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'Minute to Win It' Paper Scraper Game

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Definition:

Most of us, at some point in our lives, have created a freestanding tower from a deck of playing cards. In this Minute to Win It adaptation, the playing cards are swapped out in favor of blank index cards. Raid your office supply closet and see how well you do in Paper Scraper!

The Goal

The goal of Paper Scraper is to make a stack of index cards that's ten "stories" tall. Each story consists of three index cards, two of which are folded in half. Build the tower and keep it standing in under 60 seconds and you win the game.

Equipment Needed

You don't need many supplies or equipment to play this game, which means that you can play at the spur of the moment. You know, should you have the sudden urge to play a game from a TV game show. Here's what you'll need:

  • At least 30 blank index cards, standard size -- you might want to have some extras on hand, especially if there will be lots of people playing
  • A flat surface such as a table or desk
  • A one-minute timer or stop watch

Setting Up Paper Scraper

The only real prep work involved with this game is that you'll have to fold 20 of the index cards in half lengthwise (horizontally) before you begin. Place all of the cards, both folded and flat, on the table. You're ready to go.

How to Play

The player stands at the table to begin. When the one-minute timer starts, he or she can begin stacking the cards. For each story of the index card tower, place two folded cards with their folded peak facing up, and top with one flat card. Each story must be built directly on top of the previous one and the final tower must contain ten stories (using all of the index cards). Build this tower and watch as it free-stands for at least three seconds in order to master the game.

The Rules

For the "we don't need no stinkin' rules" crowd, here are the guidelines:

  • You may only use your hands to build the tower - in other words, you can't lean into it and let the cards rest on your belly while you build up the stories
  • Mistakes happen, so if your paper scraper falls over, you can pick up the cards and start again as long as time allows
  • The final tower must be freestanding for three consecutive seconds in order to count

Tips and Tricks

If you made towers like this as a kid you know the golden rule: Make sure that the lower levels are completely stable. Also, leave a good amount of space between the two folded base cards to give the upper levels more stability. Practice this one a few times to figure out the best format to use for your own towers, then amaze your friends and co-workers with your architectural genius.

The blueprint with video instructions for this game can be found at NBC.com.

Customizing the Game

Most of the games from Minute to Win It can be customized to suit various ages and skill levels, or changed to reflect a theme. With Paper Scraper, you can require more or fewer levels depending on how challenging you want the game to be. Use fewer levels for kids, or keep adding more after each round to make this into a tournament-style game.

For a fun Christmas game, use old Christmas cards instead of index cards. You'll have to trim them to make sure that they're all the same size, but the presentation will be quite festive.

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