Jackpot! (partially found NBC game show; 1974-1975)

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A picture of the show's logo.

Status: Partially Found

Jackpot was an NBC game show that aired 450 episodes between January 7th, 1974, to September 26th, 1975. It was created by Bob Stewart and hosted by the late Geoff Edwards with the late Don Pardo announcing with Wayne Howell substituted on some 1975 episodes. The game has been revived twice from 1985 to 1988 in Canada (aired on Global TV in Canada and USA Network in the United States) and 1989 to 1990 in syndication.


The format has been through changes throughout its three incarnations.[1] The format that was used throughout its run was sixteen contestants for an entire week, with one contestant designated as the "King/Queen of the Hill" who stood at a circular podium at stage left. The other fifteen contestants (numbered 1 through 15), were seated in three-tiered bleachers. Each had a special wallet containing a riddle and a varying dollar amount or the Jackpot riddle. The King/Queen of the Hill selected a number and the contestant with that number and asked a riddle to this player. If answered correctly, the King/Queen of the Hill continued picking numbers; if answered incorrectly, the two contestants switched places, with the contestant who stumped him/her becoming the new King/Queen of the Hill. The value of the riddle increased the value of the Jackpot. If the King/Queen selected the contestant holding the Jackpot Riddle (one per game) and answered it correctly, those two contestants split the Jackpot.

In the NBC version of Jackpot, there was a secondary objective for the King/Queen and the other fifteen riddle holders. Before each new game started, a three-digit number, determined at random by the show's computers, was set as the "target number". If at any point in the game the last three numbers displayed in the Jackpot matched the target number, the King/Queen and the contestant whose riddle enabled the match were given a chance to win the Super Jackpot, which would be worth thousands of dollars. The Super Jackpot Riddle was always read by the host from his podium and read twice. He would then turn to the King/Queen to answer first, and if the King/Queen could not do so the other contestant was given a chance. If either one of them came up with the solution to the Super Jackpot Riddle, they split the prize. Depending on the rules or the situation, the King/Queen could ask the Jackpot Riddle-holder to be seated and continue the game, perhaps with other bonuses, a larger Jackpot, or the Super Jackpot in mind.

A second format was added on July 30th, 1975. The target number and multiplayer was dropped, and the riddles were replaced with yes or no questions, true or false questions, and multiple choice questions, and the Super Jackpot were established at random between $2,000 and $10,000 (in $100 increments). When the Jackpot Question was found, the Expert could either try to answer it or go for the Super Jackpot by answering all remaining questions in the game, including the Jackpot Question. If the player missed any of the remaining questions, the Jackpot was reset to $0 and a new Super Jackpot was established. In the event that the Jackpot Question was the last one found, the Super Jackpot was discarded.


Before his death on March 5th, 2014, Geoff Edwards confirmed that every episode of the NBC version was destroyed. In the mid-2000s a studio master tape of an episode that aired on January 3rd, 1975, (that contains the NBC version's biggest winner with $38,750) began circluating and was uploaded to YouTube by the user Game Show Temple in the late-2000s, before the channel got deleted in January 2015. Also in the late-2000s, game show biographer Adam Nedeff released the final episode (September 26th, 1975) in audio form. Sometime in the mid-2010s, game show producer Bob Boden uploaded the episode to Vimeo. YouTube user Comedyfan74 uploaded the audio of the episode as well as the episode itself to YouTube on March 30th, 2018. On March 6, 2018, Youtube user Obsolete Video, upload a video full of NBC News and ABC News snippets, a 31 second snippet of a episode of Jackpot can be seen.[2] Besides the footage and various screenshots from the lost episodes, Jackpot is mostly lost.


The January 3rd, 1975 episode.
The September 26th, 1975 finale episode (in audio form).
31 second snippet