Make Me Famous, Make Me Rich (not to be confused with Make Me Rich) was a short-lived lottery game show for the state of Ohio. It replaced Cash Explosion, and was subsequently replaced by Cash Explosion after a year.
For a chance to appear on the show, a player aged 18 years or older had to have bought a special Make Me Famous, Make Me Rich scratchcard instant ticket for the show. These were available in two formats; a standard single-game ticket costing $1 to play, or a larger $2 ticket with a second, separate gameboard. These tickets replaced the Cash Explosion scratchers for the duration of the series. All remaining Cash Explosion "ENTRY" winners sent in within 180 days of that game's official withdrawal were also eligible for the new show.
On either the $1 or $2 ticket, matching three special symbols qualified the player for an appearance on the game show, once the ticket was mailed to the address provided. Of all valid entry tickets received, 30 of them were randomly selected to appear as contestants on the show. If a contestant played on a $2 ticket instead of a $1 ticket, they became an "Extended Play" contestant and were entitled to special bonuses throughout the show (see below).
Five teams of three competed. One team was randomly picked, and the three players voted on whether they wanted the amount on the Safe table or Risk table, with majority ruling. Each table had 20 amounts; the Safe table had lower cash values, whereas the Risk table had higher values but also values worth nothing. The players then started a randomizer, which spun up two values, one from each table. The team won the amount corresponding to the table they chose. Both values were then removed from play, and another team was selected at random from those remaining.
Some values on each board were marked with an "Extended Play" ribbon. If these amounts were won, any Extended Play players on the team won an additional $750 (originally $500), not added to the overall team score.
After each team played one turn, the boards were reset with higher values, as well as more $0 spaces on the Risk table. After each team had three turns, the team in the lead won and all three teammates advanced to the Championship Game. Hitting the $30,000 value (the highest available) on a team's third turn was an instant mathematical win for the team, though play continued until all five teams completed their third turn.
All teams divided their shared winnings equally. If a team's total was less than $3,000, it was increased to that amount.
Two semi-final games were played with different teams for each game. After the first few weeks of the show, each team's first turn was played prior to taping to speed up the game. Thereafter, the semi-final games were joined in progress as the second round of turns were about to start.
The six remaining players (the two winning teams in the Semi-Final games, now playing individually) were moved to podiums. Six numbered cards were presented, and each player picked one either from the top of the deck or "stole" an already-selected card from another player (who was then forced to pick another card from the deck). One of the cards allowed the holder to move on to the Face-Off Game, and another had a $5,000 bonus. However, taking the $5,000 payout forced the player to leave the game. The other four simply said "Bye" and eliminated the player.
After all six players selected their card, the player with the $5,000 card was revealed. They were given the choice to quit with the money or trade with someone else. Following this, three players holding "bye" cards were then revealed. The last two remaining players were then given the chance to swap cards or keep them. Afterward, the person holding the winning card was revealed. That person won $10,000 and advanced to the Face-Off.
For the first several weeks, there was an additional step following the reveal of the $5,000 card. Each player, in turn, was asked if he or she wanted to hold onto the card he or she currently held, or if they wished to trade with a randomly selected opponent, including the holder of the $5,000. After all six players had made this decision, whoever was left with the $5,000 card was given the option to retire from play or trade cards, and gameplay continued as described above.
The winning contestant faced off against the champion from the last show. The final round involved ten balls in a concealed cylinder: seven red, two white, and one green.
The champion decided whether they want to draw first or not, and then the contestants took turns drawing balls from the cylinder. Red balls did not affect gameplay and were discarded when drawn. White balls won the player $50,000 and the right to come back the following week to defend their title.
Green balls were also worth $50,000 and the right to return the following week when drawn, but if the player who drew that ball was an Extended Play contestant, they also won the "Extended Play Jackpot". The Jackpot started at $0 and increased by $5,000 every time an Extended Play contestant won the Face-Off with a white ball and $2,500 every time the player holding the $5,000 card in the championship game traded it away. The Jackpot reset to $0 once it was won. Champions played until defeated, with the biggest total awarded being over $262,000.
In June 2007, due to disappointing ratings for Make Me Famous..., the Ohio Lottery announced that the show would be replaced by a new version of Cash Explosion, beginning October 6, 2007. David McCreary, the former host of Make Me Famous..., carried over to become one of three hosts of the revived Cash Explosion. As was the case during Cash Explosion's first cancellation, all remaining Make Me Famous, Make Me Rich "ENTRY" winners were also eligible for Cash Explosion's return. Anyone who made it on Cash Explosion with a $2 Make Me Famous, Make Me Rich ticket won $2,250 in addition to whatever they won playing the game.
The very last champ was offered to appear on the first new episode of Cash Explosion, or take an augmented $100,000 payout; she chose the latter option.
by Mike Jackson
Bought my lucky ticket, it's time to go,
Walkin' the red carpet, I'm ready for the show.
Lights! Camera! Action! I've found my niche,
Make me famous, make me rich!