earn letters by answering questions (as in the later series Blockbusters,
to the questions begin with the letter selected by the player),
then use those letters to form words. In the unusual bonus game,
players reveal letters on the game board one at a time, and each time
form a word that uses all the letters shown. As with many Bob
shows, the format was modified during the run of the series.
In the show's original double-or-nothing scoring structure, significant paydays were possible, though unlikely. Announcer Don Pardo said in the original opening that players could win "more than $100,000" but also cautioned that they "could go broke". Researcher Daniel Benfield tells us that the theoretical top prize for clearing the entire game board was a whopping $409,600! In reality, payouts tended to hover in the low thousands, consistant with what most game shows of the time were offering.
Winning Streak owns a strange footnote in game show programming history. When it debuted, it took the Jeopardy! time slot on NBC's daytime lineup. (Jeopardy! moved to the time period vacated by Bill's earlier series, Three on a Match.) Six months later, Winning Streak was replaced in the line-up by Wheel of Fortune. Years later, those two legendary Merv Griffin shows would become the biggest hits in syndication history.
Winning Streak would
veteran announcer Pardo, who
together on Bill's first network series, Winner
All. The pair also worked together on The
Price Is Right, Eye Guess and Three
on a Match. A few months after Winning Streak
Pardo became the announcer for Saturday Night Live, a job he
held for all but one season of the show's historic run.
In a 1975 magazine
commented on the failure of this show and Blankety
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Curt Alliaume's Winning Streak page at Game Shows '75
The Winning Streak section of TV Party's 1974 Game Shows
The Winning Streak page at Adam Nedeff's Bill Cullen's World
The Winning Streak page on Wikipedia