Qubit was the show where contestants faced a giant computer called "The Qube" in an attempt to win up to $10,000.
Three contestants compete in round one. The highest two scorers compete in round two. The fastest contestant in round two plays a bonus round for cash.
The contestants are said to be challenged by a computer known as "The Qube", which displays the categories and questions as holograms.
There are six categories displayed on The Qube. Each category has four questions, valued at 250, 500, 750, and 1000 points. Categories are generally about scientific knowledge, with some references to popular culture.
The first category is selected randomly by The Qube and questions are asked from that category in ascending order until a contestant rings in with a correct answer. A correct answer adds the value of the question to the contestant's score and gives the contestant control of the next question; an incorrect answer deducts the value of the question from the contestant's score.
When a contestant has control of the next question, he or she selects the point value of one of the unasked questions in the category. Before selecting a question, the contestant may keep the same category as the previous question, or may ask for a different category by saying, "Let's Qubit."
The actual selection of the category by asking to "Qubit" is controlled by The Qube (unlike Jeopardy!, where the category is freely selected by the contestant). Also, The Qube is not obliged to actually change to another category.
When a category is exhausted, a "Qubit" happens automatically. An exhausted category will not come up again for the rest of the round, and when only one category remains, a Qubit is not allowed.
The highest score out of any contestant in season one was John Rathiganthan.
Two questions during Round One are designated as "wild sides". (Partway through the run, the number of wild sides was increased to three.) The controlling contestant alone plays a minigame for extra points. There are four possible minigames that may be given to the contestant.
- Qube's List – The contestant gives six answers that he or she believes are part of the Qube's List, based on the description of the list. For example, a contestant may name six automakers trying to find the six largest sellers as of 2007.
- The Main Event – The contestant is given a Main Event and the year when it happened (for example, the detonation of the first atomic bomb in 1945) and then a list of events. For each event in the list, the contestant must answer whether the event happened before or after the Main Event.
- Fact or Fiction? – The contestant is read a series of statements and must answer whether each is "fact" or "fiction".
- 6 Choices – the contestant is asked a question and given a list of six possible answers, a correct answer with all 6 options in play is worth 600 points, each wrong answer deducts 100 points from the value of the question.
When all 24 questions of Round One have been played, only the two higher-scoring contestants proceed to Round Two.
The contestants participate in round two one at a time; the highest-scoring contestant has the choice of who plays first. While the first contestant plays Round Two, the second contestant is isolated.
Round Two consists of twelve questions. The first contestant establishes a time-to-beat (timed to 1/100 of a second); the second contestant must try to beat the established time with the same questions (the clock counts back down to zero). Each question gives the contestant three opportunities to answer: answering the question alone, answering the question with an additional clue to the answer, and answering the question with a choice of two answers.
Example question: What grayish white, lustrous metal is the seventy-fourth element on the periodic table?
If the contestant answers incorrectly or passes, the host reads a clue such as: Its chemical symbol is W, which stands for Wolfram, the German name of this element.
If the contestant still answers incorrectly or passes, the host reads two choices, such as: Is it platinum or tungsten? Tungsten is the correct answer. The other answer is changed if necessary so it is not an answer already tried by the contestant.
If the constant still answers incorrectly at this point, a 10-second time penalty is applied.
The contestant with the fastest time proceeds to Round Three.
The Qube offers the contestant a choice of six new categories, each with six questions. The contestant chooses one category and is asked the questions. The seven possible prize amounts are presented. With every correct answer, the lowest remaining amount is removed; for each incorrect answer, the highest remaining prize is removed, starting with the $10,000 top prize. After all six questions have been asked, one prize will remain; that is the prize that the contestant wins.
Here's how much the contestant wins for his/her success:
|Correct Answers||Money won||Notes|
|6 of 6||$10,000||Answering all six correctly is called "cracking the Qube."|
|5 of 6||$7500|
|4 of 6||$5000|
|3 of 6||$2500|
|2 of 6||$1000|
|1 of 6||$500|
|0 of 6||$250|