A Mom Will Obviously Win This Netflix Sleep Deprivation Gameshow

by Julie Scagell
Originally Published: 

Moms everywhere — ‘Hold my beer’

This year’s Netflix programming is as epic as ever (minus the fact that they’re yanking The Office), and their new gameshow Awake: The Million Dollar Game is no exception. It’s a game of sleep deprivation, caffeinated beverages, shenanigans, and without the ability to actually make money, it would be pretty much exactly like motherhood.

The game requires contestants to stay awake for 24 hours and then perform hilarious challenges for a chance of earning $1 million cash. But instead of hanging out and trying not to snooze while watching another Netflix series, folks are sequestered into a room where they spend the entire day counting one million dollars in quarters. It’s basically like Ellen’s Game of Games if everyone on the show were accountants. And brutally sleep-deprived.

Hosted by comic James Davis, contestants are allowed snacks and caffeinated beverages (only one Red Bull per person, unfortunately) and once they’re done counting mountains and mountains of spare change, they must wheel the money out and tell the audience how much they counted. The catch? They aren’t allowed to write anything down so they added it all up on one very foggy brain.

Those with the closest quarter count to actual quarters advances to the next round where they are subjected to mental and physical challenges involving eggs, giant Slushees, balls, more counting, and even have to thread as many needles as possible in two minutes. There’s also a buy-out option for those who cannot stay awake for One More Minute, where they win some cash but not nearly as much as the possible $1 million prize.

“Sleepless for 24 hours, contestants in the comedy game show stumble through challenges both eccentric and every day for a chance at a $1 million prize,” Netflix says on their website. Remind me again why we can’t have a hilarious talk show host follow us around during the newborn (and teen) years and offer us money in exchange for stunts again?

“I’ve got four children at home. I am a Las Vegas firefighter, so I’m always sleep-deprived,” contestant Laric Tolleson said during one episode. “I don’t have to listen to screaming kids, I don’t have to listen to screaming patients, all I need to listen to is the clickety-clack of sweet, sweet money, I am loving this.”

It may seem easy but sleep deprivation is no joke. “The first thing that goes is your ability to think,” Dr. Joseph Ojile of the National Sleep Foundation told USA Today, comparing 24 hours of no sleep to a blood alcohol level of 0.1 percent, which I’m thinking would at least make the quarter counting portion of the game bearable.

We’re officially here for Netflix’s first shot at a traditional game show because we know what it’s like to go about your day performing seemingly simple tasks on zero sleep. “Have kids,” they said. “It’ll be fun,” they said.

This article was originally published on