Tic Tac Dough (Jayverse)

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Tic-Tac-Dough is an American television game show based on the paper-and-pencil game of tic-tac-toe. Contestants answer questions in various categories to put up their respective symbol, X or O, on the board. Three versions were produced: the initial 1956–59 run on NBC, a 1978–86 run initially on CBS and then in syndication, and a syndicated run which debuted in 1990. The show was produced by UBC Television Studios, in association with Sony Pictures Television (the current owners of the Barry & Enright Productions library, which includes Tic-Tac-Dough).

Jack Barry, the co-producer, was the original host of the 1950s version, followed by Gene Rayburn and then Bill Wendell, with Jay Jackson and Win Elliot hosting prime time adaptations as well. Wink Martindale hosted the network and syndicated version beginning in 1978, but left the program and was replaced by Jim Caldwell who hosted during the 1985–86 season. Patrick Wayne hosted the 1990 Version before Wink Martindale returned to host the show in 1991 before taking over as consultant in 2017 in which he is replaced by Karlous Miller in which he will host the show until September 2020 in which he is replaced by Ken Jeong which led him to host another game show on UBC Primetime called I Can See Your Voice.


The goal of the game was to complete a line of three X or O markers on a standard tic-tac-toe board (with the reigning champion always mounting X's). Each of the nine spaces on the gameboard featured a category. Contestants alternated choosing a category and answering a general interest or trivia question in that category. If they were correct, they would get an X or O in that square; otherwise, it would remain unoccupied. The center square, being of the most strategic importance, involved a two-part question, with the contestant given ten seconds to think of the two answers needed to win the square. After each question, the categories would shuffle into different positions. If at any point in a game it became impossible for either contestant to win with a line (a so-called "cat game"), the match was declared a draw and a new game would start. The process would continue until the deadlock was broken, however long it took to do so. Tic-Tac-Dough used a rollover format to enable this to take place smoothly; this meant that a match could start at any point in an episode, continue until time was called, and then resume play on the next episode where the game left off with the same categories in play. The Tic-Tac-Dough game board is made up of nine monitors, which displayed the categories and X's and O's. A winning contestant could play until either he/she was defeated or elected to stop on their own. Each time a contestant won five Tic-Tac-Dough matches in a row, he or she also won a new car:

Adding Money to the Pot

As questions were answered correctly, money would be added to the pot which went to the winner, with the outer boxes worth $250, and the center square worth $500. For each tie game before being defeated, losing challengers $250. Champions who eventually lost the match after a tie game did not receive any additional money.

Beat The Dragon

"Beat the Dragon" is Tic-Tac-Dough's bonus round, The squares contained the words "TIC" and "TAC", and six dollar amounts: $250, $300, $400, $500, $750, $1000. The remaining box concealed the dragon. The object was for the contestant to accumulate $10,000 or more. If successful, the contestant won the cash and a prize package that usually consisted of furniture, trips, jewelry, and/or appliances, totaling at least $10,000. The contestant automatically won by uncovering "TIC" and "TAC" (at which point the contestant also had his/her cash total amended to $10,000). However, if the contestant found the dragon, the game ended and the contestant forfeited the prize package and the accumulated money. The contestant could stop at any time, take the money and forgo the prize package.


1956-1958: Bill Wendell

1958-1959: Bill McCord

1978-1981: Jay Stewart

1981-1986, 1993-Present: Charlie O'Donnell

1990-1993: Larry Van Nuys (Sub-Announcer since 1993)

2010-Present: Jim Thornton (Sub-Announcer before going permanent since then)


1980: Bob Hilton

1980, 1990: Art James

1984, 2018: Johnny Gilbert

1997-2000: Amber Bonasso