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The $64,000 Question - 1955 to 1958
The $64,000 Question - 1955 to 1958
  • 1955 question: $64,000
  • 2008 inflation adj. question:
        $513,000
  • Back in the 1940s, the radio show "Take It or Leave It" awarded cash prizes to contestants who could answer various trivia questions, working their way from the initial $1 question to the $64 jackpot.

    In 1950, the show changed its name to "The $64 Question," and the title soon became a popular catch phrase. You could update it for today to "the $570 dollar question," but that just doesn't have the same ring.

    When the radio show moved to television in 1955, the producers boosted the jackpot by a few zeroes and re-named it "The $64,000 Question." Contestants still started with a $1 question, and they worked their way incrementally to the 17th question, worth $64,000.

    In today's money, that's $513,000. But why settle for half a million? Nowadays the $64 question is, "Who wants to be a millionaire?"

    NEXT: Brewster's Millions - 1902 through 1985

    Last updated May 23 2008: 3:58 PM ET