JACKPOT (USA Cable; 1985-88)

True, this show started in the 70's on NBC. But when I first had cable, this was my first favorite cable game show.

Mike Darrow hosted as 16 players played for a week. One was designated King/Queen of The Hill & would pick one of the 15 players hoping to try to find the Jackpot riddle, otherwise, each riddle was worth money ($50-$250). If they answered the riddle correctly, the player would pick again. If not, they would trade places.

If the Jackpot riddle's found, the one reading it & the player that solved it would trade places no matter if they win or lose.

A Super Jackpot was played if the contestant can land on a pre-determined target number ($200-$995; if the jackpot's over $1,000, the last three digits was the target). If the target is hit & the riddle answered correctly, they would win the Super Jackpot from $2,000-$9,950.

The show also had bonus prizes, return trips (to come back next week) & riddler contests where the contestant that answers the most riddles won $10,000 or a trip to Europe. It also offered $1,000 more if the Jackpot riddle's picked last. And any player that answers 15 riddles in a row from the start of the game also won a new car!

This show was taped in Toronto, Canada. O Canada!


True fact; this was the last new game show of the 80's & it also debuted on my birthday (October 2). It's also the only Nick game where kids wouldn't get messy.

Three kids played this cross between Jeopardy! & Trivial Pursuit (3 years later). Players answered questions in 7 categories & each had 7 grade levels (Elem/7th-12th).

Also in that 49 grid square board were action cards. FREE: Player got that box free. TAKE: Player got to choose opponent's color & make it their own. LOSE: Player had to forfeit a box. FIRE DRILLS: These were the stunts. Whoever finished the stunt would have first choice of desks, the 2nd place winner would get 2nd choice while the 3rd got what's left.

The person who answered every category & every grade level won $500. Losers got $50. If no one completed the board, the person coming closest won.

The bonus round had the player answering questions in "The Honors Round". Had 45 seconds to answer 7 questions in 7 categories to win $600 + a trip!

Best Nick show ever made!

WIN, LOSE OR DRAW/TEEN WIN, LOSE OR DRAW (NBC 1987-89/Synd. 1987-90/Disney 1989-90)

A classic 80's series that's based on a party game Burt Reynolds plays with his celebrity friends.

Two teams of each sex (2 celebs/1 civilian) conveyed by drawing sketches. After everybody had a turn, they would play the speed round. The team with the most money won & the civilian got an extra $1,000.

In the teen version, it was played the same way, only for points & prizes. They only had one celebrity & two kids on each team of each sex.

I always liked Vicki Lawrence hosting the show. She's much better as cranky Thelma Harper on "Mama's Family".

MEMORIES: On a Disneyland episode, Vicki told the guest the rules of no letters & numbers. She blooped saying, "Especially when you see this movie title". The guest was about to draw until the boys shouted "101 Dalmatians"! Vicki was startled saying, "I didn't even start the clock!"


What would the 80's be without this classic game show! Big Bucks, no Whammies! Peter Tomarken & Rod Roddy.

This game was known as Second Chance (1977 ABC) & was played somewhat the same except the Whammies were Devils!

Two rounds were played. Each round consisted of 4 questions. The first contestant that buzzed in got to answer to win 3 spins. Then the other players would guess in a multiple choice to earn a spin. Up to 12 spins can be earned.

After the questions, they would go to the big board to use their spins. On round 1, the player with the least spins went first while on round 2, it was by least amount of money.

Contestants would try to win money or prizes with their spins. But if they hit a Whammy, they lost everything & saw a Whammy cartoon! There were over 70 Whammy skits in the course of the series. Of course, they could pass their spins to the player with the highest score. Four Whammys & the player's out of the game. There were 3 special 4th Whammy skits; Baseball Umpire (You're Out) Whammy on Cruise Ship Waving Good-Bye Whammy Barbershop Quartet

On Round 1; The top dollar; $1,250 (later $1,500) ADD-A-ONE was featured in late episodes. If it was hit, a 1 was added to their score. (IE: $1,000 = $11,000/$800 = $1,800/$0 = $10)

Round 2 had $5,000 top value. DOUBLE YOUR $$$ + ONE SPIN: Selp explanitory.

The worst scenario is winning $10 on ADD-A-ONE, then Double Your $$ for $20!

The player with the most money without getting Whammied out would keep the cash & prizes won.

In the start of the series, when the player reached @ least $25,000, they would retire by the CBS Limits rules. In fall or 1984, CBS lifted the $25,000 limit & now had a 5-day/$50,000 limit.


Michael Larsen: The guy who figured out the computer pattern & took the show for $110,237! His show went 2 episodes since he was on a run on the board.

Steve Bryant: Houston Oiler who won $16,500 & had that famous cry BIG BUCKS & NOOOOO WHAMMMMMMMIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEESSSSSSSS!

Cindy: The Game Show Witch would LOVE her. She would scream after every spin & was undefeated. She was also a contestant on Rodeo Drive (1990 Lifetime) & when she won, hostess Louise DuArt quipped, "If you don't stop that screaming, I'll slap you silly!"

JENNY JONES: Famous talk show host that started as a contestant on PYL.

Press Your Luck was also known for viewers sending in poems whether they were featured before a commercial break or when Peter Tomarkin read some @ the end of the show. And in 1985, Peter read mine, believe it or not!