Tipping Point has become one of ITV’s most popular daytime programs with its mix of seaside 2p machine amusement games and tense drama.
Central to the show is the machine itself. It stands in the studio in a position that is always in the eye of the contestants in hopes of taking a big win of £10,000.
However, during the show’s 10 years of existence, many viewers have concocted theories — some of which are pretty bizarre — about how the machine actually works. However, host Ben Shephard has explained how the device works, The Mirror reports.
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For those who don’t know how the game works, participants answer questions and for every correct answer they can pop a counter into the machine. Like the 2p machines on the coast, other counters will then hopefully be pushed to the lower level and fall into the player’s pot, each counter being worth £50.
However, the pot is doubled if a gold counter falls. In the end, the last player standing – who has the most money – plays for the jackpot counter, worth £10,000.
But speaking of the machine, Ben admitted that the system is not as simple as the game. The 47-year-old Good Morning Britain presenter set the record straight in an interview when he described how the famous counter machine is constructed from a “complicated system”.
In 2019, he gave fans insight when he answered some of Britain’s most frequently asked questions about the show. He told the Huffington Post: “It’s a very complex system operated by the gallery.
“It’s such a complicated set up, that’s why when people ask if we can take it on the road, that’s why we can’t.”
He explained that the machine needs a person to sit inside the machine, despite all the high-tech electronics that make it work. Ben said: “He has to make sure the hydraulics are going at the right pace because sometimes they can be too fast. He has to make sure the hoppers feeding the counter are full.”
A ladder has been placed behind the machine so that members of the production team can fill the machine with counters when ready to be put down. A total of 40 chips are placed instead of dropping to start the game in random order.
Behind the scenes, a runner enters the set to count the number of counters falling so Ben can tell the contestants how much money they’ve collected. The bishop then clears the fallen counters.
Before each show, counters are individually polished so that no marks appear on the camera. Despite Ben confirming it’s a real set up, it hasn’t stopped fans’ wild and mind-blowing theories that “secret magnets” are pervading the game.
One particular theory put forward by one viewer was that there was “definitely a magnet” under the machine that pulled counters around. The fan shared a clip to support their cause, with the counters appearing to bend to the left, which they said was “physically not possible”.
The video sparked widespread discussion as many other viewers started expressing their views if they agreed. One viewer wrote, “There’s been a lot of weird counter moves over the years. Fishy!”
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