Winning Lines (U.S. game show)

For the UK version, see Winning Lines.
Winning Lines
Genre Game show
Directed by Jim Yukich
Presented by Dick Clark
Narrated by Chuck Riley
Composer(s) Keith Strachan
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 10 (1 unaired)
Executive producer(s) David G. Stanley
Scott A. Stone
Paul Smith
Editor(s) Scott T. Miller
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Stone Stanley Entertainment
Original network CBS
Original release January 8 – February 18, 2000

Winning Lines is an American game show that aired from January 8 to February 18, 2000, the day after its official cancellation.[1] Based on the British version of the same name, it was considered as CBS's answer to the success of ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Winning Lines was hosted by Dick Clark, directed by James Yukich and produced by Stone Stanley Entertainment in conjunction with the British production company, Celador. The announcer for the program was Chuck Riley.

This was Dick Clark's final show with the CBS Network. In the wake of poor ratings, it was canceled after 10 episodes, one of which never aired.

Round 1

49 contestants take part; each is assigned a two-digit number from 01 to 49. Clark asks a series of six mathematical questions, each with a numerical answer, and the contestants have five seconds to enter their answers on numerical keypads. For each question, the contestant who enters the correct answer in the shortest time advances to the next round. The other 43 contestants are eliminated at the end of the round.

Round 2: Sudden Death

As in the British version, each contestant carries their number from Round 1 with them into Round 2. Clark asks a series of mathematical questions that can be answered by a number belonging to one of the contestants still in play at the time. If a contestant buzzes-in with the correct answer, the one with that number is eliminated, unless the contestant has answered with his/her own number; all remain in the game in this case. An incorrect answer eliminates the contestant who gave it, regardless of the player's number. If no one buzzes-in on a question, Clark reveals the correct answer and the contestant with that number is eliminated. When only one contestant remains, he or she wins $2,500 and advances to the bonus round, while the other five each receive $1,000.

Bonus Round: The Wonderwall

20 $1,000,000
19 $500,000
18 $400,000
17 $300,000
16 $200,000
15 $100,000
14 $90,000
13 $80,000
12 $70,000
11 $60,000
10 $50,000
9 $40,000
8 $30,000
7 $25,000
6 $20,000
5 $15,000
4 $10,000
3 $7,500
2 $5,000
1 $2,500

The winner has three minutes to answer as many questions as possible, using 49 answers numbered 1–49 as displayed on three projection screens. Each correct answer earns more money, with 20 correct answers earning $1 million.

Seated in front of the Wonderwall, the contestant is given 15 seconds to study the answers before the round begins. As in the British version, the contestant has to call out the number and correct answer to be given credit. The contestant can also freeze the timer twice for 15 seconds each (called "pit stops") and look over the board again; however, he/she cannot answer during the pit stop. The contestant can also pass on a maximum of two questions. The correct answer is announced and removed from the board when the contestant answers (whether correct or incorrect), but not if he/she passes.

Giving an incorrect answer or failing to answer or pass within 15 seconds earns a strike. Once the contestant earns a second strike or less than 15 seconds remain in the game, a button near the contestant's seat lights up. The contestant can press this button at any time to "bail out," ending the round and keeping all money earned to that point. If the contestant runs out of time or earns three strikes without bailing out, he/she loses all winnings from the Wonderwall and leaves with only the $2,500 won in the main game.

As in the British version, instead of the three screens in the studio, home viewers were shown a screen that continually scrolled from side to side and automatically jumped to the right place when a correct answer was given (either by the player or by the host in the event the player was incorrect or passed).

The U.S. version offered an at-home game similar to the UK version. The second digit from each of the Round 1 winners' numbers and the second digit from the number of the final correct answer given during the Wonderwall were shown at the end of the show. Home viewers who could make up their own home or cell phone number from these digits, without the area code, were eligible to enter a drawing for $50,000.


  1. King, Larry; Povich, Maury (February 17, 2000). "Larry King Live: Maury Povich Plays 'Twenty One' Questions". CNN Transcripts. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
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