Set For Life is an American game show hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. It premiered on Friday, July 20, 2007 at 8:00 PM Eastern (7:00 Central) on ABC, and ran until August 31 in that time slot. ABC never officially announced the show's cancellation, but there has been no official word on the return of the show. This was based on the equally short-lived British game show called For the Rest of Your Life.
Before the game starts, an unaired "Qualifying Round" is played to determine the amount of the monthly payments for which the contestant will be playing (the highest value earned was $4,625/month; the maximum possible value in that case was $2,220,000). In an interview, Jimmy Kimmel said that this round contains twelve numbers and involves "open[ing] an envelope" to see how much per month the contestant will be playing to win.
The televised portion of the game determines how many of these monthly payments the contestant will ultimately receive. The number of payments awarded is based on the contestant's final position on the "time ladder". The contestant begins below the bottom of the ladder with zero payments:
Fifteen "light sticks" eleven white, four red are concealed inside stands on the show's stage. Each round of play begins with the contestant selecting a light stick and pulling it from its stand, revealing its color. If the stick is white, the contestant moves up one step on the time ladder. If the stick is red, the contestant moves down one step on the time ladder, unless they are not on it, in which case the situation remains unchanged. Since there are eleven steps on the time ladder and only eleven white sticks, the "Set for Life" jackpot level can only be reached by selecting all eleven white sticks consecutively — either drawing no red sticks at all or only drawing up to three red sticks at the start of the game before any white are drawn. If the contestant draws all four red sticks, the game immediately ends, and they do not win any payments ("four reds and you're dead").
Each time a white stick is drawn, the contestant is given the option of stopping play, and leaving with the number of payments they have earned to that point. When a red stick is drawn, however, the contestant must continue to select sticks until a white stick is drawn.
Additionally, each contestant brings a friend or family member, termed their "guardian angel". This angel is placed in an isolation booth for the duration of the game. They are provided video screens which provide full information as to what sticks the contestant has pulled and where the contestant currently stands on the time ladder; but cannot see or hear the discussions on stage. After each white stick is pulled, the angel is given the opportunity to press a button to unilaterally end the game.
The activities within the isolation booth are not aired until the game on the stage has ended by the contestant pulling eleven white sticks, four red sticks, or walking away on their own. Once one of these situations occurs, the game is then reviewed round-by-round, and the video of the angel is played, showing whether they chose to stop the game or not. Regardless of the contestant's own decision to play on or quit, if the angel has pressed the button at any point, the result of the game is essentially reverted, and the contestant wins however many payments they had earned to that point.
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The original and equally short-lived British version called For the Rest of Your Life hosted by Nicky Campbell aired on ITV from 8 May (May 8) 2007 until 28 August (August 28) 2009.
Based on the British game show For the Rest of Your Life by Richard de Rijk.