Exclusive: 'Monopoly Millionaires' Club' Won't Pass Go to Season 3

Scientific Games’ weekly game show, Monopoly Millionaires’ Club, will end its run after this season, confirms a spokesman for the program. The show’s last weekend on the air will be April 30 - May 1.

TV station groups carrying the show received a letter on Tuesday informing them of the news. As early as NATPE in Miami last month, the show’s representatives, which include former NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution president Barry Wallach, were shopping the idea of turning the show into a daily strip.

The core problem appears to be that Scientific Games’ multi-state lottery, with which the show is coupled, ultimately didn’t work, being overshadowed by games that offer huge, compounding payouts, such as Powerball and Mega Millions. Just last month, the Powerball pool grew to $1.6 billion, which ended up being won by holders of three tickets, one of which remains unclaimed for a total of $528 million. 

Monopoly Millionaires’ Club was an instant-win game, with players checking to see if they won by scratching a ticket. That sort of game doesn’t offer a compounding pot, making it less attractive to lottery players. As a result, several states have declined to continue offering the lottery, making continuing the game, and thus the TV show, economically unsustainable. 

Monopoly Millionaires’ Club is hosted by Mike & Molly’s Billy Gardell, and was shot in Las Vegas on a lavish stage. People who played the lottery were entered into a drawing to win a five-night trip for two to Las Vegas, where they sat in the show’s studio audience with a chance to get on stage and play the game with the possibility of winning $1 million.

Over the course of the show’s two years on the air, the show minted more millionaires in a shorter period of time than any other game show in history, according to the show’s spokesman.

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.