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Minute to Win It


Our household is filled with gamers. Many of us are tabletop gamers such as card, board and miniature based games but there is a good cross section of video games thrown in the mix. That said I haven’t been a fan of TV game shows since I was younger and watched them with my grandmother. My oldest son however seems to be a big fan and recently discovered he could watch reruns of Deal or No Deal through a streaming service. Personally, I’d rather read Wikipedia pages about trade regulations then watch someone else take wild guesses about what number is in various briefcases but we each have our own dry interests to fall back on. In 2010 a co-worker’s wife cornered me at a holiday party and told me more than I would ever care to know about the show Minute to Win It.

While I have yet to see a single episode of it the idea seemed simple enough and better yet approachable. Flashforward to January of 2021 and Alexander is lobbying for the family to go to Main Event (think Chuck E Cheese or if you are a Gen X’er like I am, Showbiz Pizza). The problem being that not only is there still a pandemic going on but for a family of 6 that place is a serious money hole. In the end I negotiate a new family initiative.

Every two weeks on Sunday we would take turns organizing a fun activity for the family. The rules were simple, it should be no more than 3 to 4 hours, cost less than $50 and be inclusive of the whole family. We would take turns organizing/picking something so the burden/power of selection was shared equally. As part of my proposal I stepped up to be the first to throw something together. Not seeing any flaws in my proposal (and hopefully them seeing I have a reputation as a purveyor of fun) the family unanimously accepted.

I have a few different game show projects in the works and even purchased a buzzer system to work with the trivia questions of one but the Beta testing with the fam didn’t go so well. I decided to shelve that till I could have a wider (older, nerdier) audience over. I needed something that would work for an 8 year old and a 20 year old. That’s when I recalled the simple dexterity type games of Minute to Win It. A few ideas instantly popped in my head and a YouTube search for “simple family games at home” yielded enough data to put several together.

With the help of my lovely wife and in a snowstorm no less we ventured off to pickup a Free Hot Soup donation and stop for supplies on the way back. With 8 stacks of solo cups, 6lbs of skittles, 4 boxes of tissues and a bunch of crepe paper we were ready to roll. We got home and began to set everything up in the kitchen then invited the kids to the dinning room where I explained the rules. The person with the most points after the serious of challenges would get a prize.

In the classic Let’s Make a Deal Montey Hall scenario I gave them 3 doors (crates) to choose a prize from. Then gave the winner (Dave) the opportunity to switch in the hopes he would get a better prize. After some hemming and hawing he decided to swap in the hopes he would get something he could share with his siblings (Dave is considerate like that). He ended up winning himself a handy dandy new Lego set that didn’t share too well. I then took the other prizes back and kept them a secret to keep a sense of mystery. Following the game mom was nominated to select our next funtivity. Hopefully this becomes a fun new series.


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