is a game show
currently showing on ITV1
in the UK.
Presented by Robert Kilroy-Silk, it is the latest in a long line of big money, contestant nastiness-inducing formats.
6 contestants start. They can choose the amount of money to start with, up to £25,000. However, whoever is greediest is eliminated!
The remaining 5 contestants have the beginning of a question read out to them. They then decide if they are likely to know the answer to the complete text, and wager a small/medium/large amount of money according to how clever they feel.
Whoever wagers the most gets to answer, and the more they wager, the more they win or lose.
The question may turn out to be different than expected, if it starts as:
"Which is the only River..."
.. implying a geography question, it may end up as ..
"Which is the only River Phoenix movie to.. such and such"
.. wrong-footing the contestant and making them kick themselves for being so quick to bet the most.
At the end of each round the winner gets to eliminate one of the others. They can choose to eliminate under performing players, or their most likely toughest opponent at the end. Amusingly the potentially eliminated contestant has the chance to plea for their staying, typically with a 'I'll share the prize money with you' comment (more on that later).
The game continues like this until there are just two contestants left. Whoever has the most money puts their money into the 'pot'.
From here the game plays much like 'Nasty Nick' Bateman's short-lived game show 'Trust Me'. (See The Prisoner's Dilemna for more information about the game theory).
Each player can choose whether to share or shaft.
These are the possible outcomes:
Both players share ---- each receives 50% of the pot.
Player 1 shares, player 2 shafts ---- player 2 gets 100% of the pot.
Both players shaft ---- each goes home with nothing!
Initially both players make their choice. Neither the host nor the players (well, duh!) know what the other has chosen. However the viewers have it flashed up on screen.
Then they can confer, and try to convince the other person that yes, they will share, and so should the other.
This is where they have the final chance to change their mind.
Kilroy reveals the outcome: cue either hugs / handshakes, or utter contempt and death threats after the show.
Update December 2001: Shafted got pulled after only 3 shows, due to low ratings. I'm really rather upset. It seemed to be the only 'big money' game show with any spunk left in it, where the viewer was interested in what happens at the end. Of course the fact it wasn't trailered, had a shoddy no-man's-land timeslot and featured Birmingham's biggest twat as its host may have had something to do with it.