Mike Darow
Ken Ryan
John Harris
Global: 1985–1988
Global Television Network/
Bob Stewart Cable/USA Network

"Ladies and gentlemen, every one of these fifteen players is holding a different riddle, but one of them is holding a secret Jackpot Riddle that could/will be worth thousands of dollars. Who can it be? At any moment, someone in the game is going to stand up and say... JACKPOT! And now, here is your host, MIKE DAROW!"

The program where 16 contestants asked and answered riddles to win thousands of dollars in cash and prizes. This was actually a revival of the classic short-lived 1970s American game show of the same name.


Sixteen contestants competed for an entire week, with one designated King of the Hill (Queen of the Hill for female contestants), who stood at a circular podium at stage-left. The other fifteen contestants, numbered 1 through 15, were seated in three-tiered bleachers. Each had a special wallet containing a riddle and a varying cash amount (from $50 to $300) or the Jackpot Riddle. The King/Queen of the Hill selected a number and the contestant with that number asked a riddle to this player. If answered correctly, the King/Queen of the Hill continued picking numbers; if answered incorrectly, the two contestants switched places, with the contestant who stumped him/her becoming the new King/Queen Of The Hill.

The value of the riddle increased the value of the Jackpot. If the King/Queen of the Hill selected the contestant holding the Jackpot Riddle (one per game) he/she can go for it or play on a continue to build the pot. When going for the Jackpot, if the King/Queen of the Hill answered it correctly, these two contestants split the Jackpot.

If the last three digits of the Jackpot amount matched a pre-selected target number, the King/Queen of the Hill will have a chance to win a "Super Jackpot" by correctly solving the riddle chosen when the target number was hit. Only the King/Queen of the Hill could respond. If the riddle was answered correctly, both split the Super Jackpot. Super Jackpots ranged from $2,000-$9,950; the highest being $8,200.

Other Aspects of the GameEdit

  • The Jackpot started at $100.
  • If the Jackpot riddle was found and attempted, the King of the Hill and the person with the Jackpot riddle had to trade places regardless if the riddle was answered correctly or incorrectly. This rule would carry over into the American syndicated version which premiered after this version was cancelled.
  • If the Jackpot riddle was not found until the last player, an extra $1,000 was added to the Jackpot.
  • In the second season, there was a "$10,000 Riddler Contest" in which the player who answered the most riddles correctly over a period of ten weeks won a bonus of $10,000. First winner of this bonus was Bob Hultquist of Belleville, Ontario.
  • In the final season of the Darrow version, there was a special riddle called "The $50,000 Riddle". These riddles were considerably harder than the ones usually asked, and all players who correctly answered them split $50,000. In that season, on one of the show's weeks, only one person won the $50,000 all by themselves at the end of the week.
  • Starting in season two (and just like the original), any player who ran the board (answered all fifteen riddles without a miss) won a new car.


Bob Cobert


Bob Stewart


Tammy Warner's Jackpot Page

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