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The Waiting Game (game show)

The Waiting Game was a Saturday night game show that aired on BBC One from 17 November, 2001 to 15 June, 2002 and it was hosted by Ruby Wax.


Round 1

Three teams of two start the game. One player from each team is at the buzzers; the other player stands behind them. Ruby asks a total of 8 questions during the first round. Once she finishes the question, a 10-second timer starts, increasing the point value of the question the longer the teams wait to buzz in; the question's value starts at 1 point, and increases to 3, 5, 8, 12, and finally 15 points just before time expires. When a player buzzes in, his/her partner must give the answer without conferring. A correct answer wins the points; a wrong answer or no answer awards the points to both of the other teams; for the last 3 questions of the round, an incorrect/no answer awards 15 points to the opposing teams regardless of the points on the timer. At the end of the first round, the team with the lowest score is eliminated.

Round 2

The two remaining teams' scores are reset to zero. Game play is the same as round 1, except that the partners switch places, and only 6 questions are available. Just as in round 1, for the last 3 questions, an incorrect answer awards 15 points to the other team. At the end of this round, the winning team plays the bonus round.

Bonus Round

The partners are isolated from one another. The goal is now to answer a total of 6 questions correctly within 60 seconds; the round is timed to 1/100 of a second. This 60 seconds is thinking time only; it only runs after Ruby asks a question, and stops whenever either partner buzzes in. The partners now buzz in to answer themselves. The amount of money for the question increases each second, as follows:

  • £10
  • £50
  • £100
  • £200
  • £500
  • £1,000
  • £1,500
  • £2,000
  • £3,000
  • £5,000

As before, no conferring is allowed. An incorrect answer/pass wastes the time used on that question, as does allowing 10 seconds to elapse on the question.

If the team answers 6 questions correctly before time expires, they win all of the money accumulated, otherwise, they leave with nothing.

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