Fun New Game Show 'Paid Off' Is Addressing An Issue Affecting Millions Of Americans

"Yeah, this is real life in America."

If you've ever thought about trying out for a game show to help you pay off your student debt, you'll be interested to know that there's a new series on TruTV called Paid Off which is focused on exactly this issue. According to the New York Times, contestants compete "to pay down their student loan debt," with the grand prize being "complete repayment of the winner's loans."

You may find it disheartening that so many people need to appear on a show like this to pay for their education, and the show itself would agree with you. Paid Off aims to bring awareness to the student debt crisis, with host Michael Torpey saying at one point, "If you're just tuning in: Yeah, this is real life in America."

Torpey was inspired to start the game show after he helped his wife pay off her own student loan debt. As he told Paste, "We wrote this check and when [we] sent it off, my wife started crying and I really started to understand what it was like for her to carry this debt around everyday … this invisible burden that 45 million Americans are carrying around with them."

According to Student Debt Relief, Americans owe $1.52 trillion in student loans, with 60 percent of college graduates having debt and each of them owing an average of $37,172 (as of 2016). A report from the American Association of University Women showed that women hold close to two-thirds of that outstanding debt.

On Tuesday night, when the show premiered, Torpey shared a link to the organization Student Debt Crisis as a resource for those who may be struggling to pay off their loans. "They understand what you're going through and can help you find relief and repayment programs," he wrote.

As for the game itself, Paid Off features fun poll games similar to Family Feud, silly guessing games such as "Goodfellas or Thomas the Tank Engine," and a segment involving children's versions of classic paintings. According to Paste, the final contestant has a choice to answer either general trivia or questions relating to their field of study.

According to the Washington Post, at the end of each episode, Torpey says, "Call your representatives right now and tell them you need a better solution than this game show."

The host also told Paste that if the powers that be do something to solve the crisis, he will end the show, saying, "I will happily step aside if they step up and take control of the situation."

Check out the trailer for Paid Off below:


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