$1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime (1986–1987)

TV Series  |  Game-Show
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 16 users  
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A short-lived quiz show hosted by TV veteran Jim Lange. Husband-and-wife teams would compete against each other in answering a tough series of trivia questions. The winning couple would ... See full summary »

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Title: $1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime (1986–1987)

$1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime (1986–1987) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Credited cast:
Johnny Gilbert ...
Marc Summers ...
Karen Thomas ...
 Assistant (second season)


A short-lived quiz show hosted by TV veteran Jim Lange. Husband-and-wife teams would compete against each other in answering a tough series of trivia questions. The winning couple would then go on to the championship round, where they would have a chance to win one million dollars. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

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This would be the first ever game show in television history to award couples $1,000,000 in cash ($40,000 a year for the next 25 years beginning in the first season). It would be another 12 years before the ever popular "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire". See more »

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A Brilliant Game Show
6 January 2012 | by (Tennessee) – See all my reviews

Some say this show is a rip-off of Wheel of Fortune. They have merely taken a look at this show, saw a Hangman-style puzzle, and assumed. Had they watched the dang thing, they would have realized this show is in many way very different from Wheel.

In each game, two couple competed. They were shown a toss-up clue that filled in letter by letter, and the first player to buzz in with the right answer gained $25, and the right to play for the puzzle.

The set was dominated by a massive computer, and a large keyboard. When the first clue was solved, a number of letters would light up on the keyboard, all of which were in the puzzle but one. That was the dreaded Stinger, which ended your go at the puzzle. The contestant would pick two of the letters, and provided they were in the puzzle, they were added and $25 was added to the Puzzle Bank for each occurrence in the puzzle. They'd then have a chance to solve the puzzle. If they did, they added the Puzzle Bank to their score, and another puzzle was played, but with all values doubled ($50). A third round would then be played for double that ($100), and if time permitted, more round would be played at that amount. When time was up, the team with the most money moved on to the end game.

The goal of the end game was to solve six clues in 60 seconds the style of the toss-ups above, all in a category chosen by the contestants. Should they succeed, they won $5,000, but could gamble it and come back the next day and play for $10,000, which they could then gamble for the chance to come back next time. If they won a third end game, they won $1 million. A loss at any point (front game or end game) set them home with just main game winnings.

Okay, so it has some similarities to Wheel, but I really like this show. The game had insane play-along potential, and was potentially a lot fairer than Wheel. A team could never get screwed over by bad spins or having their turn after all good letters had gone. They game stayed dead exciting to the end, and when a team moved on to their second or third days it always got dead exciting. I really think this show should have lasted longer. The good die young, as they say.

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