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The $64,000 Question (American Game Show) Wiki, Host, Game Play, Producer, Facts

The $64,000 Question was an American game show which appeared from 1955 to 1958, which became embroiled in the 1950s quiz show scandals. In the show, contestants answered general knowledge questions, earning money which doubled as the questions became more difficult. The final question had a top prize of $64,000, hence the “$64,000 Question” in the show’s title. From 1956 to 1958, the $64,000 Challenge was its spin-off show, where contestants played against winners of at least $8,000 on ‘The $64,000 Question’. The $64,000 Question was created by Louis G. Cowan, formerly known for radio’s Quiz Kids. On June 7, 1995, ‘The $64,000 Question’ premiered on CBS-TV, sponsored by cosmetics maker Revlon and originating from the start live from CBS-TV Studio 52 in New York.

The $64,000 Question Game Rule (Take It or Leave It)

  • The $64,000 Question had its roots in the CBS radio quiz show.
  • The show was first hosted by Bob Hawk.
  • Later, it hosted by Phil Baker.
  • Contestants were asked questions devised by the series’ writer-researcher Edith Oliver.
  • Contestants were asked questions devised by the series’ writer-researcher Edith Oliver.
  • After answering a question correctly, the contestant had the choice to “take” the prize for that question or “leave it”.
  • The first question was worth one dollar.
  • Then, the value doubled for each successive question, up to the seventh and final question worth $64.
Genre Game show
Written byJoseph Nathan Kane
Directed by1. Joseph Cates
2. Seymour
3. Robbie
4. Cort Steen
Presented byHal March
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons4
Country of originUnited States
Running time22–24 minutes
Original networkCBS
Original releaseJune 7, 1955 –Nov 2, 1958

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The popularity of the radio program inspired a 1944 20th Century Fox feature film, ‘Take It or Leave It’, about a man who needs $1,000 to pay his wife’s obstetrician. When he is chosen as a contestant on the radio quiz show, the prize money is increased beyond the usual $64.

The $64,000 Question Facts

  • As long as the contestant kept answering correctly, they could stay on the show until they had won $64,000.
  • On Sep 13, 1955, the first contestant to win the top prize money, on was Richard S. McCutchen, a Marine whose subject was cooking.
  • McCutchen became an instant celebrity, with people stopping him in the street to ask for his autograph.
  • The $64,000 Question beat every other program on Tuesday nights in ratings.
  • Robert Strom and Teddy Nadler ($252,000 across both shows, worth $2.4 million today), the two biggest winners in the show’s history.
  • The first season was hosted by Mike Darrow and produced at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City.
  • The second was produced at Global Television Network in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and hosted by Alex Trebek.
  • From, 1960 to 1971, a similar version of ‘The $64,000 Question’ was successful in Australia which was aired on, Seven Network.
  • The Swedish version of this quiz was ‘Kvitt eller dubbelt’.

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