FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A once-popular statewide game show is back for the summer. Hoosier Millionaire, a game show by the Hoosier Lottery between 1989 and 2007, took place at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum Thursday night.
The game show became an instant hit when Hoosier Lottery began airing the weekly television program in 1989.
“Everyone loved the show,” Sarah Taylor, the executive director at the Hoosier Lottery, said. “So they wanted it back. They loved the nostalgia. They love the hometown fell. They love cheering on someone every week, whether they knew them or not, or that city or town. They cheered someone on with their family. It was part of a routine for the weekend and we’re excited to bring it back to them.”
As part of the Hoosier Lottery’s 25th anniversary, Hoosier Lottery is making a trip across the state. There will be a total of six regional shows. Fort Wayne had held the second installment. Evansville held the first one last month.
The show’s hosts, Mark Patrick, Barbara Hobbs and Tony Lamont, are all a part of the road show.
The contestants in the regional shows will not play for a million dollars, but do take home the money they win. The champion of each regional site will participate in a Hoosier Millionaire at the Indiana State Fair in August. That version will be for the million dollar grand prize.
Thursday’s program at the Coliseum gave the show’s fans a chance to take a trip down memory lane.
“It was all people from Indiana,” Lance Shelby said, referring to watching all the old contestants. “I knew one or two people on the show, and they won some money. I would think, that could be me sometime.”
At Thursday’s show, five contestants had already been selected before the doors opened. The final contestant was selected at random. The man who won the spot was from Oolitic.
When the show was over, Rick Rhodes of Kokomo was the winner. He won $13,500 on the night.
“It fulfilled my dream,” Rhodes told NewsChannel 15. “I used to watch the show every Saturday night. I would send in all my scratch-off tickets, wanting to be a contestant.”
Taylor said the Hoosier Lottery has no plans at this time to produce Hoosier Millionaire as a television show. However, said if this year’s road trip goes well, the show could possibly continue in a similar format in the following years.