Nick Clooney
Chet Gould (Pilot)
Alan Kalter (Series)
ABC Pilot: 9/21/1974
ABC Daytime: 12/23/1974 – 6/27/1975 (reruns aired through 7/4/1975)
Daphne-Don Lipp Productions

"There's $10,000 at stake every time our audience shouts (audience: 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… GO!) Welcome to the magical mystery of The Moneymaze! And now, here's our star, the master of the Maze, Nick Clooney!"

"There's $10,000 at stake every time our audience shouts (audience: 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… GO!) Welcome to The Moneymaze! And here's the master of the Maze, Nick Clooney!"

(Previous clips of $10,000 wins would be shown) "And today, another couple will win the chance to win the $10,000 Dash on The Moneymaze! Will it be this couple? Or will it be this couple? Now here's the master of the Maze, Nick Clooney!"

The Moneymaze featured two married couples as they faced a large maze filled with many pathways and cash & prizes.


Main GameEdit

Two married couples played against each other for the right to enter the maze. There were two formats to this show.


In the pilot, one member of each couple would sit at the playing area answering questions leaving the other team members to run through the maze. Host Clooney revealed a category, how many questions were in that category, and two clues under that category. Each answering contestant in turn picked a clue to try to stump his/her opponent with. A successful stump caused the stumper to answer the remaining questions until there were no more, or if he/she missed one. Each correct answer added two seconds of maze running time to the pot. If both players did not get stumped after all questions were asked, two tiebreaker clues were revealed. The first player to buzz-in had a chance answer both clues, with the right answers winning the round. The winner of each question round had a choice of either use that time for his/her partner to run in the maze (with a minimum of 10 seconds) or bank the time and play the next question round.

If the question round winner decided to play the maze round, the runner took the time earned to run in the maze with the question round winner directing from the crow's nest. A prize was described, then its position was indicated by lighting up a tower in the maze. The "runner" would have the seconds earned from the question round or the banked timer to find a phone-booth-size "tower" with pushbuttons on each side. Pressing the lit button before time expired won the prize.

The first couple to win three prizes won the game.


In the series, three regular rounds were played. Each round had a particular topic, with eight related clues. Two clues would be shown on a screen; one couple would select a clue for the other to attempt to answer. A correct answer scored a point, and that couple would then select from two clues (a new clue plus the one they didn't act on before) for their opponent. An incorrect answer gave the opponents a chance to answer instead. If they did so, they won the round and had a chance to answer as many of the remaining clues as they could; if they were also incorrect, play would continue in the round. If the two couples each answered four clues in the round, a tiebreaker would be played where two additional clues were shown. The first couple to activate a buzzer would select a clue to answer for one point, then try to answer the other for two points. If they were wrong on either, the other couple got a free attempt.

The winning couple in each round would then send one member into the maze, with the other directing from above. The "runner" would have 15 seconds to find a phone-booth-size "tower" with pushbuttons on each side. Pressing the lit button before time expired won the prize. Later in the show's run, couples were given the option of trying to also reach a second tower within 25 seconds for a $500 bonus; if they accepted the risk but couldn't reach both towers, the prize and the cash bonus were both lost. Also, a successful maze run would earn the couple bonus points (three points if they only went for the prize, six points if they went for the prize and the money).

The final round was the Catch-Up Round. Clues proceeded as in earlier rounds, except that the couple trailing in score at that point of the game would do all the answering and the leading team would select the clues. The first clue was worth one point, the second worth two, and so on. If the trailing couple incorrectly answered at any time before their score surpassed their opponents, the round was over and the other couple won outright. If the trailing couple tied or passed the leading couple's score, the leading couple, now trailing, got one (and only one) chance for a final clue that would win the game. The winning couple at the end of this round won the game. If both couples were tied going into the Catch-Up Round, they each effectively won the game.

The winning couple would go on to play "The $10,000 Dash," a final maze run for a prize of up to $10,000. Both couples kept their cash & prizes.

The $10,000 Dash (Bonus Game)Edit

In the final run, five of the towers (out of eight available) would be lit. Four of them would have zeroes on top, and the fifth would have "the all-important 1". The 1 was indeed important, because the runner had to activate it, exit the maze and push a button atop a podium near the exit (sometimes called the "birthday cake" for its multiple layers of bright lights) to win anything at all. To win the $10,000, the runner had to activate all the pushbuttons, exit the maze and push the "birthday cake" button within one minute. The total prize was determined by how many "zeroes" were reached in addition to the one: the 1 plus three zeroes won $1,000, the 1 plus two zeroes won $100, and so on. However, if the contestant activated only zeroes, the couple won exactly that amount: zero. The same applied if the runner failed to hit the button at the exit in time. The top prize doubled shortly before the end of the run. Couples retired undefeated after winning the $10,000 Dash or after three days as champions.


The large maze, estimated by some sources at 50 × 100 feet, was widely believed to be the main factor in the show's undoing — it took nearly an entire day to set up the maze and another to break it down, tying up the studio for an extra two days for each five-show, one-day taping session. Audience members sat in bleachers above and around three sides of the maze, with the stage facing the remaining side.


It is likely that set-related costs (which included the rental fees for taping at a large studio for several days and all the overtime paid for setting up, striking, and storing the set) played a deciding factor in its cancellation. According to Mark Evanier, producer Don Segall described it as "the first game show where the stage crew took home more money than the contestants".[1]

Along with Clooney's claim in a 1998 Cincinnati Post column that fewer than half of ABC stations cleared the show at all, the huge expense probably influenced ABC to discontinue production well in advance of its July 4 cancellation date.

For the week of June 30, various episodes were reshown which featured $10,000 wins. The Moneymaze was cancelled the same day as another Don Lipp program, The Big Showdown.


The theme song of the show (called "Tickler") was later used on another short-lived game show called The Guinness Game from 1979 until 1980.


TV-1, ABC Television Center, New York City, NY


Press PhotosEdit



  1. POV Online: Mark Evanier


The Moneymaze @ Game Shows '75
The Moneymaze Pilot @


Video of the pilot