the mint – an itv con

In late July of 2006, I wrote a heartfelt rant about ITV’s nightly ‘quiz’ show, The Mint. The rant (which can be read here) grew to become something of a minor phenomenon in unknown-blog circles, attracting over five-hundred visitors a day at the peak of its popularity, with over three-hundred comments left. At the present time I’ve left the comments open, partly because I can’t think of another way to allow people to comment on it, and partly out of my vain desire to see it hit five-hundred 🙂

Anyway, because The Mint is clearly a con, I’ve made a seperate section about it all. I’ll come up with some content and ideas for this soon, until then this is it.

42 Responses to “the mint – an itv con”

  1. Steven Holdsworth Says:

    Icstis the Premium-rate phone services regulator is to follow Ofcom and the Gambling Commission by launching a review of Quiz Telly. Icstis said the review would look into how transparent the costs of call quiz shows are and how their services work. The regulator said the findings would be shared with broadcasters at a specially held summit planned for the review’s conclusion, but said it had not set a timeframe for the review.

  2. briandowlingisshifty Says:

    As a reader of aforementioned rant, just wanted to say good work stan, for the original post and letting the comments keep running.
    I’d like to know how these shows are regulated.
    Do they have to answer a certain number of calls or percentage of calls taken? How many lines do they have open? What regulations are imposed upon them? Why do they have a clause in their Terms and Conditions saying they don’t have to provide any info relating to answers or methods of solution?
    Until we know stuff like this and there is more transparency we won’t truly know how much of a con The Mint really is.
    We await the ICSTIS review…

  3. andy fell Says:

    too many to talk about so lets stick to ITV THE MINT.
    8 answers say and many callers. how do we know when a caller rings 1. they are a real caller, and 2. if the answer they submit was one of the answers and they just say no and change the answers.

    is anyone there to say pick your answers and stick to them.

    how many times do you see someone get it right with the most obvious answer going and then not a right answer for 2-3 hours. its a con on a grand scale.

    and how many times do they say limit your calls to 150 which at 75p they expect us to pay £112.50 just to get through to be told sorry wrong answer.

    lets start a new campaign…NO MINT…NOBODY CALL..EDUCATE PEOPLE.

    POOR PEOPLE ARE GETTING POORER ITV GET RICHER on the hope. its worse than the lottery.

    ban tv gambling altogether. and tv shopping but thats another topic.

    i feel sorry for everyone who picks up the phone and thinks they will win wake up .

    andy…my phone is of the hook yo these guys.

  4. andy Says:

    1 MP reckoned that one tv quiz call show let 1 caller through for every 200 callers and for a mere £100 prize. Not a bad scam..Just stay away from them.

  5. g-rob88 Says:

    For a one thousand pound prize to be won the producers must therefore have 1334 callers to not even get throught to break even for the prize they will give away. Anyone who has any business sense will know that breaking even or making a minimal profit is not worth your while. Therefore why not increase this two or three times and make a huge amount of revenue and a larger amount of profit than they would if they let through everyone. These shows are conning people out of their money and as long as they are making profits they will continue. How is this different from me sitting in a city centre and saying can you guess the number I’m thinking its between one and a million and I will charge you a pound for every guess you take. These programmes would not be so bad if the “puzzles” were not so cryptic and complete bullshit. If the answers were given at the end of every puzzle that would at least give a bit of credibility to the shows but as it stands answers are rarely broadcast and NEVER explained. For example one puzzle (check wikipedia) had a simple sum where the answer was logically 25. By twisting it a bit it was possible to come out with 5/6 different answers all under 100. The show then broadcast the answer months later and claimed the answer was 2106. Only one explanation has ever been offered and that involves a complex roman numeral system. Maybe if we start giving kids these kinds of problems in exams and school then we can start fighting back.

  6. kev Says:

    yes i quite agree i just find it how the rich can make there own rules and laws and prey on the vunrable to line there pokets and i strongley suggest something shouild be done about this because they get away with far to much and were all just there little pawns for them to make money greedy b——-s and im not a victim how far will they go

  7. kev Says:

    try putting them greedy bastards on the minium wage

  8. DALE Says:


  9. Stuey Says:

    I have just been watching “Make Your Play”, at work
    The puzzle was “add the numbers”
    which were as follows
    “Nineteen,141,9,2,Forty three”

    A person after about 2 hours of many callwon giving the answer “356”

    where does this answer come from, what a con, it seems you have to guess, until the producer thinks it is time for a winner.

    Take this crap off our tv, put on repeats, or films

  10. DIANE Says:

    Has anyone ever tried the so called free web entry with the mint ????I did with quizmania and won but the mint FREE web entry seems rigged so as not to work you fill in the form enter the security code given and it just comes back high lighted red as if you have not filled it in correctly. they advertise free web entry but this is not the case.

  11. nicola Says:

    i would just like to say that these shows are a total rip off anyone from northern ireland i have spook to who has rang the max times hasnt even got through its a con scam and i thik it should be boycotted we are in the process f doing it here xx

  12. nicola Says:

    i would just like to say this show and the rest are a total scam con and ripoff i dont no anyone here in northern ireland has got through after the max 150 calls and i am going to try and get them boycotted they are a fix and a degrace thanks nicola belfast . i have rang in total 600 times and never got through

  13. nicola Says:

    itv bosses want to think serious about banning these shows

  14. Jim Says:

    After 7 nights of trying via the free web entry which is a max of 150 attempts per night (1050 attempts) i never got through to the studio once, why have a free web entry when they have no inention of letting anyone play via their website.
    This is a total con, sham, fake.
    The presenters crap and spout crap from their mouths non stop from start to finsh, its no wonder itv choose Big Brothers Brian Kelly as he has the gift of the gab albeit his gab is crap as his mouth is full of shit from his boyfriends asses

  15. Nicky Says:

    I totally agree, ive tried to contact the studio via web site link, ive filled in address and entered security codes and not ONCE have i got through, its all a big con!

  16. David Says:

    this what i come up with for the january 14th post about the answer 356.

    19+141+9+2+43+9+1+4+1+40+3+14+41+29= 356

    thats breaking everthing down. But they can make it higher than that if they want.

    Using this method the one on itv now could be 367 or 376.

  17. ALISON Says:

    ive got thru a couple of times on the website

  18. GG Says:

    This show is just a way for ITV to make money. Due to falling advertising revenues they feel it best to scam its viewers as they do with all other shows that require us to call in (i.e. X Factor, skating on Ice, Im a Celebrity etc).

    Bring back the good old quiz shows like Strike it lucky, Family Fortunes and Catchprase where viewers are not scammed out of pocket!!

  19. Jan Says:

    No one has made a comment sincce 18th.Feb. Thought Daniel would have!!
    Okay it is now called Glitterball and I think it’s only the Mint dressed up a little – But have to face up to the fact people do love it.
    I get so frustrated when thet can’t see what a con it is. When ‘things’ were being looked into the films they replaced I thought were crap. But every caller when they came back were saying “have missed you nice to have you back” so I feel we all must just shut up and let them get on with it. – I will just carry on with it in the background while on computer and enjoy my usual “You thicko, it’s been said and shut up Craig you sodding bore” comments.
    Just a thought I’m a bit of a night owl myself but some say they watch every night. How do they manage on 3hrs. sleep and still go out to work the same day – mind boggles. Just glad I don’t employ them. Will we ever know the profit their are making ?? So much for that investigation.

  20. Tim Says:

    Interesting to see that you have so much reaction to the ‘participation’ TV phenomena – I’m putting together a survey on how people react to these shows/channels and would like to offer an invite to anyone who’d like to provide their input – contact e-mail itvplaysurvey@btopenworld

  21. steve Says:

    half the calls that seem to come in are fake anwayz, i’m mean you have a puzzle with about 5 coins on it, and somone rings up with the answer, 1 pence, i mean come on anyone in their right mind would know thats not the answer lol. Complete rip off.

  22. Huzbo Says:

    It’s great that not only is your behemoth of a thread still alive and kicking, almost a year after its inception, but this page is the 4th result if you google “the mint itv” and probably variations. :~

    Well done that Stan!

  23. Joe Says:

    The free web entry’s do work, ive been threw many times off them. however this was on the daytime shows. The chances of gettin through are like 5000-1 lol, and the chances of gettin the q right, well thats anouther thing. Load of shite really, waste of a channel!

  24. john Says:

    tried last night 25 times got thru to the studio twice but i do think it is a scam the Not gong to put anyone thru who dosn,t pay they want you to get peed of so you ring .what made it worst i had all the right answer sods law or fix??????????

  25. Guppy Says:

    Ok…I am over this show too. It is the nonsense answers that grate on me. I do not participate myself, however when I see the answers I am always infuriated as they NEVER make sense to me.
    For Example: The Beer Monster Problem…if someone knows the method behind this one, please let me know:
    How Many Litres?
    25 Litres Ale
    12 Litres of Beer
    10 Litres of Hops
    1 Litre if Lager
    1 Litre of Lager
    1 Litre of Lager
    1 Litre of Lager

    The answer given (after NOBODY got it right) was 187!

    Makes me want to pull my hair out simply typing it out again! lol

  26. Joe Smith Says:

    When you play the mint, dont choose an obvious answer. The beer monster game on Friday night, where in the end they had to end the game because no one got it was not an obvious answer (265). How could one derive some sense of logic behind this mystery result?

    How many litres?

    8 Litres Beer
    8 Litres Beer
    8 Litres Beer
    2 Litres Beer
    63 Litres Beer

    Most people would think 89? Simple addition, but that answer is wrong, because it is obvious. You have to think!

    63+2 = 65

    8+8+8 = (2)4

    The three mystery numbers are contained in the answers above. Again the answer isn’t obvious, but they provide you with all the information you need to solve the puzzle. Then, you need to work out the combinations, and call in and have a guess.

    The mint don’t expect you to work it out, most people ring up and have a guess. It’s the continual guessing of the most obvious answers that the guys at the mint love. It’s illegal for them to tamper with the answers – there is strong legislation and heavy penalities for fraudulent activities.

    So next time you play the mint, think “unobvious”, rather than obvious before you call in with your answer.

  27. investigator Says:

    JOE SMITH works for the mint.

  28. asshole Says:

    well wat u have to do is not ring up and get ripped off its impossible

  29. asshole Says:

    your all mother fuckers

  30. asshole Says:

    lol im on the web WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    fucking austrians

  31. mike Says:

    there is a version of this show on australian TV now – i googled the “beer monster” puzzle to see if there was a logical solution – as no one seems to be getting it right.

    I had thought there was some trick with the depiction (some barrels, jugs, glasses) BUT

    having read the utterly stupid NO-LOGIC solution provided by “joe smith” i wont even try… nor watch the show.

    im annoyed that i gave this idiotic show enough credit to rack my brain over their completely nonsensical “puzzle” which is no more a puzzle than “pick a number between 1 and 1000”.

  32. KLO Says:

    Hey Guppy,

    This game has annoyed me so much! Although in this game I see where they get the 87 from in the 187…

    25 Litres Ale
    12 Litres of Beer
    10 Litres of Hops
    1 Litre of Lager
    1 Litre of Lager
    1 Litre of Lager
    1 Litre of Lager

    so add the vertical numbers:

    2+1+1+1+1+1+1 = 8
    5+2+0 = 7

    Then they add a 1 into the equation somewhere – not sure if it is right but it makes sense…

    They seem to change the way the puzzle is solved everytime though

  33. Clare Says:

    add it up times 3 add 19

  34. Mr Bloggs Says:

    JOE SMITH, how can you argue that there is sense of valid problem solving methodology (be it logical or lateral) in what you have just outlined?

    Your working is in my view a bogus justification for an “answer” which has been determined arbitrarily and at random. Anyone could come up with any random combination of numbers derived from the puzzles and argue that theirs is the “only correct one.”

    It would not matter whether you were a PhD graduate in combinatorial mathematics or a bored teenage schoolkid, your chances of arriving at the “correct solution” would still be minimal.

    The game is about chance and absolutely no skill. The only people making a mint from this program are the television corporations.

  35. lisa Says:

    if they dont get the show off the air i fucking well

  36. lisa Says:

    fucking cunts they are

  37. jack Says:

    FWIW, the Times online reported the following juicy revelation on March 13, 2007:

    ITV was embarrassed yesterday into revealing how to answer a £30,000 late-night maths quiz problem that nobody — including Oxford University’s Professor of Mathematics — seemed able to solve.

    Viewers of Make Your Play, which appeared on ITV on February 22, were asked: “Add the pence, listed: Two pounds, 25p, £1.47, 16p and fifty pence.” A prize of £30,000 was on offer, but calls were charged at 75p a time.

    Later that night, the answer was given as 506, although simple addition produces the answer 438.

    ITV explained that the answer could be reached by breaking up the figures in the list to find all the references to pence. Thus:

    -Two pounds is 200p plus 2p (two p) and 1p (p at the beginning of “pounds”) which makes 203p

    -25p: 25p plus 5p and 1p (the p symbol) = 31p £1.47 = 147p 1

    -6p: 16p plus 6p and 1p (p again) = 23p

    -Fifty pence: 50p plus 50p (fifty p, a shortening of pence), 1p (reference to pence) and 1p (p only) = 102p

    -Adding 203p, 31p, 147p, 23p and 102p gives a total of 506p

  38. mr pepper Says:

    not a good program

  39. This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like ‘Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of “neighbors” will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune “Social” is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

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