Brian Tracey & Dawn Hayes
Frank Averue
Bonus Bonanza
Syndication (Weekly, Massachusetts only): 1/1995 - 3/1998
Mark Goodson Productions (1995)
Jonathan Goodson Productions
Massachusetts State Lottery
Hearst Broadcasting Productions

Bonus Bonanza was a game show for the Massachusetts State Lottery which had pretty much the same format as Illinois Instant Riches.

Audience SelectionEdit

Players were chosen from the audience via a big wheel. As the wheel spun, a spotlight moved around the audience members. When the wheel stopped, the spotlight stopped, and when the spotlight stopped on an audience member, that person was selected to play the game.



Contestants were shown 7 balls, arranged in a line: five yellow and two red. They were positioned at the top of a funnel-like table, designed so that when the balls reached the bottom, they would form a daisy-like pattern with one ball surrounded by the other six. The object was to have a yellow ball in the middle.

The contestant was given a cash prize of $3,000 and asked to release the balls by pulling a lever that sent the balls down the funnel and into the center circle at the bottom. If a yellow ball was in the middle, their cash prize doubled. For the second pull, a yellow ball was swapped for a red one (making it four yellows and three reds), but the contestant's cash total tripled if the center ball came up yellow. For each of these first two pulls, contestants did not lose any money if the center ball came up red.

A contestant could stop after two pulls, or opt for a third pull, where there were 4 red balls and 3 yellow ones. If the contestant chose to continue, their cash total quadrupled if a yellow ball was in the middle, but lost half of their winnings if a red ball was in the middle. Maximum payoff is $72,000.

Danger BallEdit

The chosen player stood behind a podium with three colored balls (colored red, yellow, and green) inside a cylinder. The cylinder was out of sight of the contestant & the audience. To start, the contestant was spotted $5,000 and then selected which colored ball to be dubbed "The Danger Ball". The player was given up to three pulls, and each time the player pulled out one of the two safe balls, he/she won $5,000 more. But pulling out the chosen danger ball won nor lost nothing. After the first three pulls, the contestant was asked to stop and take the cash or take one last pull but with this one exception: One extra danger ball of the player's choosing was placed into the cylinder. So if the player decided to go on and pull out one of the two danger balls, his/her winnings were halved; if the player pulled out one of the two safe balls, he/she won triple the cash for a maximum total of $60,000.

Force FieldEdit

The contestant released a pendulum over a table, which contained 10 magnets of equal strength. By each magnet was a varying amount of money, ranging from $1,000 to $20,000. After the contestant's first launch of the pendulum, they would win whatever amount of money the pendulum landed on. Before the contestant's second launch, Dawn would replace the dollar amount on the pendulum's current location with a "Lose Half" sign. If the contestant landed on that spot on the second or third launch, they would lose half of their current winnings. After the second launch, Dawn would replace the dollar amount sign on the pendulum's location with another "Lose Half" sign, and then the highest dollar amount remaining on the table would be tripled (up to $60,000) and the lowest dollar amount remaining would be replaced with a red "Wipe Out" sign. The contestant was then given the choice to quit with their current winnings or take the third launch. If the contestant landed on anything other than "Lose Half" or "Wipe Out", that amount would be added to their total winnings. Landing on "Lose Half" would cost them half of their winnings; landing on "Wipe Out" would eliminate all of the contestant's winnings. The maximum payout was $85,000.


This is a pachinko-type game where a ping-pong ball is launched and falls down a board into one of the 10 slots at the bottom. Every time a ball lands in an empty slot, the player won $5,000. If the ball falls into a slot already with a ball in it, the player gets a strike.

If the player gets two strikes, then they are issued one more pull. If the ball lands in an empty slot, their winnings are doubled. If the ball lands in an already occupied slot, however, the player's prize money would be halved.

Odd Money WinsEdit

This was a rarely-played game in which three contestants were chosen from the audience pool. Each contestant was given a choice of two dollar amounts, which in the beginning were either $10,000 or $50,000, later changed to either $10,000 or $30,000. The object was to be the only contestant who chose that amount of money.

After the contestants secretly chose their dollar amounts, each one would be revealed, one at a time. The contestant who was the only one out of the three to choose the dollar amount they chose would win that amount of money and advance to play the Bonus Game. If all contestants chose the same dollar amount, they would vote again until there was a winner.

Knockout (Bonus Game)Edit

This was where the contestants from that day's show played for up to $200,000.

A table with 12 cylinders was presented. A shaking "Spastic Cube" would be released and would have 30 seconds to bounce around the field and knock down any markers in its path. Any markers remaining standing at the end of the time limit will win a grand prize under the still standing markers. The amount can be anywhere from $7,500 to $200,000.


It used nearly all of the cues from Illinois Instant Riches, even the main.

Main - Edd Kalehoff
Others - Killer Tracks

Contestant Selection - "Spike It" by Rick Braun
Prize Ticket Plug - "E Ticket" by Larry Wolff
Danger Ball Game Cue - "In High Gear" by John Hobbs
Freefall Game Cue - "Beat The Clock" by John Hobbs
Knockout Game Cue - "Live Wire" by John Hobbs
Vortex Game Cue - "Robot Or Not" by Al Capps
Win cue - "Street Knowledge" by Larry Wolff

Broadcast HistoryEdit

The three television stations that carried Bonus Bonanza were ABC affiliates WCVB-TV in Boston, WLNE-TV in Providence/New Bedford (which was affiliated with CBS between 1977 and 1995), and WGGB-TV in Springfield. Although the show was viewable in portions of southern New Hampshire and in Rhode Island, only contestants from Massachusetts were eligible to participate in the show.


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YouTube LinkEdit

A full episode from 1996 (with a $72,000 win at Vortex and a $200,000 Knockout win)

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