The ‘Minute Millionaires’ of Minute to Win It

Since it debuted on ABS-CBN six years ago, Minute To Win It has turned out to become one of the most exciting and most popular game shows on Philippine television as proven by its consistently high ratings and its games being played in different event parties.

Based on the original American program of the same name, contestants partake in a series of one-minute challenges that make use of objects that are commonly found around the house or office. In each level, the last person to finish the task will be eliminated until there’s only one left to take on the final challenge and have the chance to win one million peso-jackpot.

It returned in 2016 with a different format and was dubbed Minute to Win It: Last Man Standing. And almost two years since its last airing in 2017, the game show recently came back and pumped up our primetime viewing. Still hosted by Luis Manzano, the third season of the game show’s Last Man Standing format premiered on January 7. For months, it never failed to thrill us every night and give us extra doses of laughter, since witty comedians Negi and Long Mejia co-hosted with Luis for this year’s season. However, it is time again to say goodbye to the show for the meantime.

Before we let go of the show we all loved, let’s take a look back first on the celebrities who triumphantly bagged the highly-coveted prize in the previous years and this year’s season.

Chefs Tristan Encarnacion and Niño Logarta

This amazing duo proved that they’re not only skilled in the kitchen, but in this kind of adrenaline-propelling games as well.

Accepted the dare to basically just have fun, Chef Tristan and Chef Niño didn’t expect that they’re going to make it to the Ultimate Challenge – the Glassroad Trucker – wherein they had to prop up six bottles upside down as its bases would be the “bridge” on which the ping pong balls had to pass one by one by blowing them until they reach the shot glass at the opposite end.

It was indeed a buzzer-beater win as Niño finished his task on the very last second. They were the first-ever millionaires of local edition of the program.

Gerry Peñalosa and son JC

After putting us at the edge of our seats every time he stepped into the boxing ring, Gerry did the same in 2014, but that time in the Minute Win To It stage.

With the help of his son and teammate JC, he was able to complete the Ultimate Challenge “On the Rebound”, in which he had to shoot three pingpong balls in each of the trash bins by letting them hit first the clipboard tied around his son’s waist and then bounce before getting into the trash cans.

The Peñalosas took home a total of 1,050,000 pesos and were hailed as the second “minute millionaires” of the show.

Meg Imperial

On its comeback three years ago for the pilot season of the Last Man Standing format, a woman emerged as the ultimate winner – Meg Imperial.

She won the elusive 1 million peso-cash prize after accomplishing the “Office Fling Challenge”, wherein she needed to land three pieces of folded paper on top of a table situated 12 feet away by flinging them using a tumbled chair as a makeshift slingshot.

Jodi Sta. Maria

From being co-hosts in the defunct talents search Star Circle Quest, Luis and Jodi reunited on Minute To Win It, but with her as a contestant.

She took home the fourth million after completing the Ultimate Challenge “Mouth to Mouth”, wherein she had to remove at least seven out of 12 bills sandwiched between two bottles without toppling off the bottle propped up upside down on top of the other one. This was two months after Meg Imperial’s historic win in July 2016.

Negi and Long Mejia

These comedians took a time off from making us laugh and had their game faces on as they faced each challenge as a tag team.

As they reached the final level dubbed “Pong to the Fifth Power”, the two got even more serious as they nervously yet painstakingly shot five ping-pong balls inside a tall glass with a narrow mouth by bouncing it first on the table.

With bated breaths, everyone thought that they wouldn’t make it, until Long successfully got the right technique and finished the task in the last few seconds.

Zeus Collins

Determined to take home the prize and use it to build a house for his parents and siblings, It’s Showtime’s Hashtag Zeus Collins became the first millionaire for the third season of the game’s Last man Standing format that aired this 2019. 

Zeus maximized his agility and was able to accomplish the final challenge called “Wheel of a Deal”. With six seconds to spare, he managed to segregate the playing cards by 10’s, Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces on five separate tables. Filled with joy, he couldn’t help but jump and do a double backflip after bagging the 1 million peso-cash prize.

Eric Nicolas

Few weeks after Zeus Collins’ winning moment, the game show easily found its second millionaire for the third season. The comedian Eric Nicolas won the jackpot prize after completing the final challenge called “Double Up”. For five times, he scooped two balls at once using one glass after letting those balls simultaneously bounce on the ground.


Upon finishing the challenge with five seconds remaining on the clock, Eric was emotional, shedding tears of joy. He rushed to give a tight hug to one of the audience members, whom the comedian promised to grant an electric wheelchair before he started to play the game’s final round.

Enchong Dee

One among the many dreaded million peso challenges in Minute to Win It is called “Don’t Blow the Joker”. Nevertheless, Kapamilya ‘Chinito’ heartthrob Enchong Dee successfully defied what seemed almost impossible to accomplish, even to Luis.


Finally, after six long years since the show first aired, Enchong became the first ever contestant to accomplish the said challenge. On his seventh try, he succeeded to blow the deck of playing cards down except for the Joker card on top of a standing bottle on a desk.

‘Til the next season of Minute to Win It, Kapamilyas!