In December 1976, financially-strapped couple Arthur (a NASA engineer) and Norma Lewis find a package on their doorstep. Inside is a wooden box, with a large red button locked under a transparent dome top. An accompanying note reads: "Mr. Steward will call upon you at 5:00 pm." Mr. Steward, a mysterious man with the left side of his face burned off, arrives to deliver the key for the box. He tells Norma that, if the button is pushed, he will give her a tax-free payment of $1 million in cash. However, someone she does not know will die. $100 is given to Norma by Mr Steward as compensation for allowing him to enter the house and voice his deal.