|Ed Phillips & Livinia Nixon|
Temptation (initially Temptation - the New Sale of the Century) was a spin-off and revival of the successful Sale of the Century format.
NB: The below details refer to rules that were in place from a few months into the show's run. More details on the original format are listed under the 2005 format section.
As with Sale of the Century, the game was split into four rounds. Three contestants began with a score of $20. When Phillips asked a question, the first contestant to buzz in had the chance to answer the question; if correct, they gained $5; if wrong, they lost $5. Phillips revealled the answer immediately if the contestant answered incorrectly; no other contestants were given the opportunity to answer. Contestants needed not wait until Phillips had finished asking the question before buzzing in.
Also throughout the game were several "Fame Game" questions. Phillips read out a series of clues to the identity of a famous person, revealling facts which became progressively more helpful; the final and most helpful clue was the person's first name and last initial (or the first letter of a thing, country, etc.). As before, the first contestant to buzz in had the chance to answer the question; if correct, they picked from a selection of nine "famous faces" (see below); if wrong, they lost no money, but Phillips continued reading clues and the other contestants were given the chance to answer.
Round One: After the first three questions, there was a 20-second "Sprint" (speed round. Immediately after this, the first Gift Shop of the night was offered to the leading player or players. The first gift shop item cost $6 from the contestant's score, and usually had a retail cost between $1,500 and $2,500; this $6 price could be reduced at the discretion of producers, or alternatively an additional cash incentive could be included into the prize, which was usually either $200 or $400. In any gift shop, if two or more players were tied in the lead, Ed would conduct a Dutch auction.
There were a few more questions, followed by the first "Fame Game" question.
Round Two: After the first few questions, the second Gift Shop was offered. This item was offered for $10, and usually had a retail value of between $3,000 and $7,000; this could again be accompanied by a cash incentive, or the $10 price could be lowered. More questions were asked, followed by a second "Fame Game" question. Three more questions were then asked before another 20-second "Sprint", concluding the second round.
After round two, co-host Nixon read a home viewer question called "On This Day", where she presented facts that happened on that day. In the first two seasons (2005 and 2006) Nixon asked the home audience a question relating to the event on that day before the break and gave the answer after the break; following this, the third round then began. In 2007, only the question was given by Livinia, allowing the viewers at home to either call in the answer by phone or text the answer overnight to win a $500 cash prize. Before the next night's "On This Day" question was asked, Ed gave the correct answer to the previous night. Viewers at home could then visit the program's website to see if they have won.
Round Three: After the first three questions, the leading player was offered the chance to win money from the Temptation Vault, costing $15 from their score—this price was never reduced from $15 unless there was more than one player eligible, in which case a Dutch auction was held. Whoever opened the vault received a cash prize of random value between $1 and $10,000; the probability distribution of Vault prizes was unknown, but values below $1,000 in particular were rare. After the Vault, there were three more standard questions followed by the final "Fame Game" question.
Final Round: The final round consisted of a single 60-second "Fast Money" speed round.
Famous Faces: Correct "Fame Game" answers entitled the contestant to choose from one of nine boxes, identified by celebrities' faces. As before, most of the faces concealed small prizes, but there were cash values (also known as Money Cards) which were added directly to the player's score:
- $10—present in all three rounds until chosen
- $15—present in the second and third rounds
- $25—added only in the third round
- Wild Card—added only in the third round; the contestant was offered either a $2,000 cash prize, or the choice of another face on the board (and potentially another Money Card)
The new Temptation series had also added three special selections. All of these selections were present from the beginning of the game, however the Lock Out and Turbo were removed from the board in the third round:
- Burglar—the player elected one opponent from whose score $5 was deducted and that $5 was added onto their score.
- Lock Out—the player elected one opponent to lock out; they would then be unable to answer any of the next three questions.
- Turbo—the next three questions were automatically worth $10 instead of $5, but only for the contestant who selected it. Furthermore, the penalty for an incorrect answer also increased to $10.
In each case, the next three questions were never part of a Fast Money round. This was also the evident reason why the Lock Out and Turbo items were removed from the board for the final Fame Game.
On occasions throughout the year, Temptation would break from its normal running style for a week and run a celebrity edition. In most cases these celebrities were playing for home viewers, where the normal prizes and money cards were present. Sometimes the celebrities would be playing for charities, where instead of small prizes cash donations to their charity were given (usually between $500 and $5,000). The money cards still remained.
A first-time winner was offered a major prize, worth about $10,000, and given the choice to take it and leave the show, or to return to play again. Gradually larger prizes were offered each night, leading up to a $50,000–$95,000 car on night five, all five prizes (roughly $130,000) on night 6, a cash jackpot in night 7, and all the prizes and double the cash jackpot on night 8.
The cash jackpot amount was determined as follows. Each champion had a base value of $50,000 placed in their cash jackpot if they chose to return after their first night. They were then given the chance to play "Top Ten". If they correctly answered 10 of the questions asked of them in a 60 second segment at the end of each night, an additional $50,000 was added to the cash jackpot. The cash jackpot could only be claimed after night 7 or 8 (compared with the original rules where a contestant could take their cash jackpot if they chose not to return the following night). Contestants chose one of five sets of questions to be asked. Passes and incorrect answers didn't reset the value at zero (unlike the original "Ten in a Row" format; see the 2005 format seciton for more information).
Theoretically, the highest cash jackpot a contestant could win was $800,000.
When Temptation premiered on 30 May 2005, there were some slight format differences from later episodes:
- The Temptation Vault was offered in Round 1 for $10 (instead of the Gift Shop) with the value going up to a maximum $5,000.
- The Burglar on the Fame Game only took away $5 from an opponent without it going onto the "burglar's" score.
- The Turbo on the Fame Game applied to all three contestants, as opposed to the one contestant who selected it. This change was not made until 17 April 2006.
- The Gift Shop was offered in Round 3 for $15 (instead of the Temptation Vault).
- The Wild Card's value was half the value at $1,000.
Bonus Round: Ten in a RowEdit
In 2005, if a contestant won on night 7, then they would win all the prizes, the money in their cash account (which was not doubled), and $500,000 in gold bullion. In Ten in a Row, contestants had to answer ten questions consecutively within the space of one minute. The amount of cash won increased through a non-linear scale:
Any incorrect, passed answer or questions that were not answered in three seconds reset the value to $0, and a contestant who didn't reach $100,000 won whatever value they had when time expired.
Theoretically, the highest cash jackpot a contestant could win was $600,000 ($1,100,000 including the gold bullion).
Carry-over champions would also be able to leave the show at any time with money won during Ten in a Row won up to that point.
The format for the bonus round was modified in 2006. First-night champions would automatically be given a $50,000 cash jackpot, which could not be won until at least their seventh night. The Ten in a Row segment was changed so that ten correct answers would add another $50,000 to the jackpot. There was no need to correctly answer the questions consecutively, but at least ten answers had to be answered correctly before time ran out.
Since its inception, Temptation produced a number of special tournaments.
Quizmaster aired from 27 March to 3 April 2006, featuring nine of the most successful contestants from Temptation, Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? and Temptation's predecessor, Sale of the Century, competing to win more money for themselves (in a similar format to Sale of the Century's contestant tournaments). 2005 grand champion Rob O'Neill defeated 2006 grand champion Yolanda Stopar in the head-to-head final by the score of $110–$80, pocketing an additional $115,000 in cash and prizes.
Special tournaments were often run featuring celebrities, sports personalities and former champions. The format varied from special to special, depending upon the number of contestants available, and some specials had seen celebrities compete in pairs. Prizes for these specials were either donated to a charity of the celebrity's choice, or awarded to randomly chosen home viewers.
Temptation's Official Website (via Internet Archives)
Temptation's 2nd Official Website (via Internet Archives)
Temptation Quiz Show Fun Coming Soon
Temptation TV's official website (via Internet Archives)
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