Contestants who were experts in a particular field
played to win huge sums of money. The show was
based on the radio show "Take It or Leave It." A player
started answering questions worth $1 and the value
kept doubling on the following questions until a
grand prize of $64,000 was reached. After a player
reached the $4000 level, he or she would be asked
only one question per week. If the player answered
correctly, he or she was given a week to think about
risking all to try to reach the next level. A player
was given the chance to quit at any time. At the
$8000 level, the contestant was placed in an
isolation booth on stage to ponder the answer. At
this point, a player was given a new Cadillac as a
consolation gift if he or she missed the answer.
The first contestant to win $64,000 was Richard S.
McCutchen on September 13, 1955. His subject was
cooking. Dr. Joyce Brothers (pictured above) was
the second person to reach $64,000 based on her
expertise in the subject of boxing.