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Author Topic: Detroit - Bowling For Dollars Show  (Read 3064 times)


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Detroit - Bowling For Dollars Show
« on: June 01, 2013, 06:24:04 PM »
Surprised that no one from Detroit has posted anything about this yet.  Apparently they are reviving the old Bowling For Dollars show again at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park.  I vaguely recall that show, but I may be getting confused with the old Chuck Walby show, Beat The Champ, that was taped at Thunderbird lanes in Troy.


   Pastor Steven Thrasher was in the hot seat  today as the first bowler to go before the cameras for the new version of the Detroit 1970s TV classic “Bowling for Dollars.”
His son had phoned with two words of advice: Don’t choke. “Yes, I’m afraid I’m going to make a fool of myself,” said the minister of Ten Mile Free Will Baptist Church in Madison Heights.
Not to worry. Thrasher wowed the audience with two strikes in a row.
Today’s taping was a blessing of sorts for more than 100 people who gathered at Allen Park’s Thunderbowl Lanes, the original home of “Bowling for Dollars,” to watch the taping for a special that will air at 7 p.m. June 16 on WADL-TV (Channel 38).
A ratings monster in the  ’70s, “Bowling for Dollars” episodes sometimes pulled in half of Detroit’s TV sets, according to original host Bob Allison, who was back at his old job today.
“We had a Super Bowl every night,” said Allison, 80, of the successful show, which let contestants compete for money and prizes, such as  dinners for two.
WADL plans to bring back the show on the weekends, starting in September,  said producer Gary May, who warmed up the crowd with jokes and led them in practice applause.
But no coaching was really necessary. The enthusiastic crowd included many baby boomers who grew up watching the show and some former “Bowling for Dollars” contestants.
Also present were local bowling luminaries including  former pro bowlers Aleta Sill and Michelle Mullen, whose Bowl 4 Animal Rescue will receive the money earned by contestants at today’s taping.
“This is still the bowling capital of the world,” said Mark Martin, association manager of the Metro Detroit USBC (United States Bowling Congress) Association, who attended the taping. He cited the 50,000 USBC members and nearly 100 bowling centers in the tri-county area.
Richard Banks, who’s on the metro Detroit group’s board of directors, recalled competing on “Bowling for Dollars” in the ’70s. “The person in front of me won the jackpot,” he said. “I want to believe I still won a dinner for two.”
Allison said details are still being worked out to secure his return in September as a permanent host.
The Detroit TV and radio icon, who still hosts the venerable “Ask Your Neighbor” show  9-11 a.m. weekdays on WNZK-AM (690), credits the contestants with being the key to the popularity of “Bowling for Dollars.”
In the pre-reality TV age, it was a taste of stardom for one night. Said Allison,“On any given night, you were likely to see someone you knew.”
Half a century of bowling and still learning.

ABC/USBC Lifetime Member since Aug 1995.
Visionary Test Staff Member since May 2001,
           Lifetime membership since 2013.



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Re: Detroit - Bowling For Dollars Show
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2013, 09:00:01 PM »
We had something similar in toledo..the 13th frame that was popular for years but was dropped a few years ago.i had asked the sports director why they didn't put youth bowlers in the program to build viewership,but his bosses weren't hip to the's a shame this town has lost so many bowlers and centers in the last 20 years!
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Re: Detroit - Bowling For Dollars Show
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2013, 09:47:01 PM »
Heard about it recently but I am too young to remember the original show. I have heard of it and have some knowledge but wasn't old enough to be a fan of it.

Hopefully it takes off. I know the folks down there pretty good and Thunderbowl could use some help so it doesn't meet the fate of other large centers. Hard to keep the house full when you have 100 lanes.


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Re: Detroit - Bowling For Dollars Show
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2013, 09:17:25 AM »
We also had Bowling for Dollars in the Dallas -Fort Worth area back in late 70's starring Vern Lindquist who work college football games now.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2013, 09:24:38 AM by scrub49 »