Winning big on the TV game shows of yesteryear usually meant a lifetime supply of something mundane, or a gaudy set of living room furniture (and maybe the occasional scandal). During the Golden Age of TV, there was one impressive six-figure winner and then another in the '80s. But now, shows are cranking out instant millionaires (not to mention a game show millionaire culture). Come on down and see who's struck game gold.

Roger Craig

Craig is our most recent record-setter. He may not have hit the million mark, but on an episode that aired Sept. 14, this grad student became the biggest one-day winner in the history of the show, beating out a $75,000 winner from the past.He wrote down the correct response and won the Final Jeopardy bet. How much did he win over a seven-day period?

John Carpenter

In 2000, Carpenter (not this award-winning legend) went from a loathsome profession to becoming the show's first millionaire. He gave the winning answer to this question. After the win, he appeared on morning and late-night TV, shared a privilege enjoyed by the likes of Brad Pitt and Barack Obama and co-wrote a book. He reappeared on the show in 2009.

Kevin Olmstead

Olmstead is the show's biggest winner to date. He answered the final question about a Russian inventor. How much did he win? The tree-hugger went on to help students become winners, too.

Ken Jennings

The former thorn in Alex Trebek's side had the show's longest winning streak. (Meet the contestant who broke it.) He earned more than this much from the show, thanks to a one-time comeback.
And when he was done with that show, he won on another (how much did he win?). Jennings watched the show growing up on the other side of the world and honed his skills on a college quiz bowl team. Now, you can try to beat the author at his own game.

Brad Rutter

Rutter won not only cash and titles from the show, but matching wheels as well. The Lancaster, Pa., college dropout is no stranger to quiz shows, and before hitting the jackpot, he earned cash dealing with a different kind of record.

Ed Toutant

Hailing from this capital city, Toutant is no stranger to keeping it weird. Indeed, his path to winning a ton of dough was a strange one. Toutant, who'd visited the trivia world before, got cut from the show halfway through. But after quibbling over his answer about the oddest subject ever, Toutant was invited back in an unprecedented move and ultimately won big.

Adam Rose

Rose was the first to hit it big when the daytime show switched things up a bit in 2008. And he didn't just win cash -- he sailed away with a car and gadgets, too (no wonder he's making this face).
The California teacher later graced the same stage as Janet Jackson and got some media mogul love. He then put his winnings to super-duper good use.

Jessica Robinson

The pregnant Utah contestant with the toughest job in the world locked on to suitcase No. 4 for sentimental reasons. Robinson's strategy worked, and in 2008, she became the show's first M$M winner. She told the press she could now afford to get her kids store-bought toys, instead of going to her usual haunts.

George Smoot

With honors this prestigious -- not to mention this -- we'd be afraid of any 10-year-old who is smarter than Smoot. He wasn't the first to win this grand prize.Despite being a genius, he seemed shaken by the final question.

Michelle Lowenstein

No other person in the history of this game guru's show had landed on the million-dollar spot before this petal-pushing Jersey woman came along. How much did she win?Check out the shower of confetti and hugs. Despite the big winnings, Lowenstein and her husband had a rather tame dream purchase in mind.

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