Flamingo Fortune

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Flamingo Fortune
Flamingo Fortune logo.jpg
Created by Jonathan Goodson
Florida Lottery
Presented by JD Roberto (1995–1996)
Michael Young (1996–1999)
Heather Alexander (1995–1996)
Lisa Stahl-Sullivan (1996–1999)
Narrated by Rich Fields
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 228
Running time approx. 26 Minutes
Production company(s) Mark Goodson Productions (14 October-11 November 1995)
Jonathan Goodson Productions (18 November 1995–1997)
Columbia TriStar Television (1997–1999)
Distributor Sony Pictures Television
Original network Syndicated (Florida only)
Original release October 14, 1995 – February 28, 1999

Flamingo Fortune (also known as Million Dollar Flamingo Fortune) is an American game show for the Florida Lottery that aired from 1995–1999. It was originally produced by Mark Goodson Productions, at the time also producing game shows for state lotteries alongside his regular game shows. After the first five shows, production was transferred to Jonathan Goodson Productions (long discussed as the first solo production for JGP), after All American Television (which acquired Mark Goodson's company a few weeks earlier) spun out their lottery game shows to Mark Goodson's son, Jonathan Goodson. Production would later transfer to Columbia TriStar Television and Game Show Network from 1997 to 1999. The program was taped at Universal Studios Florida near Orlando, Florida.

The show's original announcer was Rich Fields. Rich was the announcer on Flamingo Fortune for three seasons and filled in as host on at least one occasion.

The original hosts were JD Roberto and Heather Alexander, who were replaced after the first season by the team of Michael Young and Lisa Stahl-Sullivan.

The "Flamingo Fortune" name was later used for a series of scratch-off games introduced by the lottery in 2013.

Rules, 1st Format (1995–1997)[edit]

Thirty contestants were in the contestant pool, all selected from those who sent in losing scratch-off lottery tickets. Alexander/Stahl would spin a wheel that was hooked to a randomizer. When the wheel stopped, the player selected would play a game, in addition to winning a set of lottery tickets. These rules were similar to Illinois Instant Riches.

Beach Ball[edit]

12 sandcastles were placed on a rotating platform. An apparatus with the beach ball was nearby.

The contestant would turn his/her back to the platform and pull a lever to release the beach ball. The ball would swing through the platform 6 times, knocking over the sandcastles. Each sandcastle remaining after one round was worth $1,000 - each one remaining after round two was worth an additional $2,000.

The contestant could stop at this point or opt for one more round of six swings. Three sandcastles were placed on the platform, or if there were more than 3 still standing after round two, they were simply left alone. If at least three were left standing after this round, the contestant's winnings would be doubled. Otherwise, the contestant would lose half of his/her winnings. (If contestant won, he/she was offered the chance again with eight swings with same rules as before.) Maximum payoff is $144,000.

Grand Prix[edit]

Contestants were shown a board with 3 racecars - red, yellow, and blue. They were then shown a board of 12 numbered boxes, and asked to call out numbers, one at a time. Finding three of a color ended up the game and awarded the contestant a cash prize -- $5,000 (for red), $25,000 (for yellow), or a cash prize of up to $100,000 (for blue). If blue reached the goal first, the contestant would choose from one of four letters (A, B, C, D), each of which hid a different cash amount (two each of $50,000 and $100,000).


The player faces a board of 18 numbered rods, split into three rows (1-4 on top, 5-10 in the middle, and 11-18 on the bottom), each holding up a colored ball. Rods 1-4 held up two red's and a green, the rest held yellow balls. The player draws a number, and that number's rod gets removed from the playfield.

If a yellow ball splashes down into the water, the player wins $10,000. If no balls splash down, the player wins $1,000.

The only way the game ends (besides the player saying "I'll stop") is if a red ball or a green ball splashes down. If the red ball splashes down, either by itself or with other colored balls - even the green one - the player loses half their winnings. If the green ball splashes down with no red ball, the player's total is bumped to $100,000.

Steeple Chase[edit]

In the first round, the player set six balls - four gold, two black - down a track of ramps. The balls could split up and collide until they reached the bottom of the track and crossed the finish line. If a black ball finished first, the player won $5,000; if a red ball finished first, the player got $10,000.

For the second round, there were four gold and four black balls used. A black ball winning the race earned the player $5,000 more, while a gold ball won $25,000. After the third round, the player could either play the third round with three gold and four black balls, or with six gold and three black balls. The second set, however, would cost the player half his/her winnings at that point. A black ball coming in first added nothing, a gold ball finishing first added $50,000, but if the gold balls came in first, second, and third, the player won $100,000.


The contestant pulls a lever that will launch a ping pong ball to the top of the board, through swinging paddles, through a series of pegs, and into one of eight slots at the bottom of the board. Landing in an empty slot was worth $5,000. Each empty slot accumulated an additional $5,000. If a ping pong ball landed in a slot that was already occupied, he/she would be issued a strike.

After two strikes, the contestant could stop and take their winnings, or opt for another pull. If a ping pong ball landed in an empty slot, the contestant would have his/her money doubled, and would be offered another pull. If the contestant earned their third strike, they would lose half of their winnings. Play would continue until all eight slots are filled, a third strike is issued, or the contestant chose to stop. The theoretical maximum payoff is $640,000, but this would require that each of a contestant's first three balls land in the same slot, followed by each following ball landing in a new slot. The odds of this happening were approximately 1 in 213,044.

This game originated from the Illinois Lottery game show Illinois Instant Riches, but under the name Double Dollars. It later adapted a game called Freefall with different rules.

Treasure Island[edit]

This is the final round, utilizing returning champions from previous weeks, and follows the rules of the "Pot O'Gold" game from Illinois Instant Riches. The "trapper" (returning champion) would stand at the end of a path behind a keypad with three buttons and a red button. The "trappee" (opponent) stood at the front of the path, with 8 spaces between the two. The first 5 steps were numbered 1-5; the last three had cash prizes.

The opponent could take up to three steps at a time, but the champion was charged with predicting which step the opponent would pick (referred to as "locking in a booby-trap," at which three blue lights would flash and a "typewriter" sound effect occurred). After the opponent took his/her position (at which the lights would turn off except the step chosen, accompanied by a G-note bell), the host would ask the champion to "spring the trap" (press the red button). If the opponent dodged the "trap", the game would continue. If not, the opponent had to return to their original position. Each step had a blue light that would turn to a flashing red (accompanied by an "explosion" sound effect) whenever the booby-trap was sprung. If the player avoided the trap, the blue light flashed (accompanied by a "harp" sound effect), and the red light would light up where the booby-trap was placed.

Opponents won and took over the championship if they landed on one of the last three spaces on the path—the first was worth $10,000, the second worth $25,000, and the last marked "Treasure Chest". If the opponent ended on this space, he/she could pick from a chest of coins worth from $50,000 to $500,000. The $500,000 was won at least once.

If the champion successfully "trapped" the newcomer twice, the game ended with the champion winning an additional $25,000.

Rules, 2nd Format (1997–1999)[edit]

On October 11, 1997 (the date Sony assumed production), the format was revamped, adding new games, and giving players a chance to win up to $1,000,000 prior to playing the game.

The contestant wheel was revamped; all thirty names were on the wheel, and increasing cash prizes were on the edge of the wheel. Stahl would spin the wheel, and one of the cash prizes would land on a name. Stahl would then throw balls into the center of the wheel; these balls would land in slots by each name. If one of those balls landed in a slot belonging to the name attached to the money, they would automatically win that money on the spot.

The first game has values of $10K, $25K, and $50K. (In early episodes the values were $10K, $25K, and $100K.) The second doubles the top prize to $100,000 ($200,000 in early episodes). The third game increases the top prize to $1,000,000. The values for the first two games were selected at random prior to the show and during a commercial break. The $1,000,000 grand prize was won at least twice.

Formats for most games were carried over to the California Lottery's Make Me a Millionaire.

Flamingo Diceway[edit]

Four contestants vied for a new car. They were given the first number of the car for free, then had to roll the next numbers by launching 6 numbered dice with using a catapult. If the next number landed face up when the dice settled, they were credited with that number. Rolling all four numbers won the car; a miss at any point ended the game for that player, and awarded them $500 for each correct number rolled (including the first number).

Break the Piggy Bank[edit]

Two players competed. The game offers two rounds, but only the first-round winner gets the option of continuing to the second round.

In the first round, each player begins with $1,000 and gets up to five turns to add to it. The players alternate in choosing from a set of ten piggy banks. When chosen, a piggy bank is opened to reveal its contents and remove it from further play. Seven of the piggy banks have amounts ranging from $1,000 to $20,000. The other three have the word "Oink". Players accumulate values until one of the players has chosen two "Oink"'s. That player leaves with half of his or her accumulated amount, or $500 if they hit two "Oink"'s on their first two turns. The other player receives a $5,000 bonus and the option to leave with the accumulated winnings or go to the second round. In the second round, the player chooses one piggy bank out of five. Three of those piggy banks will halve the player's winnings, but the other two will either double or triple the winnings.

Florida's Famous[edit]

Florida's Famous is a one-player game with up to four rounds and cash prizes ranging from $4,000 to $160,000. In each round, the player picks a number from one to five, to reveal a statement about Florida. The player gains money only when the choice reveals a true statement. After each round, the player may leave with the accumulated winnings or continue to the next round. (The false statements tend to be absolutely ridiculous.)

In the first round, the player wins $4,000 for each choice that reveals a true statement. The round begins with one play in which all five statements are true, ensuring a win. The game is reset with one false and four true statements, and the round continues until the player picks the false statement. At the end of the first round, the player's accumulated winnings may range from $4,000 to $20,000.

For the remaining rounds, the payoff is either a doubling (for a true statement) or halving (for a false statement) of the winnings, with one play per round; a false statement also ends the game. Round 2 has one false statement; another false statement is added in each successive round, so that there are only two true statements in round 4. A player who wins round 4 will have doubled the first-round winnings three times, resulting in total accumulated winnings ranging from $32,000 to $160,000.

Florida's Jackpot[edit]

For the final game, the remaining 23 players each drew a playing card from a deck during the final commercial break. Stahl drew a card from a duplicate deck, and the player holding that card got to play the final game. The player faces a board of eight cards, each under a letter in the word "FLORIDA's". After selecting the first card, which is then turned over, then another card, the player must guess whether the next card is higher or lower than the previous one (like those on Card Sharks). Two wrong calls ends the game, but seven correct guesses wins a jackpot starting at $50,000 and increasing by $5,000 each week until it's won. The player won $2,000 for every correct guess if unsuccessful.