Game Shows Wiki
Dick Clark
Chuck Reilly
CBS: 1/8/2000 – 2/18/2000
Stone-Stanley Entertainment/Celador

Winning Lines was the big money quizzer based on the British series which came to pass due to the success of ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (which itself also came from Britain and was also co-produced by Celador).


This was a show focusing on numbers; in fact, the answers to all the questions in the main game were all numbers.

Main Game[]

Round 1[]

In the first round, 49 contestants played a qualifying round in which only six of them would advance to Round 2. Host Clark read mathematical questions with numerical answers; worded so as to not give away obvious info. Within five seconds, the contestants typed in their answers using their keypad. Only the contestant who typed in the correct answer the fastest on each question would advance. The round continued until they got the six players advancing.

Round 2 (Sudden Death)[]

The six surviving contestants played this round using their numbers used in the first round. It was referred to as "Sudden Death" because each question could or couldn't eliminate a player. Host Clark read questions in which the answers were the numbers in front of the contestants. All questions were toss-ups and the first player to buzz-in had a chance to answer. If the answer was the buzz-in player's number and he/she was correct, that player was safe and no one was eliminated. If the buzz-in player was correct and the number belonged to another player or if nobody buzzed in and after the correct number was announced by Clark, the player with that number was eliminated. But if the buzz-in player was wrong no matter whose number it was, that player was eliminated. The round continued until there was one player left; at which point that contestant won the game, received $2,500, and went on to face the Wonderwall for $1,000,000. The five runners-up received $1,000 each.

Wonderwall (Bonus Round)[]

In the Wonderwall round, the winning contestant had three minutes to answer a series of questions and win more money. They would sit in a chair that, when prompted, would turn them around to face The Wonderwall, which itself was a set of three projection television sets displaying 49 answers to 49 questions numbered 1-49.

Before the round began, the contestant had 15 seconds to study the board, the answers, and their numbers. On each question, the contestant had 15 seconds to answer, and he/she had to answer the question by giving the number of the answer and the answer itself before moving on to another question. Each time the winning player answered a question correctly and properly, he/she won some money; but each time the contestant answered wrong or failed to answer in 15 seconds, he/she gained a strike. Getting three strikes or having the three minutes expire, lost the round and won nothing but still kept the $2,500 won from the game.

If the winning contestant was unsure of an answer or couldn't find it, he/she could pass on a question, but he/she could only pass twice. Also on two questions, the winning player could press a "Pit Stop" button he/she held in his/her hand and take a 15 second "Pit Stop". Upon taking a "Pit Stop", the main clock stopped and the contestant had the time to look over the board, but couldn't give an answer during that time, even if they had it to that point. Now the one most important thing to remember was this: if the winning contestant got two strikes or if there's 15 seconds left on the clock (which ever came first), a big button with a glowing red light and a pulsating heartbeat sound was activated; this was the "Bail Out" button. At that point on, the contestant could press the button to "Bail Out" at anytime, stop the game, and keep all the money earned up to that point. But as mentioned before, the player had to "Bail Out" before time ran out or he/she got that third strike in order to keep the money or he/she would lose it all but the $2,500 won from the main game. All the information was available on an Apple iMac screen below the Wonderwall's middle screen, to help track the contestant's progress.

At home while all this was going on, the answers on the Wonderwall scrolled left and right back & forth; upon a correct or wrong answer, the board zipped to the spot with the correct answer. On a Pit Stop, the answers leftover scrolled to the left.

Money Values[]

The more questions answered correctly, the more money the winning contestant could win. Here's how the money grew:

Correct Answers Prize
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

Just like the money ladder said, if the winning contestant could answer 20 questions correctly in three minutes or less, he/she won $1,000,000. Clark would refer to that contestant as "America's Newest Millionaire".

Home Viewer Contest[]

During the show, home viewers could win $50,000 in cash with the use of their home or cell phone numbers by playing a home viewer game. In the first round, the last digit of each surviving contestant's number became the lucky number on the home viewer winning line. Plus, the last digit of the last correct answer given at the Wonderwall became the seventh & final number of the home viewer winning line. The home viewer's telephone number could be in any order at all, and if the viewer's home or cell phone number matched all seven numbers in any way, he/she won $50,000 in cash. The home viewers entered, simply by calling the 800 number on the screen.

Big Winners[]

Catherine Rahm – She was the show's first & biggest winner from the first show having won $500,000. She knew the final correct answer that could've won her $1,000,000, but time was running out, so she bailed out instead despite having one pit stop left.

Mike McKay – He was the second biggest winner with the third top prize which was $400,000. He came very close to losing everything because the time was ready to run out when he pressed the Bail Out button after answering his 18th and final question and winning all that money.


Eleven episodes were taped, but the show was canceled after ten shows.

Starting with the second episode before the first round, Dick would only talk to a handful of people since he couldn't really talk to everybody without not playing the game.

This was Dick Clark's next to last game show (though he continued to be on his New Year's special) before he died of a heart attack at 82.


Keith & Matthew Strachan


Based on the British show of the same name by David Briggs, Steve Knight, and Mike Whitehill.

Additional Pages[]

Winning Lines/Episode Guide
Winning Lines/Quotes & Catchphrases


Travis' Winning Lines Rule Page
Rules for Winning Lines @
Rules for Winning Lines @
Another Winning Lines Rule Page
Rules for Winning Lines @ The Game Show Temple
Joe Madigan's Winning Lines Rule Page
Andy Walmsley's Winning Lines portfolio

YouTube Videos[]

Catherine Rahm wins $500,000
Mike McKay wins $400,000