The New $25,000 Pyramid Logo b
CBS Daytime, September 20, 1982 - December 31, 1987; April 4, 1988 - July 1, 1988
Run time
30 minutes
Dick Clark
Jack Clark (1982-1985)
Johnny Gilbert (1982-1988)
CBS Television City Hollywood, California

This is chronicling the 1982 version of The $25,000 Pyramid (originally known as The New $25,000 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 team had three turns with the celebrities giving first in round one, the contestants giving in round two, and in round three they decided amongst themselves on who's giving and who's receiving.

Special BonusesEdit

At some point in the game, a team would uncover a special card behind one category prompting a bonus situation. To win the bonus, the team had to get all the answers right. In situations where a team can win the game without needing all the answers or has won the game automatically, if the last category concealed a bonus, the team was allowed to play all the way out in order to win the bonus.

  • 7-11 - This was the show's mainstay for the entire 80s run. It premiered on April 11, 1983 on CBS and was always played in the first game. The team that exposed the 7-11 had 30 seconds to get all seven and win a cash bonus of $1,100. When it first premiered, the contestant had a choice between going for the $1,100 or play it safe and play for $50 a correct answer; this rule lasted until January 18, 1985. For the four all-star celebrity tournaments in 1987, the 7-11 was played in both games.
  • Mystery 7 - Like the 7-11, this was the show's mainstay for the entire 80s run. It was always played in the second game. The team that found the Mystery 7 had a chance to win a special prize. It's called the Mystery 7 because the category was not told until after it was done. The team had the usual 30 seconds to get all seven words. In its early existence, the Mystery 7 was in plain sight as the last category on the main game Pyramid board. It was mostly chosen first by the contestant who lost the first game, which mostly led to having the Mystery 7 be hidden away, beginning on April 23, 1984.


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 that got the most out of seven won the game. If the first team got seven, the time remaining on the clock was subtracted from 30 to give the time that the other team needed to get seven. Beginning on October 22, 1984, if the game ended in a 21-21 tie, the team that broke the tie won $5,000 (prior to that, it was a car from January 16-October 19 of that year) to the contestant. Beginning with the week of September 5, 1983, the tie-breaker was played in the same segment as the front game. 

Player of the WeekEdit

For three weeks on February 7-25, 1983 of The New $25,000 Pyramid the player who had the fastest time of the week won a trip to Greece. During this time, the Mystery 7 was not played.

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, the subject was re-concealed and the team forfeited the chance at the big money. Starting in this version, prepositional phrases were also outlawed. The giver was discouraged from using his/her hands which is why they were strapped into the chair. Even though the big money was forfeited, the team can still go for the other subjects, because when time ran out, the contestant still won money attached to the subjects guessed; of course, getting all six in 60 seconds without illegal clues won the grand cash prize.


Here are the amounts for each subject:

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
$50 $100 $150 $200 $250 $300

The first trip was worth $10,000, and the second trip was worth a total of $25,000 ($10,000 win in the first WC means the second is worth $15,000).

Game/Championship FormatsEdit

Each episode was made self-contained for it had the contestants play two games every show. Any money won from the Winner's Circle was used as score money not counting bonuses. The player with the most money or won both games returned to play the next show. If the show ended in a tie both contestants returned to play the next show. Contestants retired after five wins or after winning the $25,000 since it was the network's winnings limit; when the limit was raised to $50,000 on October 22, 1984 and $75,000 on September 29, 1986, contestants were required to stay a little while longer until they get enough $25,000 wins to retire or win the usual five games.


This verison was called The New $25,000 Pyramid just to avoid confusion with the original 1974 version.
The 1988 revival replace the short-lived game show Blackout hosted by Bob Goen.


Board GamesEdit

Cardinal (1986)Edit

For this version you were allowed to play both the $25,000 and $100,000 Pyramid featuring Dick Clark on the cover.

Endless Games (2000)Edit

A newer version was released featuring the old Game Show Network logo on the box cover.

Video Slot MachineEdit

IGT/International Game Technologies (2001)Edit

A slot machine game based on this version was released feauring Dick Clark.



Promo SlideEdit


Print AdsEdit



Ticket PlugsEdit

Contesant PlugEdit

Episode StatusEdit

Reruns aired on USA Network from October 17, 1988 to November 4, 1994 and on again, off again on GSN since October 11, 1997.


See AlsoEdit

The $10,000 Pyramid
The $20,000 Pyramid
The $25,000 Pyramid
The $25,000 Pyramid (2010)
The $50,000 Pyramid
The $100,000 Pyramid
The $100,000 Pyramid (1991)
The $100,000 Pyramid (2000)
The $100,000 Pyramid (2016)
The $500,000 Pyramid
The $1,000,000 Pyramid (2000)
The $1,000,000 Pyramid (2009)
Pyramid (1996)
Pyramid (1997)
Pyramid (2002)
The Pyramid (2012)
Pyramid Rocks
The Junior Pyramid
Junior Partner Pyramid
All-Star Junior Pyramid


The $25,000 Pyramid (Video Slots) circa 2001