December 6, 2000 (for NBC)
Run time
30 Minutes
Donny Osmond
Celebrity guests
Vivica A. Fox & Richard Kind

This is chronicling the unsold 2000 pilot of The $1,000,000 Pyramid.

Game FormatEdit

Main GameEdit

The game is played with two teams of two players (consisting of one celebrity & one contestant) in a game of word communication. Each game starts with the introduction of six categories arranged in a pyramid. In the main game, a category's position on the pyramid was not an indicator of its difficulty. The categories were usually puns hinting to the content within that subject.

Each team in turn chose a category, and then a subject under that category was given. Each subject has seven words/phrases/names. The team had 30 seconds to guess the seven answers that fit into the category. One player described each item while the other player tried to guess what the words are. Each correct word was worth one point. When a word was passed, it cannot be returned to, but if the guesser can guess the word already passed, the team still scored. If at any time the clue giver gave away any part of the answer or conveyed the essence of the answer, a cuckoo sounded and the word was thrown out. Each correct answer was worth $1,000.

Each team had three turns with the celebrities giving first in rounds one and three, and the contestants giving in round two.


If the game ended in a tie, both scores were deleted and the game shifted into a tie-breaker situation. The team that caused the tie had a choice between two letters leaving the other for the other team. Both teams had 30 seconds to get as many of the seven items beginning with their letter(s) as they can. The team with the highest score won the game.

The team with the most points won the game.

Winner's CircleEdit

The giver of the winning team faced a larger pyramid board of six subjects with the guesser having his/her back to the board. The winning team had 60 seconds to climb up to the top of the pyramid by getting all six. On each subject, the giver gave a list of items that fit the subject while the guesser tried to guess what they all have in common. As soon as the guesser gets the right subject or passed, they moved on to the next subject to the right. Upon a pass, the team can come back to it if there's time leftover though the guesser can still get the subject without going back to it. If at any time the giver gave an illegal clue (giving away part of the answer, conveying the essence of the answer, descriptions of the category or a synonym) a buzzer would sound, and a new subject would take its place. Getting all six in 60 seconds won the grand cash prize.


The first Winner's Circle is worth $125,000. Each win doubles the money, up to $1,000,000 for the fourth.

Here are the amounts for each subject:

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
$100 $200 $300

Contestants retired after winning $1,000,000. Should the contestant lose a front game, or Winner's Circle, their endgame winnings are forfeited; front game winnings (and WC consolations) are safe.


Slot MachineEdit

IGT/International Game Technology (2001)Edit

Despite not making it on the air, a slot machine (in both blue & white versions) was released in 2001. which featured original host Dick Clark instead of Donny Osmond.



$1 Million Pyramid review @ The Game Show Bonanza (via Internet Archive)
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The $1,000,000 Pyramid Video Slots (White Version) minisite
The $1,000,000 Pyramid Video Slots (Blue Verison) minisite
$1,000,000 Pyramid site @ Sodak-Gaming (via Internet Archive)