The Challengers

(ended 1991)


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The Challengers

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The Challengers was a short lived (but fondly remembered by many in the game show community) quiz show of the early '90s. Three contestants (one a returning champion) competed. The game started with the "Challengers Sprint," a 60-second speed round. Each correct answer netted the contestants $100, a wrong answer took away $100. (NOTE: Contestants originally started the Challengers Sprint with nothing, this was later changed to each contestant being spotted $200). After the speed round, two rounds of questions would be played. Each round had 6 categories, with three questions for each category. The dollar values for the first round were originally $150, $200, and $250 (these were later reduced by $50 each when the contestants were spotted $200 in the beginning.) They doubled in the second round. The player in the lead after the Challengers Sprint (the one who gave the last correct answer after that) would choose the category. Each contestant would then pick the question they would like to answer by locking it in on their podia. If all three picked different categories, they were asked the questions in the categories and had to answer them (right answers added, wrong answers or non-answers took away). If two contestants picked the same category, the question in that category became a toss-up, and whoever buzzed in first got to answer. If s/he answered incorrectly, the value of the question would be deducted and the other contestant could either answer or pass. If all three contestants picked the same category, then things got a little interesting. All the dollar values doubled, and the question became a toss-up. Whoever answered correctly won the money and got a chance to answer the other two questions for more cash, but they did not have to take this option. After two rounds, any players in positive territory played "The Final Challenge." The players received a category and three options. The contestants would once again choose which question they wanted, but this time there was a twist. A contestant to choose to play an easy question (even odds), a more difficult question (2:1 odds), or the hardest one in the category (3:1). Unlike before, the contestants would wager their own winnings on their knowledge of the subject. If two players picked the same question, whoever bid the highest amount got the question (toss-up if both bet the same). The player with the most money after the Final Challenge won the game, and got to return the next day. The Challengers did have a bonus round, called "The Ultimate Challenge." Originally, for every 3 games the champion won, s/he would play the Ultimate Challenge for an accumulating jackpot (originally $50,000 and going up by $1000 each time until won). The contestant would choose from two categories and had to answer 3 questions in the category to win the pot. Any incorrect answer ended the round. Later, The Ultimate Challenge became a daily bonus round. The winner of that day's show would play for $10,000 and no longer had a category choice. The rules remained the same. (To make room for this, the Challengers Sprint was eliminated, though it would return.) Later still, The Ultimate Challenge would revert to its first format, though the prizes were not as big ($25,000 start, $1000 increase each time until won) as they were before. Champions played until defeated. Stan Newman is the all-time biggest winner in Challengers history, racking up $112,480 in cash during his time on the show. The Challengers would tape their shows a week in advance of when they would air, so they could focus some questions on current events. The contestants received their winnings in a Citibank Visa card, with their score as the card's balance. NOTE: During its one season run, The Challengers had a tournament of champions, with the highest money winners and the show's reigning champion going into the tourney (in this case, Stan Newman) being invited back. The field was whittled down to three people, who would play a two-day aggregate score final (like Jeopardy's Tournament Of Champions). The winner (Newman) won the money that he earned in the two day final, plus $25,000 for winning the tournament.moreless