Cash Explosion

Cash Explosion

"Cash Explosion", later known as "Cash Explosion Double Play", is an official Ohio Lottery TV game show, which originated in Cleveland and was broadcasted on television stations throughout Ohio. The show is now taped by Mills-James Productions in Columbus, Ohio. It ran from 1987 to September 30, 2006. The Ohio Lottery replaced it with "Make Me Famous, Make Me Rich" on October 7, 2006, but slumping ticket sales and poor ratings prompted the return of the "Cash Explosion" format a year later, on October 6, 2007.


Bob Grossi was the original host, and was replaced in 1988 by Paul Tapié. Tapié lasted until 2000, when Mike Armstrong took over. After a few months, Armstrong was replaced, again by Tapié, who stayed on until February 2004. Sharon Bicknell was the co-host from the beginning until February 2004. Michelle Duda and Leilani Barrett took over as hosts in February 2004, and remained through the end of the first run. Following its October 2007 return, David McCreary, who had previously hosted "Make Me Famous, Make Me Rich", became the new host, with Sharon Bicknell, who had been a part of the show since the beginning, returning.


emi-Final Round

Four people compete in the Semi-Final Round. They face a 6X4 game board; the six columns are labeled D-O-U-B-L-E and the four rows are labeled P-L-A-Y.

On a player's turn, a randomizer is started, lighting up the six columns. They press their button to stop the randomizer on a column, and pick one of the four rows in that column. They win whatever money is behind the space represented by that row/column combination, between $1,000 and $3,200.

There are three special spaces on the board. Two of them are marked "Double"; if picked, the contestant gets another turn, and whatever they land on next is doubled. (If that turn results in the other "Double" card being hit, they get a "third" turn, with whatever they land on being multiplied by four; in this event, a player could win as much as $12,800 on a single turn.) The third special square is the "Bonus" card, which not only contains a money amount, but a bonus prize (originally a new car, currently $25,000). Originally the contestant had to choose whether he or she wanted the bonus (dropping out of further play if they took it) or the money, but by 1993 contestants were simply awarded both. (The bonus prize does not count towards their score.)

In 2000, a second bonus prize was added to the board. This bonus prize was four years of prepaid tuition at any four year college or university in Ohio, along with extra cash thrown in to make the prize worth $20,000. This was later replaced with Ohio Lottery tickets attached to a dollar amount. In all cases, like the standard Bonus card, the value of these prizes was not added to the score, but the dollar amount attached to them was. The second bonus prize was dropped by 2004.

After each player has three turns, the one in the lead wins the game, has their score doubled, and advances to the Championship Round. All other contestants leave with whatever they had won.

In the event of a tie for the lead after three rounds, a tiebreaker round is played. Originally, the tying players each picked a playing card from a set of eight, with the highest value card winning; these were later replaced by cash amounts from $100-$800, again with the highest amount winning.

A second Semi-Final Round is played with four new contestants and a new board, exactly as before.

Championship Round

The original Championship Round format was very much like The Price Is Right's Showcase Showdown. The two Semi-Final winners face off against the returning champion. The bonus round was played with a wheel; one space was labeled "Double", while the others were numbered 1-9. To begin, a target number was selected from a drum. Each contestant got a chance to spin the wheel, and could spin either once or twice. Landing on "Double" meant they could spin again, and whatever number they landed on was doubled. The person who came closest to that target number without going over was the winner. If there was a tie, the tying players each picked a playing card from a set of eight. The player with the highest card won.

A new bonus round called "Match 3" was in place by 1993, debuting on "Cash Explosion"'s fifth anniversary show. In the new bonus round, nine squares were put on a board; behind each one was one of the contestant's names, and each name was used three times. The contestants took turns picking squares off the board, uncovering the names behind them. If anyone's name was uncovered three times, that person won the game and the right to return the next week.

Common to all formats was the payoff structure for champions. A first-time champion wins $50,000, while a two-time champ would win $100,000 and a three-time champ wins a grand total of $200,000 and retires from the show.

Originally, the $50,000 bonus for a first-time champion was added to his or her total winnings for the day. By 1993, however, the winner's total was augmented to $50,000; thus, if a player who had won $13,600 in her Semi-Final game won the championship, she would win an additional $36,400 for a total of $50,000.

Cancellation and return

The show was replaced in October 2006 with "Make Me Famous, Make Me Rich". However, due to disappointing ratings for "Make Me Famous...", the Ohio Lottery announced that the show would be replaced by a new version of "Cash Explosion", beginning October 6, 2007. []


* The most that one player can win in a semi-final match is $19,100 (before doubling to $38,200). To do this, they must hit both double cards and $3,200 on one turn, then hit $3,200 again on the next turn, and then hit $3,100 on their final turn. (The perfect game can be achieved in no particular order.)
* No contestant will ever win less than $3,200.

External links

* [ Cash Explosion Double Play official site]
* [ Press release detailing return of Cash Explosion]

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