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Lingo (game show)
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Lingo (game show)

Lingo is an American television game show that GSN produced along with other companies. Versions of Lingo have also existed in other countries.

Table of contents
1 Broadcast history
2 How the game is played
3 Lingo board
4 The second round
5 Bonus Lingo

Broadcast history

The first US attempt at airing Lingo was in 1987, and the host was Michael Reagan, son of then President Ronald Reagan. The show was produced in Canada for syndication in the US.

On August 5, 2002, Game Show Network started airing the first episodes of its version of Lingo. The first 20 episodes were recorded in The Netherlands, on the set of its Dutch counterpart; subsequent episodes were produced in the US. Two more seasons began in December of 2002 and December of 2003, respectively. All of these were hosted by Chuck Woolery.

How the game is played

A team of two players competes against another. They each try to guess mystery words of five letters. The members took turns guessing their word. For each guess, the team would be notified if a letter from their guess is in the word, by a red square if it is in the correct place or by a yellow circle if it is not in the right place. A correct guess is worth 25 points. The team has five guesses at the word, and if the team does not figure it out, the other team is given the word and a bonus letter. This also happens if a team takes too much time, or if the guessed word is not spelled properly, is too long, or is not a word at all.

Lingo board

The board has twenty-five numbers in five rows, akin to bingo. Ten numbers are marked off for each team at the start of the game. A team that guesses a word correctly proceeds to draw two balls. The numbers that correspond are marked off. If a team has marked five numbers in a row, in a column, or diagonally, it is a Lingo, and 50 points are awarded. Then, a new Lingo card is assigned and the other team starts on a puzzle. However, if a team draws a red ball, control is passed to the other team for the next puzzle.

The second round

After time runs out for the first round, the second round begins. In round two, point values are doubled, meaning a correct guess is worth 50 points, and a Lingo 100. Also, "question mark" balls are added, and they can represent a number of the team's choice. After the second round is over, the team with the most points advances to the endgame.

Bonus Lingo

In Bonus Lingo, the contestants try to guess as many words as possible within two minutes. For each correct guess, the team gets a chance to pull out a ball at the end of the round.

In the first season, thirteen numbers were marked off the card, and a Lingo would mean that the team would win a prize package that was comprised of a digital camera, a bookstore gift card, a watch, and a pocket PC. Win or lose, the team won $100 for each ball.

The bonus round for the second and third seasons was different. The teams could now use bonus letters. They had one for winning the game and one for each Lingo attained during the game. Also, the draw was changed. Twelve numbers were marked off in such a way that one number, if drawn, could provide an instant Lingo. If that ball was pulled on the first try, the team won $5,000 and a trip to Jamaica, which was replaced in the third season with a casino vacation. If the team reached Lingo in more than one pull, the prize was $5,000. If there was no Lingo, $100 per ball was awarded.