not.

  3. I can do the golf ball one, but I have had a lot of practice with it. That used to be a drinking game with my friends.

  4. Wow, “fun”? When I saw the commercial for this, I didn’t think “fun”– I thought “a new of brain-rotting decay of Western Civilization that makes me weep for humanity.”

    1. I’m glad I’m more easily amused than you. But I’m probably more shallow than you, so that’s the tradeoff I have to live with.

      1. You know….watching people weep for the decay of Western civilization might make for a good reality show.

        1. “Good reality show?” Isn’t that an oxymoron?

          Although come to think of it, if those shows actually are reality, I’m glad I’m not in it.

          Put me down for an hour of that weeping. I take union scale.

    2. What exactly is Western Civilization and where lies its border with Eastern Civilization?

  5. [Gilbert Anonymous here] Beat the Clock had celebrity guest stars as co-participants, and it didn’t have the air of desperation that permeates today’s shows of that type.

  6. Sounds great, until they run out of ideas in the 2nd episode and NBC cans everyone.

    I’ll pass.

    1. There are 62 games mentioned in the blueprints on NBC’s site. I doubt that this show will run out of ideas anytime soon. I want to master them all!

  7. The UK show that’s most similar is called The Cube (you can find episodes on YouTube, i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0X9GV-7MuPE).

    It’s a bit overproduced, but the setup (lives to lose, ability to simplify a task, trial runs) adds some interesting components to it.

    According to YouTube comments, Neil Patrick Harris is setting up to exec. produce and host a direct redo of The Cube for CBS.

  8. There are a ton of kids books out there that have these kind of tricks and games. They’re great for library programs. I did the “move a cookie from your forehead to your mouth” bit for a program about body-parts (muscles, bones) and it was a HUGE success.

    A roomful of kids with cookies over their eyes wiggling their noses and blinking like mad? Science is awesome!

  9. Beat The Clock was on in the 50’s and later. This show is on now and you can win a million dollars! Do you still care to play Beat the Clock?

  10. Compared to crapfests like Average Joe and The Bachelor this is hardly civilization-decaying stuff. Seems pretty harmless to me.

    1. “Compared to crapfests like Average Joe and The Bachelor this is hardly civilization-decaying stuff.”

      It looks closer to the bottom of the barrel to me. But it could be worse, I guess– they could pronounce it “mynute to win it”, and the show would be open to (and have contests only physically playable by) dwarves. Have Verne Troyer host it.

      A review:


  11. This show is going to be shear greatness ! Guy is the man !!! Can’t wait to see it. I want to play the game where you hang the banana between your legs. Looks fun! A million dollars are you kidding me?

  12. Didn’t get the games you talked about up top, but did try Hanky Panky (pull out a box of tissues in a kleenux box in a minute) and THATS WHATS UP… !! Never heard of the Cube but I do know Neil Patrick Harris has nothin overGuy Fieri! Never thought of Guy as anything more than a food network character but have to admit, saw a promo and he makes me wanna check out the show. wanna get my buddies to try it but what other games has anyone else tried?

  13. ‘balancing an egg on a lightbulb using salt grains’ … first rub some spit on the bulb before applying the salt.. i think this would make it alot easier to do..

  14. Bill and Bottle.

    1. Hold bill in left hand.
    2. Karate chop George in the face.
    3. Can I have my million dollars now?

  15. Guy Fieri? I don’t understand the appeal and can’t imagine casting him for this. I can’t stand a minute of his Food Network show. For annoying, he’s second only to the guy on Man vs. Food.

    All these challenges named above aren’t very difficult, but I know I couldn’t do more than just the dollar/two bottles trick if under pressure, on TV and with big money at stake.

    Like philoponia, I’ve done the “stack 3 golf balls” task as a drinking bet, but to be blunt, I can hardly pull it off once the stakes reach fifty bucks.

  16. Oh and it’s hosted by Guy Fieri! It sounded interesting to see the innovate solutions that people come up with for puzzling challenges but I think I’ll patiently insert slivers of bamboo under my fingernails instead.

  17. totally do-able! i’d do these games any day if i got a million bucks for it. ha – i’d do them even if it was just for my personal amusement.

  18. Could have been awesome, but involving that idiot from the food network with the frosted tips will ruin anything. Who this guy appeals to is mystifying to me.

  19. I dont mind guy fieri, i do find it interesting though that he is hosting a show that has nothing to do with food, but i think he can pull it off! the commercials ive seen he seems to have a lot of fun, makes me want to tune in and see the show. the games do look pretty hard, i havent tried any yet, but ill post it on youtube when i do. i think the show looks great, cant wait for the premiere!

  20. Oh, you naysayers. I’m kind of charmed! It’s like recession-era “Deal or no Deal” — down-home, NASCAR-loving Guy Fieri, orchestrating games with kleenex, oreos, water bottles. I have a feeling that I’m going to love it like I love cracker barrel and coca-cola. My guilty fascination with middle America; sociological adventures for a Massachusetts liberal.

  21. Woah woah woah I think you guys are being a little overly critical. First of all, it’s a game show. This is lighthearted entertainment, not CNN. I think adults and kids alike can find amusement out of watching people compete to win the million dollars. Second of all, why are you hating on Guy Fieri? Sure his hair is a little too bleached, but at the end of the day he’s just a lovable dude. Hating on Guy is like hating on teddy bears. Do you hate teddy bears? No, I didn’t think so. (That was a joke). Anyway, I’m looking forward to the Minute To Win It premiere.

  22. Hmmm, not sure I’m entirely convinced either way. I agree with whoever says that it’s not a “civilization-decaying” show (I mean, really who said that in the first place) but it’s not the most high-minded television program I’ve ever heard of either. Basically, my take on it is this–it’s a game show, it looks like a shit load of fun, and Guy might be slightly annoying but he’s also slightly sexy so when all is said and done– I’ll watch. Sunday at 6/7c right?

  23. Am I the last person in America who actually still likes game shows? I’m shocked that anyone would identify “Minue to Win It” as grounds for the decay of civilization. Really now. Hasn’t anyone recently flipped to VH1? MTV? “Oh, we’re way too cool to respect anything wholesome,” sayeth the mass of Williamsburg hip-tards who spat off hate on their tumblr. Take your grandmother to see “Hot Tob Time Machine” and then tell me that a game show is the end of American cultural development.

  24. Yeah Guy is great. I’ve watched both episodes of Minute To Win It and so far it continues to be entertaining each week.

  25. I love Guy Fieri – he’s entertaining, he’s a strong family man and he can cook! He always puts fun into whatever he does. And I love game shows:
    food + game = entertainment. Don’t be hating Guy or games…………..

  26. I’m chris’s son joshua.I wondered if u would let a 8 year old join the show.
    send me a message
    when u get this.
    .p.s. i love your show

  27. this show is crazzzzzzzyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. how in the world is someone gona get a million dollars. i think its impossible

  28. I LOVE ‘Minute to Win It’. It’s genuinely fun to watch, and last week’s Summer Season premier was great. So excited for tomorrow night’s episode! Apparently, a couple playing is suppose to go farther than any other contestants have before.

  29. This show is pretty sweet and definitely starting to become my favorite game show on TV. Really cool concept!!! Fun stuff that everyone can do with really cool household items. I’m Super Excited that it’s now on Tuesday Nights too!!! Tuesdays and Wednesday? I can’t get enough!!! NBC definitely out did themselves with this show. And Guy Fieri is the man! Go Minute To Win It!!! Yaaayyyyy!!!

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