Every team had a different strategy for how to approach the game. Some teams, confident in their own success, would deliberately choose to invoke penalties, in order to increase the winnings. Samuel's team, however, had decided to play things a bit safer. There were only 50 words, after all, he had argued, back when they'd all first decided to enter the competition. So the odds were good that if they played it smart, they could pull this off. Maybe they wouldn't get the biggest prize possible, but there were things more important than money.
Of course, none of them expected Alisha to be taken out in only the 8th round, and then Morris succumbed on round 14 and Rosa 2 rounds later. So that just left Samuel with 34 more words to cover, all by himself.
Somehow, though, he'd managed to make it through, and now only one word remained. Samuel climbed up onto the podium and took his place directly over the trap door, wiping his hands nervously on his pants. He tried very hard not to look to the side, where his former teammates hung.
"Are you ready for the final word?" the host boomed. The audience cheered.
The lighted panels blinked in random patterns on the huge wall behind the host, until they finally settled, with 17 remaining lit in a row. The host turned to Samuel, a brilliant smile on his face.
"For this final word, you have no more penalties available. If you guess all the letters correctly, you'll win, but if you guess even one wrong, you'll join your teammates. Your time begins....now!"
The rope settled around Samuel's neck. The countdown music began to play.
Samuel took a deep breath
"Is there an E?'