|Burton Richardson (first episode, edited out in post)|
|Dick Clark Productions|
|20th Century Fox Television|
Greed (later as Greed: The Series and Super Greed) was a game show similar to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? where one team or one contestant could possibly share/win up to $2,000,000 (later $4,000,000). According to Woolery, the show is often described as "the richest most dangerous game in America".
Rules of the gameEdit
Six contestants were asked a question with a numerical answer between 10 and 999, and then locked in their answers using a keypad in front of them. Once all players were locked in, the answer was revealed, and the player whose guess was closest became the team captain. The second closest player sat in position #1, the third closest in position #2, the fourth closest in position #3, and the fifth closest in position #4. If two or more players were tied or of equal distance from the right answer, those players were ranked based on who locked in first. The player whose guess was furthest away returned to the contestant pool with the possibility of being back for another qualifying round.
The qualifying round was largely eliminated beginning with the April 28, 2000 episode (which was the first episode of Super Greed); as a result, the positions of the show's five contestants were determined via a backstage draw. The qualifying question was not played for the show's last five episodes.
The team then attempted to answer multiple choice questions of increasing value while climbing the "Tower of Greed." The first question was played for $25,000 and question values increased by that amount up to $100,000 for the fourth question. The fifth question was worth double or $200,000, the sixth worth $500,000, the seventh worth double again $1,000,000 and the eighth worth $2,000,000. As with Millionaire, the amounts were not cumulative.
First four questionsEdit
Starting with the team member who was furthest away from the correct answer to the qualifying question, multiple choice questions were asked and the team member locked in their answer. The team captain could accept their answer or reject it and select a different answer. The first two questions contained four possible choices and the third and fourth questions contained five possible choices.
Contestants competed for an equal share of the question value. If the team captain accepted a wrong answer for any of the first four questions, the team left with nothing. The team captain could decide to quit with the money won thus far or risk their collective winnings to continue playing the game.
After the fourth question the host provided the team with the category for the next question and the opportunity to leave the game with $100,000.
If the captain decided to continue playing, the "Terminator" was activated and selected one team member at random. The player selected could accept $10,000 in cash (that was not at risk should the contestant lose the Terminator or the team missed a future question) in order to challenge another team member to a one-question showdown for their share of the collective winnings.
If the player who buzzed in correctly answered the question, they would claim their opponent's share of the collective team winnings and their teammate was eliminated. If the player provided an incorrect answer or didn't answer within five seconds, they were eliminated and their teammate gained control of their share. However, if the player eliminated was the same player who originally accepted the Terminator challenge, they kept their $10,000.
If the captain was eliminated, the contestant who won the challenge became the new captain. Otherwise, the showdown winner kept his/her original seat.
Originally contestants were required to wait for the question to be completely read before buzzing in; buzzing in too early immediately eliminated the contestant, just as if a wrong answer had been given. For the remainder of the show's run, contestants were allowed to buzz in at any time if they knew the answer, though Chuck would immediately stop reading the question at that point.
The Terminator was played prior to the $200,000, $500,000 and $1,000,000 questions.
Beginning with the $200,000 question, each question contained four correct answers. The number of possible answers varied depending on the value of the question: the $200,000 question had six possible answers (four correct answers and two bluff answers), the $500,000 question had seven (four correct and three bluffs), and the $1 million question had eight (four correct and four bluffs aka a 50/50 split).
Before the $200,000 question, the captain of the team was given a "Freebie" that he or she could use on any one question from that point onward. The Freebie eliminated one incorrect answer from the question for which it was used.
Each of the four team members other than the captain were required to give one answer. If there were fewer than four additional team members the captain could elect to give a response or require a teammate to give an additional response. After all answers had been selected the captain could change any one answer if he or she desired.
The answers were revealed one at a time. After revealing the third correct answer the host offered the captain a cash incentive (one-tenth the value of that question; i.e. $20,000 for the fifth question and $50,000 for the sixth question) to end the game and split equally between the team. If the captain refused the money, the fourth answer was revealed. If it was correct, the team won the money for that round and was allowed to continue.
For the seventh question the buyout changed to an individual decision rather than a decision by the captain on the team's behalf. Each player secretly selected to continue playing or take a 2000 Jaguar XK-8 convertible with every available factory option plus $25,000 in cash in the trunk (approximately $100,000 total value) and leave the game.
As with the fourth question, the category of the next question was revealed prior to the decision to quit or continue playing.
The $2,000,000 questionEdit
Prior to the question each team member again individually decided to quit with their share of the team's collective winnings or continue playing.
The $2,000,000 question had nine possible answers, four of which were correct and five of which were incorrect. Only one contestant ever made it to this level, playing by himself (two other contestants had made it past the million dollar question with him but opted to leave with the money they'd already won). Since he was alone, he was given 30 seconds to think about his choices, and then 10 seconds to read them off. If four answers were not given within the time limit, the player would lose everything. No buyout was offered after revealing the third correct answer, and none of the answers could be changed.
Daniel Avila was the only contestant to reach this level, risking $200,000 to go on and play for $2.2 million, but missed the question based on a Yale University study about the four smells most recognizable to the human nose (Peanut butter, coffee, Vicks Vaporub, and chocolate; Avila incorrectly guessed tuna as one of his choices).
In the first month of Greed’s run, the top prize was worth $2,000,000 plus an additional $50,000 for each game where the top prize was not won. The jackpot reached $2,550,000 in the first month. When the program became a permanent series, the top prize was a flat $2,000,000.
Million Dollar MomentEditIn February 2000, eight previous Greed contestants were brought back for a "Million-Dollar Moment", with different "Moments" taking place at the end of different shows. The players were all players who got very close to the big $2 million question, but never made it. Two players faced off with a Terminator-style sudden-death question, and the winner was given a $1 million question. The contestant had 30 seconds to study the question, then 10 seconds to lock in the four right answers to win the money. As usual, missing any part of the question meant that the money was not won; like the $2 million question, there was no buyout after the third correct answer and no answers could be changed.Twenty One. Curtis has since been surpassed by others as well (Kevin Olmstead, Ed Toutant, Ken Jennings (twice), and Brad Rutter in that order).
Greed became Super Greed for a month in May 2000. The qualifying question was eliminated, and the values for the top three questions were doubled, making the eighth question worth a potential $4 million. This resulted in a $100,000 cash buyout for the sixth question. In addition, any team that went for the seventh or eighth question was guaranteed $200,000 regardless of the outcome of the game. Two teams reached the $2 million question, and one team was able to answer all four parts correctly. If a team reached that question the Jaguar convertible bribe was again offered if three of the four answers were correct, with the car now having $75,000 cash in the trunk (bringing the total value to $150,000). The first team to reach the $2 million question on Super Greed elected to take the bribe for themselves, so the producers instead substituted a $150,000 cash prize for each member of the team that elected to take the bribe (which none did).
Highest winners of GreedEdit
Original airing dates (as listed at ) are included. Note: Teams that earned $500,000 or more were paid through an annuity.
|Player||Money Total||Date + Additional Information|
|Curtis Warren||$1,410,000||November 18, 1999 and February 11, 2000 (combined winnings from both shows)
Warren's winnings were enough to overtake Twenty One contestant Rahim Oberholtzer (who won $1,120,000) for the highest amount won by any contestant; the record was broken by David Legler (who won $1,765,000) four days after his second episode had aired.
|Lauren Griswold||$810,000||May 12, 2000 (Super Greed)
Griswold's winnings were the highest amount of money won by a female contestant at the time; she would be overtaken by Nancy Christy on the May 8, 2003 episode of Millionaire.
|David Juliano||$800,000||May 12, 2000 (Super Greed)
Juliano won $8,000 on Jeopardy! in 1993. Like Warren, he was also a contestant on Win Ben Stein's Money having won $900 and then beating Ben for the entire $5,000; and more recently (like Daniel Avila) he was on Millionaire.
|Monique Jones||$610,000||May 19, 2000 (Super Greed)|
|George Elias||$600,000||May 2, 2000 (Super Greed)
Elias later won $100,000 in the Donny Osmond version of Pyramid.
|Melissa Skirboll||$410,000||November 18, 1999|
|Phyllis Harris||$400,000||May 12, 2000 (Super Greed)
Phyllis Harris was captain of the team that included Lauren Griswold and David Juliano, who are respectively the 2nd and 3rd highest money winners on Greed. She also would later play on Millionaire (much like David).
|Madeleine Ali||$320,000||December 10, 1999|
|Robert Abramoff||$310,000||November 4, 1999|
|Annemarie Buchta||$310,000||February 18, 2000
Buchta appeared on Press Your Luck in 1986, winning $62,708, which is the second-highest total in that show's history.
|Jeff Ester||$310,000||February 18, 2000|
|Evan Benner||$310,000||June 23, 2000|
|Jill Schilstra||$310,000||June 30, 2000|
|Bob Harris||$200,000||May 2, 2000
Bob Harris was on George Elias's team and previously appeared on Jeopardy!.
|John Epperson||$230,000||April 28, 2000 (Super Greed)
Epperson's winnings included $155,000 and a Jaguar XK8 convertible valued at $75,000.
|Lisa Stigers||$190,000||April 28, 2000 (Super Greed)
Stigers' winnings included $115,000 and a Jaguar XK8 convertible valued at $75,000.
|Jeff Gouda||$100,000||April 28, 2000 (Super Greed)|
The countries that did their versions of Greed include:
- Arab World
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
GSN had their own interactive game on their website where you could play along with the show for a brief period.
- Fox Television Center, Hollywood, CA (November to May?)
- CBS Television City (Stage 36), Hollywood, CA (May to July)