A departure from the overcrowded music and singing reality show landscape, Bhutan’s leading OTT platform, Samuh, launched ‘Saya Dakpo: the Bhutanese Millionaire’, the country’s first quiz game reality show on Monday, June 19, 2023.
With a total of 24 episodes, ‘Saya Dakpo’ will release two episodes every week, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats. The show will be aired every Monday and Tuesday from 8 to 9pm on BBS. However, it is also available on Samuh platform from 2 pm onwards on the same days.
The Creative Producer of the show Tshewang Rigzin explained that the game unfolds across eight levels, with each level posing a higher degree of difficulty.
The initial levels (Level 1 to 2) are categorized as ‘EASY’ and consist of two questions each. Contestants must answer within a specified time limit for each question. As contestants progress, they enter the ‘MEDIUM’ difficulty levels (Level 3 to 5). Similar to the earlier stages, contestants face two questions per level and must respond within the given time limit. The final stages (Level 6 to 8) of the game are deemed “HARD”. Unlike the previous levels, there are no time limits imposed, allowing contestants to carefully contemplate their answers.
Two crucial checkpoints exist to ensure participants secure substantial winnings along the way. The first checkpoint is at Level 2, where the contestant can claim Nu. 10,000. The second checkpoint is at Level 5, rewarding the player with Nu. 100,000.
Upon successfully clearing all eight levels, the contestant will attain the ultimate prize, a life-changing sum of Nu. 1,000,000.
“The strategic placement of checkpoints adds an exciting element to the game, allowing contestants to secure significant amounts of money as they navigate through the challenging levels,” said Tshewang Rigzin.
In each episode, a contestant will assume the coveted hot seat, armed with three out of eight lucky signs from the wheel of luck. The show is hosted by the veteran actor Gyem Dorji.
The concept of ‘Saya Dakpo’ had been brewing in the mind of Samuh’s CEO for nearly two years before coming to fruition. The show’s pre-production phase, spanning around eight months, involved meticulous planning and execution, including research and question creation, logo design and animation, theme music composition, selection of participants, and set design.
“One of the show’s most crucial elements is the meticulous development of the questions. A dedicated team of question creators spent over six months crafting a comprehensive range of questions,” said the CEO of Samuh, Nyema Zam.
The show boasts an impressive collection of over 12,000 carefully curated questions, ensuring an intellectually stimulating experience for participants and viewers alike, she added.
To ensure the utmost confidentiality, all question creators signed Non-Disclosure Agreements. In addition, a custom-built software was developed, allowing only one authorized person access to the questions once they were uploaded and securely locked within the question bank.
“The main objective of ‘Saya Dakpo’ is to introduce Bhutanese audiences to a new era of reality television while imparting useful knowledge,” said Nyema Zam. “We are proud to deliver a show that not only entertains but also engages and challenges our viewers.”
For now, only Bhutanese citizens above the age of 18 are eligible to participate in Saya Dakpo. “However, we did make exceptions for younger individuals who expressed keen interest, with parental consent,” added Tsewang Rigzin.
Meanwhile, after registration through mpay, contestants were contacted and had to do an online test. Participants with the highest scores with the fastest completion time were selected and contacted to appear on the show. Viewers also have the chance to participate in the weekly audience quiz game, offering an opportunity to win a prize of Nu 20,000.
The First to seat on the hot seat was Ugyen Pelden, 19, a student from the College of Natural Resources. She had to exit the show after she could not answer the 4th question in Level 2.
The show has generated interest across the country and followers include people from all walks of age. “I am looking at what types of questions they are asking. After that, it will be a little easier for us to prepare,” Ngawang, a corporate employee based in the capital said. A winner of quiz awards as a student, he adds that he did not participate in the first registration process. “But I am definite that they will have another round or even more,” he said.
A student from a school in the capital, who did not want to be named said that the questions of the first show were easy. “Maybe it is because it was just till Level 2. Once you move up, questions will be tougher,” she said, adding that she would “definitely participate.” When asked if it is for money or interest, she said it is money. “Even if you can take home Nu 50,000, it is a lot of money for me.”
Others are looking at it from the entertainment point of view. Rinchen from Trashigang said Samuh has been a pioneer in entertainment. “Now they have this show, which is not only entertaining but educative.
If you feel you have what it takes to be a millionaire, Samuh has opened one door of opportunity,” she said, adding that most of the people are already waiting to see if any contestant can reach the last level.
Samuh, Bhutan’s first OTT platform, was founded in 2020 and officially launched two years later. The channel can be accessed in 117 countries around the world.
Ugyen Tenzin from Thimphu