John Hatten, the first solo player to win the maximum $60,000 during the ten-match era (the other being Sherry Lucas); a former Split Second contestant, he learned after his sixth match ($36,000) that his house had burned to the ground during that taping — and that his family had been keeping this from him. Rejecting an offer to resume his reign in a few weeks, he continued playing and retired undefeated. In April 1982, he returned and became the only solo player to win the new maximum of $120,000.
Pat and Liz McCarthy, the only family pair to win 20 consecutive matches and the maximum $120,000. Liz was a Harvard economics major, while her mother was called out by Cullen as the series' very best player. Their reign included an episode where they were the only contestants to give correct answers for the entire half-hour.