Jim Harper (sub)
Megabucks Giveaway was the second lottery game show to be developed by the Michigan Lottery. The show debuted on April 13, 1991 (replacing Fame & Fortune) and ran until September 14, 1996. Chief Meteorologist Chuck Gaidica from WDIV returns as your host while Diane Sarnecky was replaced by Michigan Lottery Hostess Aggie Usedly. Also on board was Jim Harper, who occasionally substituted for Gaidica.
The show, like Fame & Fortune, was taped on Friday afternoons at WDIV-TV and aired Saturday nights on Detroit's affiliate WDIV as well as eight other affiliates across the state. Breaks during the program allowed for commercials and coverage of live drawings of the evening's Daily 3, Daily 4, Lotto and Zinger games.
Megabucks Giveaway was an updated version of the Michigan Lottery's previous game show, Fame & Fortune, with a few new elements.
One of the newest elements added was a BONUS card hiding behind one of the letters on the FORTUNE wall. Contestants no longer had an option to leave with a brand new Car or stay in the game and taking the money concealed behind the BONUS card. They were now granted up an extra shot at picking one of four keys to unlock the safe that contained $50,000 in the end game (if they become the overall winner). Contestants could win up to two bonus cards meaning they could have 3 chances to crack open the safe.
If two or more contestants reached $1,000, a tiebreaker round was played with random two digit numbers being used instead of dollar amounts and the contestant who picked the highest number on the FORTUNE wall was crowned the overall winner.
At the end of the game, the contestant who winds up with the most money wins an automatic $5,000 and an opportunity to unlock the safe that contained a check for $50,000.
The contestant who won would automatically have one chance to crack open the safe by picking one of four color-coded keys (1: Red, 2: Green, 3: Blue, 4: Orange) and if he or she chooses the key that unlocks the safe and wins the $50,000, but if they pick the wrong key, they only win the automatic $5,000. However, if the contestant picks a wrong key and he or she has one or two bonus cards, they were granted one or two extra chances to cracking open the safe for the $50,000.
Draw for Next WeekEdit
Contestants were chosen by submitting their non-winning instant win tickets and at the end of the show, Chuck and Aggie would read off the names of the six upcoming contestants chosen from an off-camera random drawing and those six contestants would appear on the show the following week.
Contestants chosen to appear on the program stayed at the now defunct Omni International Hotel at Millender Center in Downtown Detroit and dined at The Whitney Restaurant and Limo Services were provided by VIP Limousine Service of Farmington Hills.
The final episode aired on September 14, 1996 and was replaced with Road to Riches the following week.