Known as "the quiz show with a heart," it featured people in need of money who would appear, tell their tale of woe and try to win cash by answering relatively easy questions. If they failed to win, the emcee opened the "Heart Line," which allowed viewers to donate to the contestant.
The show was controversial throughout the 11 years it was on the air. Some claimed that the show really did help less fortunate families and encouraged charity and goodwill among viewers through the Heart Line. Others said the show exploited the needy.
The show received between 3,000 and 5,000 letters each week from people who wanted to be on the show. People hoping to be selected would spend the last of their money traveling to New York, only to be rejected and having to rely on charities such as the Salvation Army and Travelers Aid to help them.
The networks were unconcerned over the controversy and went on record as saying, "We don't want to do anything that would antagonize the sponsor." This attitude allowed companies to control every aspect of the shows they sponsored, resulting in the quiz show scandals of the 1950s, which will be the topic of the next post in this series.
Strike It Rich ended before the scandal came to light, so it never fell under public scrutiny.
From kfcplainfield.com and wikipedia.org
|Host Warren Hull|
|Strike It Rich contestants|
|Vel...a consolation prize?|
|Posing with the emcee and announcer|
|Jane Wilson steps in for a contestant in the Heart Line|