Jackpot (recreation present) – Wikipedia

Jackpot '74.jpg
Created by Bob Stewart
Directed by Mike Gargiulo, William G. Elliott, Bruce Burmester
Introduced by Geoff Edwards
(1974–1975, 1989–1990)
Mike Darow (1985–1988)
Narrated by Don Pardo (1974–1975)
Wayne Howell (1975)
Ken Ryan (1985–1988)
John Harris (1985–1988)
John Harlan (1989)
Johnny Gilbert (1989–1990)
Music by Bob Cobert (1985–1990)
Nation of origin United States (1974–1975, 1989–1990)
Canada (1985–1988)
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 450 (1974–1975 model)
525 (1985-1988 model)
130 (1989–1990 model)
Manufacturing areas NBC Studios
New York, New York (1974–1975)
World Tv
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Glendale, California
Distributor Palladium Leisure (1989-1990)
Sony Photos Tv
Authentic community NBC (1974–1975)
USA Community (1985–1988)
World (1985–1988)
Syndicated (1989–1990)
Authentic launch January 7, 1974–September 26, 1975
September 30, 1985–December 30, 1988
September 18, 1989 –
March 16, 1990 (1990-03-16)

Jackpot (additionally known as Jackpot!) is an American and Canadian tv recreation present produced by Bob Stewart which noticed contestants making an attempt to unravel riddles to be able to win money and prizes.

Jackpot made its debut on the NBC tv community on January 7, 1974 as a part of their daytime schedule and ran till September 26, 1975. The present videotaped in New York Metropolis, the place Stewart was primarily based on the time, and was hosted by Geoff Edwards. In 1985, Stewart teamed up with USA Community and World Tv Community for a revival that aired in each the USA and Canada. This version of Jackpot aired on USA and World from September 30, 1985 till December 30, 1988 and was produced in Toronto, Ontario, with Mike Darow as host. After the Canadian-produced Jackpot ended, Stewart developed one other collection for American syndication, this time primarily based within the Los Angeles space of Glendale, California (Stewart moved there within the early 1980s). That collection (the one one to consult with the title with the exclamation level in it) debuted on September 18, 1989 with Edwards as soon as once more internet hosting, coming to an finish on March 16, 1990 after its syndicator went out of enterprise.[1]

The primary collection was introduced by Don Pardo till early 1975, when Wayne Howell changed him, marking Pardo’s final asserting gig for an NBC recreation present (later in 1975, Pardo would settle in for his final asserting position in his profession on the long-running NBC sketch comedy collection Saturday Evening Dwell). The 1985 collection noticed asserting duties shared by World announcers John Harris and Ken Ryan, the latter of whom was additionally the announcer on the USA/World collaboration Bumper Stumpers. The 1989 collection noticed Johnny Gilbert and John Harlan cut up the asserting duties.

Parts of Jackpots gameplay had been later used within the GSN unique recreation present Hollywood Showdown. Its producer, Sande Stewart (son of Jackpot! creator Bob Stewart), grew to become a manufacturing companion of his father in the course of the 1980s.


Sixteen contestants competed for a complete week, with one designated King/Queen of the Hill, who stood at a round podium at stage-left. The opposite fifteen contestants, numbered 1 by way of 15, had been seated in three-tiered bleachers. Every had a particular pockets containing a riddle and a various money quantity or the Jackpot Riddle. The King/Queen of the Hill chosen a quantity and the contestant with that quantity requested a riddle to this participant. If answered appropriately, the King of the Hill continued selecting numbers; if answered incorrectly, the 2 contestants switched locations, with the contestant who stumped him/her turning into the brand new King of the Hill.

The worth of the riddle elevated the worth of the Jackpot. If the King chosen the contestant holding the Jackpot Riddle (one per recreation) and answered it appropriately, these two contestants cut up the Jackpot.

Along with constructing the Jackpot, there was a secondary goal for the King and the opposite fifteen riddle holders. Earlier than every new recreation began, a 3 digit quantity, decided at random by the present’s computer systems, was set because the “goal quantity”. If at any level within the recreation the final three numbers displayed within the Jackpot matched the goal quantity, the King and the contestant whose riddle enabled the match got an opportunity to win the Tremendous Jackpot, which might be value hundreds of {dollars}.

The Tremendous Jackpot Riddle was all the time learn by the host from his podium and browse twice. If the Tremendous Jackpot Riddle was answered appropriately, they cut up the prize.

Relying on the foundations or the state of affairs, the King may ask the Jackpot Riddle-holder to be seated and proceed the sport, maybe with different bonuses, a bigger Jackpot, or the Tremendous Jackpot in thoughts.

Particular riddles[edit]

  • Double {Dollars} (Syndicated) – Because the identify implied, an accurate reply to one in every of these riddles doubled the quantity within the Jackpot at the moment.
  • Prompt Goal Match (Syndicated) – If this riddle was answered appropriately, the final three digits within the Jackpot had been augmented to match the goal quantity and provides the participant that held the riddle and the King of the Hill an opportunity on the Tremendous Jackpot.
  • Bonus Prize (all) – An accurate reply received the King or Queen of the Hill a prize.
  • Return Journey (USA/Syndicated) – Accurately answering this riddle resulted in each gamers (riddler and King [or Queen]) being allowed to compete in an additional week of reveals.

NBC (1974–1975)[edit]

The King (or Queen) of the Hill was known as the Skilled. Riddles on this model ranged in worth from $5 to $200 in multiples of $5, and Goal Numbers may go no increased than $995. After the collection of a Goal Quantity, a Multiplier starting from 5 to 50 was chosen at random (though 15 and 20 had been twice as prone to seem) and was multiplied with the Goal Quantity to find out the Tremendous Jackpot (e.g., $500×30 = $15,000). If the Goal Quantity was $995 and the Multiplier was 50, the Tremendous Jackpot was robotically set to $50,000.

The Tremendous Jackpot could possibly be performed for in one in every of two methods:

  1. Initially, if the Skilled solved a Jackpot Riddle and final three digits of the Jackpot matched the Goal Quantity, the gamers (whoever requested the Jackpot Riddle and whoever answered it) cut up the Tremendous Jackpot. Later, the Skilled needed to reply a second riddle requested by Edwards after fixing a Jackpot Riddle when the final three digits of the Jackpot matched the Goal Quantity to be able to share the Tremendous Jackpot with the opposite participant.
  2. The Tremendous Jackpot is also received if the Skilled selected the participant that had the Tremendous Jackpot Wildcard and appropriately answered the Tremendous Jackpot Riddle, once more requested by Edwards.

Initially, the participant who answered essentially the most riddles within the week received a automobile. This was later modified to awarding a automobile to anybody who answered all fifteen riddles in a single recreation. After a week-long experiment in February 1974 (when it was known as “The Valentine Riddle”), most video games had a “Double Bonus” riddle which, if answered appropriately, received the 2 gamers concerned a visit, often to someplace in Mexico or the Caribbean.

Starting on June 30, 1975, the format was altered for the final 13 weeks of the run:

  • The Goal Quantity and Multiplier had been dropped. As a substitute, the Tremendous Jackpot was established at random to a worth between $2,000 and $10,000 (in $100 increments).
  • Riddles had been changed with straight yes-no, true-false, or multiple-choice common information questions.
  • When the Jackpot Query was discovered, the Skilled may both attempt to reply it or go for the Tremendous Jackpot by answering all remaining questions within the recreation, together with the Jackpot Query. If the participant missed any of the remaining questions, the Jackpot was reset to $zero and a brand new Tremendous Jackpot was established.
  • Within the occasion that the Jackpot Query was the final one discovered, the Tremendous Jackpot was discarded.

Canadian/USA Community (1985–1988)[edit]

The riddles and Goal Quantity returned, however there was no multiplier; the Tremendous Jackpot was set at random, starting from $4,000 to $9,900 in $100 increments. There was no separate Tremendous Jackpot Riddle on this collection. As a substitute, if a riddle was value sufficient to trigger a goal match, it received each gamers the Tremendous Jackpot if answered appropriately. For every recreation, the Jackpot began at $100, and riddles had been valued anyplace from $50 to $300 (once more in $5 increments). Additionally, if the Jackpot Riddle was not discovered till the final participant, an additional $1,000 was added to the Jackpot. As soon as the Jackpot Riddle was discovered and tried, the King/Queen of the Hill and the particular person with the Jackpot Riddle traded locations irrespective of the result of the riddle’s reply.

Beginning in season two, any participant who answered all fifteen riddles and not using a miss received a brand new automobile. Additionally added was a “$10,000 Riddler Contest” by which the participant who answered essentially the most riddles appropriately in a single week over a interval of ten received a bonus of $10,000, with tied gamers splitting the cash. For the ultimate six weeks of the second season, there was a second Riddler Contest the place the participant answering essentially the most riddles appropriately in a single week over a interval of six weeks received a trip package deal and $1,000 in spending cash.

The ultimate season featured “The $50,000 Riddle” throughout particular weeks. These riddles had been significantly tougher than those often requested, and all gamers who appropriately answered them cut up $50,000 on the finish of the week.

Syndicated (1989–1990)[edit]

On this model, the worth of the riddle was solely added to the Jackpot if the riddle was answered appropriately. As well as the Tremendous Jackpot Riddle returned, however now both the King/Queen of the Hill or the bleacher contestant who requested the riddle that introduced the Jackpot quantity to the goal quantity may reply. The bleacher contestant would make a guess first, and if he/she was incorrect, the King/Queen would make a guess himself/herself; this was later modified to having just one reply accepted from the primary participant to talk up. If both participant was right, they each cut up the Tremendous Jackpot.

Additionally, if the King (or Queen) of the Hill answered all fifteen riddles and not using a miss, $1,000 was added to the Jackpot. Lastly, Tremendous Jackpots on this model ranged from $10,000 to $25,000 (in $500 increments), and riddles ranged from $50 to $200 (in $5 increments as soon as once more).

Broadcast Historical past[edit]

NBC (1974–1975)[edit]

The community’s head of daytime programming, Lin Bolen, positioned Jackpot! at Midday japanese (11:00 AM Central), the place the venerable Jeopardy! had run for practically eight years. Jeopardy! introduced in audiences who didn’t ordinarily watch daytime tv, akin to businessmen and faculty college students, primarily on account of its intellectually difficult recreation play; these individuals usually watched the present throughout their lunch hour on TV units at eating places, faculty pupil facilities, or bars moderately than at dwelling. The transfer of Jeopardy! to 10:30/9:30 would trigger an viewers loss that Jackpot!, geared toward a extra conventional feminine viewers, was unable to switch.

Jackpot changed The Who, What, or The place Recreation through a scheduling shuffle with the aforementioned Jeopardy! and Baffle. The breakout reputation of CBS’ youth-oriented serial The Younger and the Stressed led to an erosion of Jeopardy!s viewers, and the brand new present inherited the rankings issues. Nonetheless, Jackpot! managed to earn respectable rankings all through 1974; it checked out one level to be extra promising than its sister present, The $10,000 Pyramid, in the course of the latter’s remaining month on CBS (however earlier than its transfer to ABC in Might, the place it grew to become successful). Nonetheless, Y&R would break into the daytime Nielsen high ten by early 1975.

Edwards hosted Jackpot on the identical time he was internet hosting the Chuck Barris-produced recreation present Treasure Hunt. Jackpot taped in New York Metropolis whereas Treasure Hunt was taped in Los Angeles. Not solely was Edwards one of many first hosts to host multiple recreation present concurrently, he additionally was one of many first to work bi-coastally, a apply that grew to become way more widespread for celebrities sooner or later.


In response to the present’s slumping rankings, Bolen determined to revamp Jackpot by making use of a “focus group”, a then-new viewers evaluation method. Geoff Edwards said that Bolen’s group contributors expressed a robust dislike for the present’s foundational riddle format. Bolen accepted this judgment and gave Stewart an ultimatum – substitute the riddles with a simple question-answer format or be canceled. As well as, Edwards was advised to not query this choice or he would get replaced.

This was one in every of a number of modifications instituted starting on June 30, 1975. On July 7, the present moved again one half-hour, however the brand new time slot introduced a lot stronger competitors within the type of Seek for Tomorrow on CBS and ABC’s All My Youngsters, the latter already an enormous hit with youthful audiences. The present was additional hampered by a five-minute information program airing at 12:55, forcing Jackpot! to additionally shrink to 25 minutes.

The mixture of sturdy competitors and the compelled change in format led to the tip of Jackpot! after a 21-month run on September 26, 1975. NBC’s substitute, Three for the Cash, did even worse, working solely 9 weeks. Jackpots cancellation additionally marked the primary time in NBC daytime historical past that no video games originated from Rockefeller Middle (with all different recreation reveals taping at NBC’s West Coast studios in Burbank, California as an alternative). Just one different NBC recreation present afterward, the Stewart-packaged Shoot for the Stars (which was additionally hosted by Edwards), was taped in New York. Actually, the one different NBC daytime present to tape at Rockefeller Middle for the rest of the 1970s was the serial The Medical doctors. (One other World and Somerset recorded at off-site studios in Brooklyn.)

The collection marked Don Pardo’s remaining look as an everyday recreation present announcer, having achieved video games because the pioneering Winner Take All in 1952 (additionally the primary community TV recreation hosted by Invoice Cullen and the primary TV collection by Goodson-Todman). On October 11, 1975 – fifteen days after Jackpot!s demise – Pardo emerged on NBC’s new weekly comedy-variety collection Saturday Evening Dwell. Apart from one season for the latter present, he could be the announcer for the collection till his passing in 2014. Pardo would additionally not seem on one other recreation present till November 1988, when he was the announcer of the nighttime syndicated model of Wheel of Fortune for 2 weeks of episodes at New York’s Radio Metropolis Music Corridor.

CBS Pilot (1984)[edit]

In 1984, Stewart produced a brand new model for CBS with Nipsey Russell internet hosting and Johnny Gilbert asserting, which didn’t promote. Not like the sooner or subsequent variations, there was no Goal Quantity or Tremendous Jackpot. The Jackpot began at $150, with that quantity going into it for every riddle solved. If the Jackpot riddle was discovered however was not tried instantly, the worth for every right reply doubled to $300. If the Jackpot riddle was not discovered till the final participant, $5,000 could be robotically added to the Jackpot.

When the Jackpot riddle was solved, the successful King/Queen and Riddler would play a bonus spherical known as “Riddle-grams,” which was performed just like one other Stewart-produced present, Shoot for the Stars. Two clues could be proven. The clues, when answered within the order they had been learn, would make a two-word phrase. One participant would guess the primary half of the phrase, and the opposite participant would guess the second half. If both contestant made a mistake at any time, they’d lose their likelihood on the massive cash, however may nonetheless go for all the opposite phrases, as a result of on the finish of the spherical, the contestants cut up $100 for every phrase solved. If the contestants may clear up all seven phrases with out making a mistake, they cut up $5,000. This was the one model of the present to have a bonus spherical.

Though this format didn’t promote in the USA, it was used (albeit with slight modifications) on the Welsh model within the 1990s (see beneath).

Canadian/USA Community (1985–1988)[edit]

This system was recorded in Toronto for the World Tv Community and aired in America on USA Community. The 1980s Jackpot was capable of keep away from the nation’s “CanCon” quota system of necessities as host Mike Darow, whose earlier internet hosting positions (The $128,000 Query and the unique Dream Home) had been on American productions, was born in Canada and had labored on Toronto radio within the 1960s.

All money awards to contestants had been paid in Canadian {dollars}, which on the time was significantly weaker than the U.S. greenback. The ensuing monetary benefit lured packagers akin to Stewart to provide video games in Canada. Ken Ryan and John Harris, World workers voice-over artists, served as announcers on this model.

Syndicated (1989–1990)[edit]

Jackpot! (with an exclamation level within the title) returned in American syndication within the fall of 1989. This system was a manufacturing of Bob Stewart Productions and Reeves Leisure Group with Palladium Leisure distributing.

Nonetheless, the present met its demise earlier than the tip of a full season, not due to low rankings, however as a result of the distributor, Palladium Leisure, had severe monetary issues. As a ploy to attempt to generate sponsorship money as rapidly as potential, the corporate compelled the workers to document over 10 episodes per day for a interval of over two weeks. Underneath regular circumstances, half-hour weekday “strip” reveals taped solely three to 5 episodes per day, relying on the studio’s schedule. By spring 1990, the corporate shut down its operations after declaring chapter, and the remaining stations pulled Jackpot! from their schedules instantly.

Regardless of this, very like he did virtually 15 years earlier by internet hosting bi-coastal recreation reveals, Geoff Edwards grew to become the third recreation present host within the trade to concurrently emcee a recreation present on each side of the Canada–US border, becoming a member of Jim Perry and Alex Trebek. Edwards additionally hosted the Canadian-produced Chain Response and the Sacramento-produced The Large Spin, the weekly California Lottery program, at the moment.

Two veteran announcers, John Harlan and Johnny Gilbert (each of whom have additionally assumed asserting duties for the following NBC/syndicated revivals of Jeopardy!), supplied the voice-over for this model. Jim Perry’s daughter, Erin, served because the collection’ affiliate producer.

Welsh Model[edit]

A Welsh model was produced from 1993 to roughly 1999. As talked about above, the foundations of this model had been primarily based on the 1984 pilot, with some slight modifications. It was finally revived in 2012 as a section on Friday night time journal present Pen8Nos.

Different data[edit]

Dwelling model[edit]

Milton Bradley made just one version in 1974, however with two totally different covers – one with simply the emblem, and one with a drawing of a feminine contestant. Aside from the beauty distinction, the sport is similar in each bins; the gameplay extra carefully resembles the 1980s Darow format, with the Goal Quantity randomly established and Tremendous Jackpots of solely four-figure quantities.[citation needed]


Jackpot! used a number of totally different themes throughout its runs; the NBC model used the instrumental theme music “Jet Set”, composed by former Manfred Mann member Mike Vickers. The piece was later used because the opening theme for This Week in Baseball. The USA and syndicated runs used the Shoot for the Stars theme composed by Bob Cobert. The Bebu Silvetti music “Spring Rain”, itself beforehand used because the theme for Stewart’s The Love Consultants, was used for the unsold 1984 pilot.

Episode standing[edit]

  • NBC: All however two episodes had been destroyed, in line with host Geoff Edwards. A $38,750 Tremendous Jackpot is received on one in every of them (aired January 3, 1975). The finale exists in audio format.
  • USA/syndicated: Each runs are intact and have been seen on GSN.


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