2 Minute Drill was a short-lived, sports-themed quiz show on ESPN based on the popular UK game show Mastermind.
Three players competed. The show featured a four athlete/celebrity panel. The scoreboard was an eggcrate display. Sometimes it malfunctioned, such as a transition from a number. (e.g. when a player gets a question correct sometimes a blank digit would show before going to the next number.)
For each contestant's turn, they would be given 2:00 to answer sports trivia questions and would have a choice of 4 categories; each represented by a member of the panel, each pertaining to that panelist's area of expertise, and each containing 5 questions. If a contestant got a question right in any category, they could continue to play it or pick another category, but an incorrect answer or a pass forced them to pick another category (although they could go back to it at any time, provided there were still questions left in it). Each correct answer was worth one point, and one bonus point was awarded if the contestant swept a category (got all 5 right), for a maximum of 24 first round points.
The lowest scorer at the end of the first round was eliminated.
Seasons 2 and 3Edit
Two players competed as opposed to three. This time, the scoreboard was computerized to match the on-screen graphics, and the current question and answer would be shown to the home viewers who were playing along. To accommodate this, players could no longer interrupt during the question, and must wait for the question to be completely read before answering.
For each contestant's turn, again, they would be given 2:00 to answer sports trivia questions from 4 categories. This time, however, contestants would pick an athlete/celebrity, and they would read all of their questions (in their entirety), regardless of whether or not the contestant missed or passed one along the way. The contestant could only select another celebrity after the current celebrity's questions were completed. In addition, each category had only 4 questions in it as opposed to 5, but bonuses were still awarded for sweeping a category; 20 points was the maximum possible first round score.
Because there were only two players, nobody is eliminated at the end of the round.
This time, the categories and picks were eliminated, and the questions were originally fired off by the panel and Kenny Mayne, from left to right (Mayne being in the middle); from Season 2 on, however, only the panel asked questions (once again, contestants had to listen to the questions in their entirety before answering). The same 2:00 was given.
Whoever had the highest score after this round won $5,000 in cash, an "ESPN Experience", and advanced to the bonus round for a chance to double the money to $10,000.
The winner would get a question (usually with more than one part) in a category that they chose as their area of expertise (usually a specific sports team of the past or single athlete). In the second and third seasons, Mayne called it the "Question of Great Significance." Answering it correctly doubled what they won in the front game.
Also in the second and third seasons, to heighten the dramatic effect for the question, every light in the studio was turned out except for those focused on Mayne and the contestant, and the panel's table was moved off to the back of the set so the contestant would only be focused on the host.
Each player in 2 Minute Drill was part of a tournament. After all the first round games were played, the winners plus the highest scoring non-winner advanced to the quarterfinals, with $15,000 and another ESPN Experience going to the winner, with a chance to double it to $30,000 in the bonus round. The six winners of the quarterfinal games advanced to the semifinals, with another Experience and $30,000 with a chance to double it to $60,000 given to the winners. The finals involved the two semifinal winners and one wild card entrant. The winner received another ESPN Experience and $50,000, with a final shot to double their earnings to $100,000 in the bonus round; thus making total winnings a possible $200,000 in the event a player gets all their specialty category questions correct. Regardless of the outcome, the Grand Champion also receives a trophy.
When the rules were changed to just a two-player game, the wild-card rules were eliminated.
A player played until they were defeated, which meant that a player could conceivably win more than one tournament. That's exactly what happened, as Willy Gibson of Columbus, Ohio won the first two 2 Minute Drill tournaments. He nearly got into the finals of the third, but was eliminated on a tiebreaker by the eventual runner-up of the tournament. All in all, he won 9 ESPN Experiences and $220,000 in cash; nearly all of which was main game winnings, as he always struggled with his Questions of Great Significance about Eddie George or Deion Sanders (which explains why he chose individual categories regarding single athletes rather than past teams). Gibson's second tournament championship aired on September 11, 2001 (9/11). The third and final season was banished to late night in the middle of its run; it was won by Syracuse University student and current ESPN The Magazine writer Adesina Koiki, while Michael Lazarus finished second.
A PC CD-Rom game was released by ESPN the Games in 2000.
Based on the UK game show Mastermind by Bill Wright
"Your 2-Minute Drill Begins Now!" - Kenny Mayne
Rules for 2-Minute Drill @ Loogslair.com
Rules for 2-Minute Drill @ Loogslair.net
Rules for 2-Minute Drill @ The Game Show Lair
The Sports Game Show Page: 2-Minute Drill
ESPN.com -CSP- ESPN's 2-Minute Drill
Official online game
If you're not old enough to apply to be a contestant, this page shows up.
FLDA Portfolio - ESPN's 2-Minute Drill: Game Show
Unofficial 2-Minute Drill Page
Kevin Makler competes on Episode #3 (Preliminary #3, September 25, 2000)
Episode #15 (Preliminary #15, November 13, 2000), Part 1
Episode #15 (Preliminary #15, November 13, 2000), Part 2
Episode #24 (Semifinal #1, December 14, 2000)
Episode #25 (Semifinal #2, December 18, 2000)