FACTOID # 7: The top five best educated states are all in the Northeast.
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 


FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:



(* = Graphable)



Encyclopedia > Illinois' Instant Riches

Illinois' Instant Riches was a lottery game show airing in the state of Illinois, as well as nationally on Chicago-based Superstation WGN-TV. The show was hosted by Mark Goodman, with Linda Kolmeyer as his co-host. The show was produced by Mark Goodson Television Productions, and ran from 1994 to 2000. In 1998, Illinois' Instant Riches became Illinois' Luckiest. A lottery is a popular form of gambling which involves the drawing of lots for a prize. ... A game show involves members of the public or celebrities, sometimes as part of a team, playing a game, perhaps involving answering quiz questions, for points or prizes. ... Official language(s) English Capital Springfield Largest city Chicago Area  Ranked 25th  - Total 57,918 sq mi (149,998 km²)  - Width 210 miles (340 km)  - Length 390 miles (629 km)  - % water 4. ... Nickname: The Windy City, The Second City, Chi Town, The City of Big Shoulders, The 312, The City that Works Motto: Urbs In Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location in Chicagoland and Illinois Coordinates: Country United States State Illinois County Cook & DuPage Incorporated March 4, 1837  - Mayor... Superstation in United States television can have several meanings. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Mark Goodman is a radio DJ, TV personality, and actor. ... Mark Goodson (January 14, 1915 – December 18, 1992) was an accomplished American television producer, specializing in game shows. ... 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by United Nations. ... This article is about the year 2000. ... 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ...



For contestants to appear on the show, they must have bought a scratch-off & uncover three TVs. Fifteen contestants were chosen to be in the show's contestant pool, but three of them play a series of games. Linda Kollmeyer would spin a wheel that was hooked to the special section where each seat had a light attached to it. When the wheel stopped, the player whose seat was lit would play a game, in addition to winning a set of instant win lottery tickets. For each subsequent game, that light would be deactivated. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

The show had several games throughout the run.


A pendulum dangled from the ceiling and was attracted by 10 magnets. The magnets had money amounts on them: $1000, $2000, $3000, $4000, $5000, $8000, $10000, $12000, $15000, and $20000. The pendulum is placed on a launcher that is on the ring. The player may move the launcher anywhere on the ring and then set it in motion. The 1st swing would net the player some money. For the 2nd swing, the space that was landed on would be covered by a "Wipeout". Should the contestant hit that space, all money was lost. After two swings, the player had a decision to make whether to take the money and quit, or go for the 3rd and final swing. For the 3rd swing, the "Wipeouts" would be placed on the following: a. The lowest dollar amount b. The dollar amount that was hit in the 2nd swing (Unless the player lands on a "Wipeout" in the 2nd swing) The largest dollar amount would then be multiplied by 5. A player could end up winning a total of $127,000.

HOME RUN (Touchdown, Fast Break, and Home Stretch)

The first was enetitled "Home Run". The contestant is shown three colored "players": orange, blue, and yellow. Each are trying to reach some kind of goal. A game board of 12 numbered boxes hid duplicates of those colors. The contestant called off boxes, one at a time. Whatever color reached the goal first (finding three of that color) won the player money. If the orange player reached the goal first, the player won $1,000. Should the blue player reach the goal, the player won $10,000. If the yellow player reached the goal first, the player would win anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000. Originally, the player chose the value of the yellow player before the game started by choosing one of four cards marked with $25,000, $50,000, $75,000, and $100,000. Later, it was chosen if the yellow player reached the goal. NOTE: It was during the baseball strike where the name "Home Run" was changed to "Touchdown". The game was called "Home Stretch" while the show was doing a special remote from Arlington Race Course.


This game had the contestant go behind a pair of cylinders that he/she couldn't see. Each cylinder had three colored balls: red, yellow, and green. The contestant would draw one ball from the cylinder where his/her right hand would be. That becomes the base color. The contestant would start with $5,000. The contestant would then draw a ball from the other cylinder. The object was to pull out a different colored ball. Doing so added $5,000, while failing added nothing. The contestant would get a maximum of 4 pulls. After three pulls, the contestant would decide whether to take the money and end the game, or try for the last pull. A second ball of the base color would then be added to the mix. A mismatch would triple the money, while a match cost the contesant half of his/her earnings. Maximum payoff is $60,000.


The contestant would release seven balls down a giant funnel. The object was to have the center ball yellow. Doing so would win money. The contestant started with a bankroll of $3,000, later it was raised to $4,000.

 For the first pull, there were five yellow balls and two red balls. Getting a yellow ball in the middle doubled the money. For the second pull, there were four yellow balls and three red balls. A yellow ball in the middle tripled the money. For the third pull, there were three yellow balls and four red balls. A yellow ball in the middle quadrupled the money. 

For the first two pulls, a red ball in the middle added nothing. For the third pull, a red ball in the middle cost the contestant half of the money. The player did have the opportunity to stop after two pulls. The maximum payoff was $72,000, then upped to $96,000.


After this was played as the final game in the early days of the show, it was brought out as a solo game. The game started with four cylinders in the 12-wedge arena. The contestant started with a bankroll of $3,000. A rocking cube was placed in the arena. The cube, when turned on, would dance and try to knockout the cylinders. For the first round, the cube was placed in the arena for 10 seconds. Each cylinder that was left standing added $1,500 to the contestant's bankroll. In round 2, the cube was placed in the arena for 15 seconds with the remaining cylinders standing. Each cylinder that was left standing added $2,500 to contestant's earnings. After two rounds, the player may opt to end the game and take his/her money or play one final round. The cube would be placed in the arena for 20 seconds along with one cylinder. If the cylinder remained standing after 20 seconds, the contestant's earnings quadrupled. If the cylinder was knocked out, the contestant lost half of his/her winnings. The contestant could win a maximum of $76,000.


12 buildings were placed on a rotating platform. A "crane" with the wrecking ball was nearby. The contestant would turn his/her back to the platform and pull a lever to release the wrecking ball. After six swings, the contestant earned money for each building left standing.

 For the 1st set, each building left standing was worth $1,500. Fro the 2nd set, each building left standing was worht $3,000. 

The contestant may elect to stop and take the money or go for the third and last set of six swings. If less than three building were left after two swings, one building would be randomly placed on the platform to make the three buidlings. If there are at least three buildings left standing after the six swings, his/her money would be doubled. If the 10th building gets knocked out, the contestant would lose half of his/her winnings. The maximum payoff would be $108,000.


This game was in the entire run of the show, and featured a board that somehow resembled the game "Plinko" from "The Price Is Right." The contestant pulls a lever that will launch a ping pong ball to the top of the board, through swinging paddles, through a series of pegs, and into one of eight slots at the bottom of the board. Landing in an empty slot was worth $5,000. If a ping pong ball landed in a slot that was already occupied, he/she would be issued a strike. If the contestant received two strikes, he/she had a decision to make. He/she could stop and take the money or go for another pull. If a ping pong ball landed in an empty slot, the contestant would have his/her money doubled, and he/she would be given the same option. Play would continue until all eight slots are filled, or a third strike is issued. If the contestant received a third strike, the game would end and he/she would lose half of his/her money. The maximum payoff was $640,000. (That would be if the contestant landed in the same slot three times, then doubled his/her winning every time.)

The Bonus Games

The show had three bonus games throughout the run.


This was originally played as the final game of the show. The three contestants would draw numbers from 1 to 12, and have a cylinder placed on that numbered wedge in a 12-wedge arena. A rocking cube was then placed in the center of the arena. The host would then turn on the cube and release it from the "cage" for 30 seconds. The cube would then try to knockout a cylinder. If a cylinder gets knocked over, the player who had that cylinder would be eliminated. After the 30 seconds expire, the cylinders that are left standing would be worth money ranging anywhere from $7,500 to $100,000.


This game resembled "Ker-Plunk". It had 15 balls (roughly the size of basketballs) suspended by 10 numbered rods in a chamber. The players drew numbers to find out who would start the game. One at a time, each player chose a thunderbolt that was hidden inside of a panel. Linda would then remove that corresponding rod. Each player had five balls. If any balls would fall, that player would lose that many balls. If a player lost five balls, he/she was eliminated. This would continue until one player was left. He/she would be declared the winner, and would win anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000. If the winning player had more than one thunderbolt in his/her posession, he/she would have to choose one.


In 1995, the Pot O' Gold bonus game made it's debut. This was where the biggest money winner got to face the defending champion. The champion would stand at the end of a "rainbow" where a secret keypad stood by. There were five steps that separated the challenger from the "rainbow." The challenger's job was to try to knock off the champion by stepping toward the rainbow by taking one, two, or three steps at a time. Before the challenger made his/her move, the defending champion would secretly choose one of the three steps to set a "booby trap". After the challenger made his/her move, the "booby trap" was revealed. If the challenger dodged the "trap", he/she would continue. If the challenger stepped on the "trap", he/she had to return to the original position. If the challenger was hit twice, the game was over, and the champion would retain the crown and win $20,000 in cash. If the challenger reached the rainbow, he/she would become the new champion, and win $10,000, $25,000, or "Big Money". If the new champion reached the "Big Money" step, he/she would choose one coin from a tray that hid money amounts from $40,000 to $200,000.


The show was originally a Mark Goodson Production. It was later a Jonathan Goodson Production.

During the special remote broadcast from Arlington Race Course, the selection and bonus rounds were modified. The special seats had contestants hold number numbers from 1 to 15. The selection process had numbers from 1 to 15 inside of a mixer. Whatever number was pulled, that player would play a game. Knockout was played in place of "Pot O' Gold". The defending champion and the big money winner of the evening each had a cylinder placed at opposite sides of the arena. Whoever was knocked out first lost. There was no time limit for this.

Linda Kollmeyer not only draws the winning numbers during the Illinois State Lottery, but is also a nurse, and an advocate for fitness.

The show was seen not only around the state Illinois, but also nationally for those who have WGN TV-9 on cable television.

Some of the games that were used on the show were designed by Steve Ryan, who has worked for several Goodson-Todman game shows including "Classic Concentration", where he designed the rebus puzzles.

Linda's nips could be seen protruding sometimes.



Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m