Million Dollar Mind Game

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Million Dollar Mind Game TV Poster Image
Mild game show focused on logic isn't designed for kids.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The goal is to win lots of cash, but contestants are rewarded for being logical thinkers and good problem solvers.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The contestants are from all walks of life and are generally good sports, though there are occasional disagreements.


Questions include references to pregnancy and other related topics.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Questions contain occasional references to champagne and other alcoholic beverages.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this game show is mild content-wise, but isn't designed for kids. The casino-like setting and contestants' formal attire give the show a decidedly adult feel, and its focus on logic and intellect rather than popular trivia will probably make it less interesting to most younger viewers. Contestants are competing for a $1 million prize, but the show's emphasis is more on problem solving than greedy competition. There are a few tense moments as a result of contestants disagreeing with each other, but nothing much to worry about here.

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What's the story?

In MILLION DOLLAR MIND GAME, six contestants compete against viewers by trying to answer questions that require the use of logical thinking. Host Vernon Kay asks the team a question that they get 60 minutes to figure out before the team captain delivers the answer. Each team has one chance to request extra discussion time, swap the question, or change the captain's answer after their time is up. If they work through the electronic roulette wheel of questions successfully, their winnings will increase from $6,000 all the way to $1 million. But if they find themselves going fully around a wheel of failed answers, they leave with nothing.

Is it any good?

The show, which is loosely based on a popular Russian game show, attempts to reflect a sophisticated Monte Carlo casino-like elegance that's reminiscent of James Bond movies by dressing competitors and onlookers in tuxedos and evening gowns and by seating competitors around something that resembles a modern gambling table. Meanwhile, the questions steer away from trivia and require both common sense and strong problem-solving skills.

It has some slow moments, but the questions (and their answers) are very interesting. Sometimes the group dynamics between the contestants are entertaining, too. For folks who like game shows that make you think, this one will definitely fit the bill.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the difference between logic and intellect. Can someone be logical without having a formal education?

  • What are some of the stereotypes surrounding people who are logical and/or intellectual? How do TV shows and movies portray characters who possess these qualities?

TV details

  • Premiere date: October 23, 2011
  • Cast: Vernon Kay
  • Network: ABC
  • Genre: Game Shows
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love competition

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