Series / Three On A Match
-produced Game Show
hosted by Bill Cullen
that ran from 1971-74 on NBC
, in which three contestants "bid" to answer true/false questions. To do so, each contestant bid on how many questions s/he could answer (from 1-4) in one of three shown categories. The person with the highest number, or the untied contestant in the event of a tie, won the right to choose a category and play for $10 times the total number of questions voted (1-2-3 would be worth $60, for example).
Upon winning at least $90 (or one of the "Free Box" bonuses), the contestant could spend the money on boxes on the giant 4x3 gameboard, calling out a dollar amount ($20, $30, or $40) and a color (Red, Green, Yellow, or Blue): e.g., "$40 on the Blue". A prize was hidden behind each box, and to win a prize a contestant had to find it in the $20, $30, and $40 columns. Upon doing so, that contestant won the game and played against two new challengers. (A column was "closed" if three of its four boxes were chosen.)
On April 23, 1973, the prizes were removed from the board and replaced with pictures according to a certain "theme" (movie monsters, actors, animals, etc.). Further, the game was amended to keep three contestants on until one scored three matches (tracked by placards on each podium), which awarded a prize package worth about $5,000. While the trips were lavish enough and other prizes were definitely desirable, they were downplayed as gameplay and Cullen's affable hosting style were emphasized.
Still, despite lasting far longer than any previous show had at the 1:30 PM slot vacated by Let's Make a Deal
in December 1968, getting some affiliates to stop pre-empting the slot, and giving away much more with the format update, TOAM
consistently ranked a solid third behind ABC's Deal
' As the World Turns
in the east (in the Pacific timezone, where it aired at Noon, against ABC's Password
and local programming on CBS). Even so, neither its ratings nor its competition are what ultimately did the show in — see Screwed by the Network
, under the Trivia tab.
- Bonus Round: The Big Match, used during the second format, where the day's contestants would try to match two halves of a $1,000 bill to win just that — $1,000 (plus $1,000 for every three shows it wasn't claimed).
- Bonus Space:
- One Free Box, Two Free Boxes, and Three Free Boxes - gave bonus picks if the contestant won the pot and went to the board right then. The money was spent first, followed by the free boxes.
- Double Pot - multiplied the bets by $20 instead of $10, for a possible maximum of $220.
- Instant Match - if a contestant's very first three picks of a game matched, it ended the game immediately and awarded either that prize and a new car (1971-73) or simply the $5,000 prize package (1973-74).
- During the second format, any contestant who managed to make seven consecutive matches won a new car and $5,000 cash.
- Game Show Winnings Cap: Five matches during the first format, no limits at all for the second format.
- Home Game: Milton Bradley made one in 1972.
- Whammy: The occasional "No Match" square, which did nothing but waste the amount spent on that box (or a free pick, depending on the circumstances).
This show provides examples of: