"This is our returning champion, Jan Woodhouse, making her third appearance with a grand total of $3,450. And this is her challenger Dave Smith, an attorney from Portland. And tonight, they'll be competing for cash prizes as we get ready to play… Money in the Bank! From the KOIN Television studios in Portland, Oregon, it's the fun and exciting new game show Money in the Bank. And here's your host, the man with all the money and all the questions, Mark Richards!"
Two contestants played. The contestant in control (control alternating) was asked a question with two possible answers; a correct answer earned the right to choose a letter, but a wrong answer gave the option to his/her opponent. Each player started with $200, and all the letters that fit into the puzzle were shown plus three that didn't. The contestant in control after the question would choose a letter, and $25 was added to the bank every time that letter appeared. Picking a letter that didn't go into a puzzle (a "Zapper") cost the player $100 and gave their opponent a free letter.
The first player to solve the puzzle won the money in the bank. Rounds 2 and 3 were played the same way, with the letters now worth $50 each. The player with the most money after the three rounds kept the cash and played the bonus round.
The winning player now tried to solve one more puzzle. The contestant started with a bank of $1,000 and would choose from the letters displayed. Each time a letter was called, the value of that letter was taken out of the $1,000 bank ($50 for consonants, $100 for vowels). Solving the puzzle awarded the remainder of the bank.
Supposedly, any contestant who won $5,000 or more would also win a bonus prize.
The "desk" Mark and the contestants stood at was actually superimposed. The set was actually two (unfinished) podiums with Mark standing between them, as can be seen at several points in the below footage.