Tom Kennedy (1971-1975)
Monty Hall (1986-1987)
Robb Weller (1990)
Jack Clark (1971-1975)
Sandy Hoyt (1986-1987)
ABC Pilots: 10/27/1971
ABC Daytime: 3/20/1972 - 6/27/1975
Syndication (Daily): 12/15/1986 - 9/11/1987
Unsold Pilot for Syndication: 5/ or 6/1990
Stefan Hatos-Monty Hall Productions
Viacom Enterprises (1986-1987)

Split Second was the show where the questions have three answers, and it's up to three contestants to answer them for money and possibly even a brand-new car.


The First Two RoundsEdit

The host would ask a series of three-part questions. Most questions had three clues to three answers (one for each answer) appear on a game board (in Hall's version it was a monitor); some questions on the ABC version would require its three answers to fit under a specific subject, and also on the ABC version, one question each show would be dubbed the "Memory Buster" in which host Kennedy gave a list of answers, but only three of them answer the question. The first player to buzz-in got a chance to answer first, second to buzz-in can answer second, and the slowest player answered last. In the event a contestant rang in too early before the clues were revealed, he/she was locked out and must answer last.

Each time a contestant answered correctly, he/she won some money. The contestants score according to how many of them gave a correct answer. Here's how they score:

Players Correct Payoff
Round 1 Round 2
ABC Syndicated ABC Syndicated
3 $5 $10 $10 $20
2 $10 $25 $25 $50
1 $25 $50 $50 $100

Also, in later episodes of the ABC version, any player who was the first to be the only person to answer correctly in the first two rounds not only won the top value, but also won a bonus prize which was his or hers to keep, win or lose. This situation was called a "Singleton".

Countdown RoundEdit

The final round of the main game was always the Countdown Round. In this round the questions were the same as before except now when buzzing in, the contestant can give one, two or all three answers. For each time the player in control was right he/she gave another answer, but as soon as he/she missed, the other players had a chance to answer the remainder of the question according to how fast they buzzed in. The round is called the Countdown Round because in this round the contestants are no longer playing for money. They're trying to countdown to zero, for each correct answer counted down one towards zero. From where they must count down all depended on their final scores at the end of round two. The player with the highest score had the advantage of needing the fewest number of answers, the second-place player got the middle number, and the third-place player was in the disadvantage position, needing the most number of answers.

The number of correct answers the contestants needed all depended on which version:

Score Level ABC Syndicated
Highest Score 3 4
Middle Score 4 5
Lowest Score 5 6

The first player to reach zero won the game (in the ABC version, the player with the advantage can win the game with just one question). All three players kept the cash that they've won from the first two rounds but the winner of the game won the right to play for a brand new car.

The Car Bonus RoundEdit

The car bonus round was different depending on the series.

ABC VersionEdit

The day's winner faced five GM cars (usually Pontiacs, other times Chevys or Buicks). One of them was an active car (a car that would start), while the remaining four were disabled (they don't start). All the champion had to do was to pick the car that started. Successfully doing so won that car and a cash jackpot which started at $1,000 plus $500 for every day it's not won (originally it started at zero and grew by $200 ($500 in the pilot)). Contestants who won the car and money also retired undefeated from the show; if they don't win the car and should they make it back, they would have to choose from one car fewer. If the champion failed to win the car after the first four games and should he/she win the fifth game, the champion automatically won the cash jackpot and can choose any car he/she wants.

On the final episode of the ABC series, the champion failed to win a new car. However, since it was the final show and because of the fact that no contestant would ever play for the car again (until eleven years later), host Tom Kennedy gave him the car anyway, and the jackpot was split between the two losers of that day's game (the jackpot that day was $1,000 since the car was won on the previous day).

80s VersionEdit

This version's car round had only one car each day, and it had two versions. Most cars offered here were Pontiacs. Others included Buicks.

Version #1Edit

Behind the car were five screens. One of them had the word CAR behind it, while the remaining four read $1,000. The winning contestant had a choice of one of the screens and if the screen he/she chose said CAR, that contestant won the car and retired from the show. If not, he/she won $1,000 and the right to play on the next show with one fewer screen to choose from for each return trip.

Very early episodes in the run replaced the $1000 with a square called "Showcase", which rewarded a contestant with a consolation prize instead of the $1000.

Version #2Edit

In this version this time instead of having just one screen say CAR, two others said CAR as well. While the remaining two had a different prize behind them (either a fur coat, indicated by the word FUR, or a trip, indicated by the word VACATION). The champion's job in this version was to pick the three screens that say CAR; doing so won the car, but not doing so won the other prize. Upon revealing a smaller prize screen, host Monty Hall gave the contestant a decision to either take that prize plus $1,000 for every day he/she appeared on the show and leave the show or reject that prize and return on the next show. On the champion's fourth try, one extra screen said CAR making a total four screens saying CAR, but the same rules apply; this just gave the contestant an easier chance at the car.

In either version, any player who won five games in a row automatically won the car and retired from the show.

1990 PilotEdit

In 1990, Edwards-Billett productions attempted a pilot for a revival hosted by Entertainment Tonight anchor Robb Weller. The rules were the same with the syndicated version payoffs. The bonus round was different from the 2 earlier versions: 3 exotic vacations were played for, with a graphic for each hidden behind 3 video screens. Selecting the screen which contained the trip's graphic won the trip for the champion. 2 copies of the pilot are listed among UCLA's holdings.


Additional PageEdit

Split Second (2)/Catchphrases


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1972 - Sheldon Allman & Stan Worth (later used as prize cues on The All-New Let's Make A Deal)

1986 - Todd Thicke


  • The letters used for the show's title in the 1980s used the Roco font.
  • The dollar values didn't double in the second round of the ABC version, but did in the syndicated version of the show.
  • The syndicated version of the show taped in Canada instead of in the United States.
  • On early episodes of the syndicated version, the number 1 is in light blue while numbers 2 & 3 were in red and the dollar values weren't introduced yet. The numbers were all red on later episodes when the set changed and the dollar values became present until the show ended.
  • Repeats of the Monty Hall version aired on Game TV.


ABC Split Second at Game Show Galaxy
ABC Split Second at Game Show Utopia
Split Second at Game Shows '75
Rules for Split Second @
Another Split Second Rules Page
Screencaps of Split Second '86
Rules for Split Second '86 @ The Game Show Temple
Josh Rebich's Split Second Rule Sheets