|Kline & Friends/Blair Entertainment/|
Bruce M. Sterten Productions/
Ladd Framer Productions
"(description of prizes). Welcome to the fastest high stakes game on television, the all-new STRIKE IT RICH! And here's your host, JOE GARAGIOLA!"
This show is far different from the Strike it Rich show in the 1950s.
Two couples competed to win cash & prizes by going across their respective archways of seven television monitors.
The couple in control was given a category, along with five possible answers. The team had to then decide to either answer one, two or three questions correctly. Host Garagiola then started asking those questions, and successfully completing the contract won a chance to move across their arch. One miss or taking too much time gave the opposing team a chance to complete the contract. A miss from the opposing couple ended the category and a new one with five new answers appeared.
When moving across the arch, the team could move up as many monitors as there were answers. On each monitor, one member of the team pressed a button to reveal what was behind the screen. Behind each screen was a prize, but only one hid "the bandit". The Bandit was shuffled around the arch before the couple started to move. When the couple revealed a prize, they won that prize; they had to then decide to either bank the prize(s) and pass control to their opponents or reveal the next monitor. Going on was taking a risk, because if at any time the team revealed the bandit, they lost all the prizes revealed up to that point. If the couple completed the number of moves earned, they could either bank the prize(s) and pass control to their opponents or play another category with the risk of losing the unbanked prizes should they run into the bandit.
As soon as a couple reached the end, they could elect to go for one more question (called "The Strike it Rich Question") or bank the prize(s) won to that point. When going for "The Strike it Rich Question" if the couple in control could answer the question correctly, they won the game and the prizes revealed; otherwise they lost the prizes and the game continued.
Both couples got to keep any prizes that they banked. But the first couple to reach the end of their arch and correctly answer "The Strike it Rich Question" won the game, plus a chance to play the bonus game.
At the start of the bonus game, seven bandits and seven show logos (aka dollar signs) were shuffled up and hidden away. Next, the winning couple decided upon which grand prize to go for, either $5,000 in cash or $5,000 and a brand new car (alternating between a Jeep Wrangler and Cadillac Cimarron, at least one episode had a replica of an Auburn convertible from the 1930s). In either case, one member of the winning team manned the top archway, while the other team member manned the bottom. On each pair of monitors, the couple chose which screen to reveal (either top or bottom). One of the monitors in that and all other pairs hid a dollar sign, while the other(s) hid the bandit (which acted as a strike). If the winning couple chose to play for $5,000, they had to reveal five dollar signs and no more than two bandits, opting to go for the car and money meant having to reveal six dollar signs and only one bandit. In either case, failure to win the bonus round still gave the winning couple $100 for each dollar sign.
A short-lived Australian version hosted by Ronnie Burns aired on the Nine Network in 1994 and like its 1986-94 British counterpart, it was also under the name Strike It Lucky. Unlike its other counterparts, the show had a hostess, Jane Blatchford and was announced by Craig Huggins (who had earlier announced the Australian version of Keynotes). Also for the bonus round, instead of winning a cash prize, winning the bonus round gives the winning couples a prize package.
An equally short-lived French version aired on Antenne 2 from 1988 until 1989 and was hosted by Georges Beller under the name L'arche d'or (The Golden Arch/Ark).
Despite the show being a flop here in the states, a long-running and much more successful version hosted by Michael Barrymore has aired on ITV in the U.K. originally under the name Strike It Lucky from 1986 until 1994 then the show was revived and renamed again as Michael Barrymore's Strike It Rich from 1996 until 1999.
Most international versions use a three-couple format, which is what the US version used for its pilot before dropping to just two when it went to series.
Stations that carried this show include:
- New York - WCBS
- Los Angeles - KHJ
- Chicago - WGBO
- Philadelphia - WCAU
- San Francisco - KRON
- Dallas-Ft. Worth - KTVT
- Boston - WCVB
- Atlanta - WVEU
- Washington, D.C. - WDCA
- Tampa Bay - WTVT
- Seattle - KCPQ
- Sacramento - KOVR
- Pittsburgh - WPXI
- Indianapolis - WRTV
- Baltimore - WBAL
- Nashville - WKRN
- Hartford-New Haven - WVIT
- Kansas City - KMBC
- Cincinnati - WCPO
- Louisville - WLKY
- Greenville, SC - WYFF
- Greensboro - WGHP
- New Orleans - WWL
- Albany - WTEN
- Des Moines - KCCI
- Tucson - KVOA
- The original name of the show was Arch Rivals; however, producer/director & former Barry & Enright director Richard S. Kline believed that it needed a better name for it to sell, hence the change to Strike it Rich (or The All-New Strike it Rich as mentioned in the opening).
- This was the last game show hosted by famed baseball announcer & occasional Today Show host Joe Garagiola. He hadn't hosted a game show since To Tell the Truth ended in 1978. This would also be his only game show he hosted in Los Angeles (all his other shows were taped in New York).
- This was also the last show in which its music was composed by Barry & Enright music composer Hal Hidey.
- According to the ads from Broadcasting Magazine and while the show was in development, the format was to have had three couples play the game just like its international counterparts. But it was changed to two before it went on the air.
- When the Bandit was revealed, he usually laughed. The Bandit's laugh was the voice of baseball player Boog Powell.
- Some of the sound effects from Tic Tac Dough were recycled into this show (shuffle and reveal sounds).
- The diamond used in the intro was later used for the bonus round in season one on Masters of the Maze.
- The same balloons of green, white, and gold that fell on Break the Bank when the bank was broken also fell on Strike it Rich when a couple won the bonus round (albeit with red ones added), regardless if they were playing for $5,000 with or without a car. Along with the balloons, a siren similar to that of a burglar alarm would go off. International versions, however, do not drop anything on a bonus round win, nor do they blare a siren, regardless of prize. (The flash game of the bonus round by John Ricci, Jr. also did not drop balloons or sound a siren on a win.)
"They struck it rich. I hope you strike it rich. This is Joe Garagiola saying, 'See ya next time.'" - Joe Garagiola (1986-1987)