The Bank Job, produced by Big Brother maker Endemol, is a new gameshow format that will air for six nights on Channel 4 in the first week of January, giving contestants the opportunity to "pull off the ultimate heist and walk away with a life-changing sum of money".
An exclusive early application form to appear on the show can be secured by playing the online game, also called The Bank Job, which is live now on the Channel 4 website.
Online players will go head-to-head during tournaments, answering general knowledge questions in real-time to scoop the most virtual cash and escape the vault.
Each timed round will feature 25 safety deposit boxes. A correct answer to the question enables the player to select a box, which could contain a cash sum, or be empty, or give the chance to steal an opposing player's money.
The winner is the player who leaves the vault with the largest amount of cash before the time runs out, but the game's strategy and tactics come in with how long you decide to stay in the vault.
Leave too early and there could be too many boxes left for an opponent to plunder, but leave too late and your own cash could be at risk of being stolen, or locked in the vault.
As players compete online they will build a personal profile of their performance, which can be shared with friends via Facebook. The main aim is to become an Elite Player and unlock the application form for the live show, as well as the chance to enter a prize draw to win £10,000.
Tournaments will take place at various times during the day and players can keep up to date with the latest developments on The Bank Job Facebook and Twitter pages.
Some game tournaments will continue to run when the show starts in early next year, with the possibility that players could be on the show just days after winning online.
The Bank Job live TV gameshow, the successor to Channel 4's popular Million Pound Drop Live, will take place in a real bank vault filled with hundreds of thousands of pounds in cash.
Each night, four rival contestants will compete against each other, with one emerging at the end of the show with a suitcase full of money, and the others leaving with nothing.
The Bank Job is produced by Remarkable Television, an Endemol company, while the online head-to-head game was built by Chunk Games and the live play-along game developed by Monterosa, the firm which created the successful Million Pound Drop Live accompanying game.