"$1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime" (1986) TV Season

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(Hollywood) USA

Ratings / Votes
3.4/ 10 (13 Votes)

MPAA Ratings

Production Company
Lorimar Telepictures [us]
Lorimar Television [us]
XPTLA Company [us]

Production Designer

All Producers

All Directors


Release Date

Running Time


non-fiction, number-in-title, quiz-show, trivia,

Technical Support

Related Pictures

Pictures of "$1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime" (1986) Movie not found

Full Cast

  1. Gilbert, Johnny (I) as [Announcer]
  2. Lange, Jim (I) as [Host]
  3. Summers, Marc as [Announcer]
  4. Thomas, Karen (III) as [Assistant (second season)]


  1. Game-Show

Full Plot

A short-lived quiz show hosted by TV veteran Jim Lange. Husband-and-wife teams would compete against each other in answering a tough series of trivia questions. The winning couple would then go on to the championship round, where they would have a chance to win one million dollars. Jean-Marc Rocher Two married couples, sometimes including a returning champion, competed in one of the first game shows to offer $1 million as a grand prize. In "$1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime," which combined elements of "Wheel of Fortune" and "Scrabble," the couples competed to solve word puzzles. Up to six clues were given for the puzzle's solution; one member of each team was selected to try to guess each clue word, with letters inserted at random except for the last one. Each correct guess was worth $25 and allowed the contestant to go to the keyboard. The keyboard indicated which letters were in the puzzle, plus one "stinger" (an extra letter not in the puzzle); selecting the "stinger" meant the contestant lost his/her turn, and a new clue was played. Each selected letter revealed in the puzzle added $25 to the pot; the team that solves the puzzle won the pot. Three rounds were played, with the second round values of $50 per clue/puzzle letter and third round values of $100 each. The team with the most money after three rounds was champion, kept their winnings and advanced to the bonus round. In the bonus round, the couple selected a category from a choice of three and then are locked in an isolation booth. The couple has 60 seconds to guess six words associated with that category. For each successful bonus round win, the couple was given a cash prize ($5,000 on day 1, $10,000 on day 2), or they could give it back and continue, always at risk of losing a subsequent bonus round and thus having to leave the show. Only by winning three bonus rounds in a row did the couple win the $1 million grand prize. The $1 million was awarded as all cash during the spring 1986 season, and $900,000 plus a $100,000 luxury prize package (two Mazda cars, a house full of furniture, including a living room, dining room, bedroom, complete kitchen and outdoor spa, and twenty round-trip airline tickets to anywhere in America on Delta Air Lines) during the 1986-1987 season. Brian Rathjen and "Ranger Ian" Plot not found


Lorimar Telepictures [us] - (1986-1989)
Warner Bros. Television [us] - (1989-)

Shooting/Filming Locations

  1. Hollywood Center Studios - 1040 N. Las Palmas Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA


- The $1,000,000 was always guarded by two Wells Fargo guards on the show.

- In season two, the $1,000,000 prize was $900K, plus $100K in prizes (two cars, 20 round trip tickets, a house full of furniture, etc.)

- This would be the first ever game show in television history to award couples $1,000,000 in cash ($40,000 a year for the next 25 years beginning in the first season). It would be another 12 years before the ever popular "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire".