Strike it Rich
(w/help from Randy Amasia)
Host: Joe Garagiola
Model: Theresa Ring
Announcer: Bob Hilton
Broadcast History: Syndicated (daily) Sep. 15, 1986-Sep. 1987
Packager: Kline and Friends, Inc.
Opening Spiel (after prize descriptions): "Welcome to the fastest high-stakes game on television, The All-New Strike it Rich!"
Premise: Two teams answered questions for the chance to win prizes, all the while trying to avoid "the bandit".
Two teams (usually husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend) compete in this Q&A game. Each team has an archway of 7 monitors, used during the course of the game; it begins with the champs being shown a category, along with five possible answers. They then decide whether to answer one, two, or three questions. If they successfully answer the questions in the contract, they get to reveal some of their monitors. Otherwise, the opponents are given the chance to answer, and if successful, complete the contract; if incorrect, control returns to the first team, who are given a new category.
After a couple completes their contract, they are given the opportunity to reveal some screens, depending on the number of questions they had answered (if they answered 2 questions, then they got to reveal 2 screens). However, before they reveal the screens, "the bandit" is hidden somewhere among the 7 monitors. Behind each of the other monitors is a prize, but if they find the bandit, they lose all prizes earned up to that point, and control of the next category goes to their opponents. Otherwise, a decision must be made following each successful turn: either "bank" the prizes and pass control to their opponents, or risk the prizes and continue playing.
The first team to successfully make it past all 7 screens is asked one final question (known as the "Strike it Rich Question"). If they answer it incorrectly, all unbanked prizes are lost and control defaults to the opposing team, but if their answer is correct, they win the game and go on to play the bonus round. Losing teams got to keep any prizes banked during the game.
One member of the winning team plays the top row of screens, the other plays the bottom row. On each turn, the team chooses whether to reveal the top or bottom screen, one of which contains a dollar sign while the other contains a bandit. Before the start of the bonus round, the team decides what prize they want to play for. They can either:
Try to find 5 dollar signs for $5,000 in cash (which meant they could not hit more than 2 bandits)
Try to find 6 dollar signs for the $5K and a new car (they could only hit 1 bandit)
Should the team fail to win their bonus prize, they recieve $100 for each dollar sign revealed along the way.
Although this show had the same name as the 50s game show "Strike it Rich" and was billed as "The All-New Strike it Rich" during the opening, it actually had nothing to do with the original series. In fact, the original title was "Arch Rivals" (get it?), but producer-director Richard Kline was convinced the show wouldn't sell unless it had an established name, thus the change.
The bandit's laugh was provided by future Major League Baseball player Boog Powell.
This show's music, written by the great Hal Hidey ("Bullseye", "The Joker's Wild", "Hot Potato", among others), was also the last game show music package he composed.
Occasionally, if there was extra time at the end of the show, the winning team would get to play a special bonus round similar to the one described above, where for every dollar sign they uncovered, $50 would be donated to the team's favorite charity.
A British version of the show was launched the same year as its US counterpart; titled "Strike it Lucky", it proved far more successful, airing until 1994. When it was revived in 1996 for another three years, the American title was used (due to a change in producers, since the original production company held the rights to the "Strike it Lucky" title). Additionally, a French version aired in 1988-89, titled "L'arche d'or" (The Golden Arch/Ark), while an Australian version (also titled "Strike it Lucky") aired briefly in 1994, but was cancelled after only a short run. Another successful foreign version aired in South Africa from 1989 through the mid-90s, under the name "Telly Fun Quiz".
After going unseen for over 30 years since its original airing, Buzzr began offering a number of episodes on-demand via Amazon Prime in January 2019, though they've since been removed from the service.