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ionoco Controls 'Million Dollar Money Drop'

Fox's new game show Million Dollar Money Drop, which will bow on December 20th, will be using technology from ionoco, a provider of game play, control and graphics systems for TV game shows and programs.

The Fox game show features contestants who start out with $1 million and try to keep as much of their prize money as possible by answering a series of questions. To do that they distribute the money over one or more trap doors displaying what they believe is the correct answer to a question. If the money is placed on the wrong trap door, it falls and is lost.

For the game, ionoco designed the core computer system that generates the on-set and on-screen graphics and information feeds and provides the functionality for audio sound effects and lighting cues synchronized with game play. It also controls the release of the trap doors in any order and configuration.

For the U.S. version of the show, which is based on an Endemol format that has been popular in other markets around the world, ionoco also developed a unique money counting system. This system is built into the trapdoors and counts the money on them, immediately showing how the money is distributed over the various doors. The ionoco technology also provides a real-time display of the money being counted as it is placed on the trapdoors and moved around.

The money counting system is unique to the U.S. but ionoco provided similar graphics, information and game control technologies to the Israeli format, which made its debut in October on Keshet.

"Our computer system provides a simple and flexible method of managing the game play for Million Dollar Money Drop," noted Simon Ingram, managing director of ionoco in a statement. "As there is minimum operator control required and all aspects of the display-such as graphics language, font or color-can be changed, it is very easy to roll the format out to territories worldwide with the same high-quality production standard."