In It to Win It

There is a game show. Anyone can be chosen as a contestant. You simply wake up in the studio to applause, the host sitting across from you, smiling, warm, friendly.

The rules are simple – answer questions, increase your cash winnings. Get all the questions right, walk away with substantial cash winnings. Get a question wrong and lose it all. It’s a familiar format, a safe format. Like a hundred-thousand game shows before it.

Then the host starts asking questions.

This is not a general knowledge quiz. There are no questions about pop music of the 1980s, or capital cities, or celebrity marriages. Instead, the host asks, calmly and without emotional inflection, questions about you. Questions you don’t ask yourself. Questions you dare not ask yourself. Questions about about your mistakes, your regrets, about the people you have hurt. As you progress the questions go deeper, get more personal, become more uncomfortable.

Few contestants leave the studio with a cash prize. But everybody goes home empty-handed.

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