Awesome / The Joker's Wild

  • Champion Hal Shear was in dire straits in his eighth game, against Adrienne. Down $500$200 and with no Fast Forward category available, his only hope was to spin three Jokers, which would give him a chance at an instant win. Luckily, he was wearing a rather loud "lucky suit". He gave it a quick rub, pulled the handle, and got his three Jokers. After nearly fainting from shock, Jack Barry explained how astronomical the odds would be of someone both needing and getting three Jokers. Hal proceeded to get a very simple question right and won his game. A bit of a Downer Ending for Adrienne, though...
  • 1983: Barry sadly sends off Joe Dunn as an undefeated champ by showing his accomplishments, including $66,200 in cash and prizes. This was also when the CBS limit on game show winnings was raised to $50,000 from the previous $35,000 (while the show itself was syndicated, it ran on some CBS stations and hence was subject to network rules), with a charity of the player's choice receiving what went over that. This was 21 years before Ken Jennings on Jeopardy!, and was a big deal as Dunn had been a regular champ and hadn't yet played in a Tournament.
  • Byron Wilson coming back from a $400$0 deficit by answering ten $50 Fast Forward questions in a row.
  • Frank Dillon, who won the first two Tournaments, in 1977 and '78 (worth $50,000 and $100,000 in cash and prizes, respectively)...and narrowly lost the $250,000 Tournament in 1979 due to an unlucky spin. He also donated most of his cash winnings to various charities.
  • Rob Griffin winning the 1980 Tournament of Champions, earning $500,000 for himself and the March of Dimes ($250,000 for the March of Dimes, and $25,000/year for 10 years for Rob). The entire Tournament was awesome in and of itself, as the total prize purse was $1,000,000note .
  • 1983: At one point, a champion at the Face the Devil round confidently predicted he was going to get to $1,000 from his current total of $475 on the next spin. Jack didn't think it was going to happen, but the next spin was $100-$100-$100, giving him the automatic win.note .
  • From the 1990 version, the five times the Joker Jackpot was hit (for $8,500, $9,500, $17,500, $10,500, and the highest jackpot, $36,000).