Jim Caldwell (1989)
Wink Martindale (1990)
Rick Sommers
The Great Getaway Game Pilot
Pilot: 1989
The Great Getaway Game
The Travel Channel (Daily): 6/1/1990 - 7/25/1990 (with repeats until 4/1991)
Brockway Television/
Wink Martindale Enterprises
The Travel Channel

The little mermaid statue is found in what European capital? The world's crookedest street is situated in which west coast city? The world's smallest drawbridge is located on what island nation? If you knew the answers were Copenhagen, San Francisco and Bermuda, then your playing "The Great Getaway Game". And now, here's the host of The Great Getaway Game, Jim Caldwell!

Today, one of these contestants could win a fantastic vacation, because they're about to play "The Great Getaway Game". And now, here's the star of The Great Getaway Game, Wink Martindale!

The Great Getaway Game was a short-lived travel-themed question, answer & word game show for the Travel Channel.


Two contestants (one a returning champion) played a Q & A/wordsearch-based game about traveling.

Main GameEdit

In the front game, the players faced a game board of 30 squares (numbered 1-30). Behind those numbers are letters, one for each square and some of them make up a word the contestants would be searching for. The mystery word can be in any direction (up or down & backwards or forwards (no diagonals)) and it is always 4, 5 or 6 letters long.

To start the round, a category was given along with a letter in the word, then the contestants each picked two free squares to reveal letters in. When the choices were made, and the letters were revealed, the toss-up questions (about traveling) came into play. In each toss-up, a player can buzz-in at anytime if he/she thought they knew the answer; a correct answer awarded points, but an incorrect answer lost points and gave the opposing player a chance to answer. Now the player with the correct answer also won another pick at the board as well as a guess. Somewhere on the board is a square marked "Double Pick" meaning that the player in control got to choose an additional number. Should both contestants miss the question, two letters in the word search were revealed at random. The first player to find & guess the word scored bonus points (which is ten times the question value) and won a prize.

In the first round, questions were worth 10 points and the mystery word was worth 100 points; the values increase by those amounts for each new round. Several rounds would be played according to time, should time run out in the middle of a round, letters in the word search were revealed until a contestant found the word. The player with the most points became champion and went on to the bonus round.

Bonus RoundEdit

In the bonus round, the winning contestant stood behind the host's podium where he/she faced a secret screen consisting of a visible 7x7 wordsearch grid. Hidden in that grid are five words that fit a specific category. The words were given by Wink at the start, then the winning contestant had 30 seconds to find those words. Doing so won a trip.

Pilot RulesEdit

Aside from the fact that the game was the same, there were other differences between the pilot and the series:

  • The points were 1/10 of what they would be in the series.
  • Contestants did not choose squares to reveal free letters in the beginning of each round.
  • Only one letter was given on each completely missed question.
  • There was a prize hidden somewhere on the board in each round.


Graham Preskett


  • 39 episodes were produced.
  • Each taping day consisted of up to seven episodes.


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YouTube LinksEdit

The full 1989 pilot episode (Cary vs. Dan)
A full episode from June 5, 1990 (Eric vs. Rich)
A full episode from June or July 1990 (Ed vs. Stacy)
Most of a fun prank "episode" from 1990 (Jim vs. Howard)