How to Play the 'Minute to Win It' Drop Ball Game

Golf ball in a hand

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Drop Ball is one of those Minute to Win It games that is really simple in concept. Drop a ball from a short distance to land in a giant water bottle. What you'll find when you actually attempt it is that golf balls have a habit of not going where they're meant to—unless you're Tiger Woods of course.

The Goal

Swipe a small water bottle with a golf ball on top from the mouth of a large water bottle, thus dropping the golf ball so it lands inside the large bottle. It sounds confusing, but it really isn't.

Equipment Needed

Here's what you'll need to set up Drop Ball so you can play at home:

  • One 5-gallon water bottle, cap removed
  • One 500-ml water bottle, cap in place
  • One standard golf ball
  • Table or stool for the stack to stand on
  • One-minute timer or stopwatch

Note: the official rules call for a Fiji brand water bottle because of its square shape which rests well on the large bottle's mouth, but you can use any that are the correct size and will sit in place. Product placement has no effect on home games, after all.

How to Play

If you're using the show-recommended Fiji brand water, you'll need to shave or sand down the bump on the cap so that the ball will rest on it without falling off. Whatever type of bottle you're using, make sure that the lid is able to hold the ball so it is stable.

Remove the lid from the 5-gallon bottle if you haven't already and place it on the table or stool. Center the small water bottle, cap in place, on the mouth of the large one. Then, place the golf ball on the lid of the small bottle.

When the one-minute timer begins, your task is to quickly yank the small water bottle away so that the golf ball falls into the large bottle. You can try this as many times as you like until you're either successful, or the timer runs out.

The Rules

The only real rule here is that you can't pick up the small bottle and balance the ball on it, then tip it into the large bottle. You have to actually swipe the smaller bottle and have the ball drop to its destination.

Tips and Tricks

Practice, practice, practice. That's really the only way to get a feel for this game. After you do play you'll find that the real challenge lies in getting the balls out of the bottles.

Setting It up Like the Show

If you want to be a stickler for detail, you can set this game up as they do on the show—though you'll need lots more water bottles. Create a row of them, on tables, all setup and ready to play. You'll need to get a pre-determined number of the balls into the large water bottles in order to be successful.

Alternatives and Themes

If you'll be playing Drop Ball for a themed or holiday party, there are plenty of ways to make it fit your gathering.

  • For a Christmas game, tie a festive ribbon on the large bottles and retitle the game "Snowball Drop."
  • For very young children, replace the small water bottle with a small paper or plastic plate, and allow them to "scoot" the ball along the plate into the water.
  • Use food coloring in the water bottles, large or small, to incorporate your decorating color theme into the game.