Diamond Head Game

(ended 1975)


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Diamond Head Game

Show Summary

The mid-1970s brought some really interesting, unique game shows to the tube, some of them defying description. There was Hot Seat, where spouses were hooked to a lie detector machine while answering questions; The Gong Show, the classic showcase of the worst amateur acts; and The Magnificent Marble Machine, where contestants played a giant pinball machine for cash and prizes. Then, there was The Diamond Head Game, the only game show (aside from special weeks of others) to originate from Hawaii. The premise: Advance through a series of question rounds to enter a giant Money Volcano (a glass enclosure with giant fans blowing everything around) to win cash and prizes. The Diamond Head Game was an interesting once-a-week syndicated game show that went through two formats for its brief half-season run, as thus: January-April 1975 (Weeks 1-13) The audience was divided into four sections, each representing one of the Hawaiian islands, with two contestants from each island playing at a time. Eubanks read a general-knowledge question. A correct answer won that contestant a point, while an incorrect response (or failing to respond in time) gave the contestant one point. The first to win two points earned the right to be that island's "representative" in the next round. Once all four contestants were determined, they were situated at the foot of Diamond Head (a three-step podium). Eubanks read a category and 12 answers that fit. Players alternated giving responses, from memory; a contestant was eliminated by giving an answer not on the list, repeating an answer or failing to respond in time (if all 12 answers were given correctly, a new question was played). The remaining players won cash and climbed one step ($50 the first time around, $100 when it came down to two). The last remaining player advanced to the "Money Volcano" bonus round. The "Money Volcano" (tagline - "Where there's a fortune in cash and prizes!") held various denominations of cash and cards with the names of prizes written on them; everything was blown about with giant fans. The contestant had 30 seconds to grab as much loot as they could and place it in his/her pouch, taking only what was being blown about in the air (nothing on the floor, though he/she could kick it to get it to blow). Once the time limit lapsed, Eubanks took the contestant's pouch and removed up to 10 items inside. One at a time, Eubanks revealed each item. The player could stop at any time and keep what Eubanks had drawn, with the additional option of trading it for a "sure thing" prize. However, if Eubanks drew a $1, the game was over and the contestant's winnings (figuratively) were burned in the lava. May-July 1975 (Weeks 13-26) Two teams, each of three players, competed in three question-and-answer rounds. Eubanks announced a category (e.g., state capitals) and five possible answers (Phoenix, Des Moines, Springfield, Carson City and Honolulu); answers to the questions were one of those five possible choices). Any player could from a team answer for points, but an incorrect answer or failing to respond allowed the other team to answer. Answers were worth 10 points in round 1, 20 in round 2 and 30 in round 3. The team with the most points after three rounds advanced to the fourth round, where they now competed as individuals. As before, Eubanks read a statement and 12 responses, and players had to remember what was stated. Incorrect responses, repeat answers or failing to answer gave that player a strike, and two strikes eliminated that player. The survivor advanced to the Money Volcano round. As before, the player collected as much loot as possible within 30 seconds. However, Eubanks only drew five slips, and as before, the player could quit at any time and keep what they had, with the option of trading for one of five bonus envelopes. Three of the envelopes held a $100 bill; another was worth $5,000; and the fifth a special grand prize (usually a car). However, a $1 caused everything to go up in smoke. Interesting as The Diamond Head Game was (at least on paper), the show never caught on with viewers, and just 26 episodes after becoming active in the syndication ranks, this volcano permanently became dormant.moreless
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