The YouTube Files – Wipeout USA.

Wipeout (1988-1989)

Wipeout was a game show that I enjoyed watching in both its primetime and daytime versions, and, oh yes, it was yet another show which was originally shown on American TV in the 1980s, so of course I had to go on YouTube again to see it for myself. This version of Wipeout was hosted by Peter Tomarken, who is better remembered for being the host of Press Your Luck, and again, there are a few differences in the rules to the British version.

The basic idea of this version is the same. Three contestants take part, and they had to find the 11 correct answers out of the 16 on offer to win money and avoid the wipeouts (or “whammies” as Peter accidentally referred to them on one edition, seemingly thinking that he was still hosting Press Your Luck) or they would lose everything. In this version however, only one question was played, the British primetime version featured three questions. vlcsnap-01207

The scoring system was slightly different too. The first correct answer was worth $25, with another $25 added for every next correct answer, meaning that the 11th and final one would be worth $275 and could really change the game. In the British primetime version, the value went up £10 for every correct answer from £10 to £110. There was also a bonus prize behind one correct answer called a Hot Spot (not to be confused with Strike It Lucky). vlcsnap-01199

The two highest-scoring contestants then went through to the second round which was the Challenge round, known in the British version as the Auction. This round was played in just about the same way as the British version. There were now 12 answers on the board, eight correct and four wipeouts, and players bid how many they thought they could get right. The first to get two questions right then went into the final. The defeated contestant won some consolation prizes, but probably not a paperweight. vlcsnap-01204

Again, the final was just about the same as the British version, although there was more at stake. The contestant now had to find the six correct answers out of the 12 on offer in one minute. If they succeeded, they could win a car and lots of money, prizes on American game shows were a lot less restricted and more expensive than anything that could have ever been offered on UK game shows in the 1980s. vlcsnap-01206

There was also a video online somewhere of a contestant who when playing the final round hacked the board which was rather odd. In later editions contestants could also return to play for more prizes. This version of Wipeout was syndicated on American TV and ran for less than a year but almost 200 editions were made, again this was a show that ran for much longer in this country, and again it was good seeing another variation on this show which was also a success in many other countries too.

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