Lucky Numbers (TV series)

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Lucky Numbers
Presented by Shane Richie
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 50
Running time 30 minutes (inc. adverts)
Production company(s) Granada Television
Distributor ITV Studios
Original network ITV
Picture format 4:3
Original release 9 January 1995 (1995-01-09) – 4 July 1997 (1997-07-04)
Related shows Bob's Full House
One to Win
The Biggest Game in Town

Lucky Numbers was a Bingo-based game show that aired on ITV for three series from 9 January 1995 to 4 July 1997. It was hosted by Shane Richie. It was produced by ITV's regional Granada Productions. The first series aired on Mondays and the two successive series aired on Fridays. Its logo and set design were inspired by the American googie architecture.

The show was one of the first UK game shows which allowed viewers to take part at home and win. The show was sponsored by The Sun newspaper, and each week the viewer was supplied with a game-card (to viewers that purchased a copy of the newspaper). They had to cross off numbers that appeared on that week's show and those that crossed off all their numbers by the time the 'big hooter' sounded on the show would win (or share if there was more than one winner) a prize of £20,000.

Nick Weir was the host of the show in an unbroadcast pilot recorded in 1994, predating his official game show career debut, On the Ball (1997) by three years, the latter show also being a Granada Productions series. Lucky Numbers has been seen as ITV's reply after they lost the bidding war to host The National Lottery Draws to BBC One.

ITV and Granada would later attempt a similar game show, The Biggest Game in Town, for a run of 90 episodes in the last third of 2001, which was another bingo-based game show with an home viewer interactive element where viewers play along with a game card. Promotional snippets where the show's host, Steve le Fevre, would tell viewers to "activate [their] cards now" aired during episodes of This Morning. It was unlike Lucky Numbers in its rules though, and also aired live during lunchtime rather than pre-recorded for primetime weekly TV. Both series, as well as BBC One's One to Win (1991), have been compared to BBC's long-running bingo-based Bob's Full House.

Main Game[edit]

Each contestant had a bingo card with 15 numbers on them. The top row numbers go from 1-15, the middle row numbers go from 16-30 and the bottom row went from 31-45. And they are all across the contestants' podiums. The object of the game was to light up all 15 squares of their cards. They did that by answering a series of questions correctly. Get a question wrong, and the player is frozen out of the next question. Also unlike the two previous versions, the numbers lit up at random, not in numerical order or by verbal choice. And finally, when the home game was over by the sound of the hooter, the remaining numbers were blacked out and replaced with stars. The game was played for three rounds; the first two were worth £500 and the third was worth £1,000 for a total of £2,000.

Round 1[edit]

In the first round, the contestants tried to light up all four corners of their cards.

Round 2[edit]

The next round saw contestants try to be the first to light up their center row. They did that by answering questions from five categories.

Round 3[edit]

The final round had the contestants compete to complete their bingo cards and get a Full House. The first one to do that won the game and advanced to the 'Cash Dash'.

Cash Dash (Bonus Round)[edit]

To begin the final round, the winning contestant gambled as much of his/her current cash total as he/she wished Now, the winning contestant faced a game board numbered 1-25. The object of the round was to get five squares in a row in any direction, either across, up & down, or diagonally in 45 seconds or less. He/she did that by answering a series of questions correctly. Prior to the start of the round, random free spaces were given. The rules are simple, the winning contestant picked a number, then a question was asked. A correct answer turned that number into a pound sign (£), but an incorrect answer or pass blocked that square, at which point, the contestant must start a new route. If the winning contestant can get five-in-a-row before time ran out, he/she won 10 times the money gambled (in addition to the money not used in gambling). Since £2,000 was the highest any player can go, any player can win up to £20,000.


Series Start date End date Episodes
1 9 January 1995 1 May 1995 17
2 24 May 1996 20 September 1996 17
3 14 March 1997 4 July 1997 16