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Rules & Strategies

NOTE: The following is based on my particular game with all adjustments set to factory defaults. Results may vary.

NOTE: As of 2017 this page is under construction. I hate to say it, but years often pass before I to get around to writing rules and filling in all the blanks. What I have so far is a rough draft with a lot of missing details and grammar and spelling errors.

Skill Shot: Millionaire's skill shot might be the coolest feature of the game. It starts with a break away shooter lane having an oscillating exit flap (called the "Moving Ball Guide"). The trajectory of a ball launch depends both on plunger finesse and the position of the exit flap. The object is to shoot the ball across the playfield and up a narrow passage leading to the three "Gold Bar" targets at the upper left corner of the playfield.

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An overview of the break away shooter lane (follow the black line on the playfield).

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The motor and cam arrangement acting on the shooter lane exit flap.

The three Gold Bar targets include two in-line drops targets followed by a lone stationary target. It was Bally who actually held the patent on the in-line drop target bank. Millionaire's "in-line" drop targets are just two individual single drop target mechanisms placed one behind the other. Hitting the first drop target scores 5,000 points and advances the bonus multiplier to 2x. Hitting the second drop target scores 5,000 points and advances the bonus multiplier to 3x. Hitting the stationary target scores 5,000 points and advances the bonus multiplier to 5x. Subsequent shots to the stationary target score 50,000 points. The targets and bonus multipliers reset at the beginning of each ball. The Gold Bar targets advance the bonus multipliers only, not the bonus itself.

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The Gold Bar bonus multiplier targets.

Hitting a Gold Bar target also momentarily opens the right outlane gate which leads back to the shooter lane. This is a great risk/reward feature because launched balls often roll back down across the playfield toward the right outlane. If you screw up the skill shot, the gate won't open and your ball may be immediately lost. But if you hit a target, the gate opens and you may get another consecutive shot at the next target. The targets reset at the beginning of each ball in play. So hitting all the targets requires getting the ball in play back to the shooter lane via the outlane gate or locking the ball in play so as to serve up a second ball. The targets may also be hit from the upper right flipper, but this requires pretty good reflexes. I'm more likely to flip the ball directly down the left outlane.

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Right outlane gate open to the shooter lane.

Multiball: Millionaire features 2-ball multiball which is mainly what this game is all about. The rules are simple, but the locks are mechanically interesting. Balls shot around the right orbit land in the left lock at the bottom of a wire ramp which air-launches the ball back toward the player. Balls shot up the left plastic ramp are kicked through a habitrail across the back of the playfield and land in the right lock which is in a small horseshoe passage next to the right orbit. It adds an element of confusion as balls shot to the right are locked toward the left and vice versa. Landing in the left lock scores 10,000 points. Landing in the right lock scores 15,000 points. There's a 10 point roll-under switch at the left plastic ramp entrance. There are also two 10 point rollover switches around the right orbit. There is no bonus advance for locking balls.

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An overview of the upper playfield ball lock arrangement.

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Balls shot up the left ramp are locked on the right side of the playfield.

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Balls shot up the right orbit are locked toward the left side of the playfield.

There is no prerequisite for multiball. Balls may be locked at any time. After the second ball is locked, both balls are ejected and the object is to re-lock both balls as many times as possible. Re-locking awards a progressive payoff. The payoffs are Emerald (100,000-500,000 points), Ruby (250,000-1,00,000 points), Diamond (500,000-2,000,000 points) and Hotshot (500,000 points). Note that each payoff has a range. "The payoff range advances 5,000 points after the player actuates the bonus collect". Not sure what that means. Players may steal each other's locked balls.

Jet Bumpers: There are three Jet Bumpers in the upper playfield area arranged in the usual configuration. They are always lit, score 1,000 points.

B-A-N-K, Silver/Gold & Cash Held Stationary Targets: The BANK targets are in the upper-middle area of the playfield facing the Jet Bumpers. The Silver/Gold target is in the upper-right area of the playfield directly in front of the lower Jet Bumper. The Cash Held (bonus holdover) target is on the right side of the playfield above the right flipper. Each unlit BANK target scores 5,000 points and one bonus advance. Each lit target scores 1,000 points and no bonus advance. Completing the all the BANK targets scores an additional 10,000 points, opens the right outlane gate for 5 seconds and lites the silver target. Hitting the lit Silver Target scores 10,000 points, no bonus advance and resets the BANK targets. Completing the BANK targets again lites the Gold Target. Hitting the lit Gold Target scores 10,000 points, no bonus advance and lites the Cash Held target. Hitting an unlit Silver/Gold target scores 1,000 points and no bonus advance. Hitting the lit or unlit Cash Held target always scores 1,000 points and one bonus advance. Hitting the Cash Held target when lit scores an additional 10,000 points and earns a bonus holdover. Hitting the lit Gold target and completing the MONEY targets lites Earn Again (extra ball). Shooting the right orbit awards Earn Again. Actually there are two 10 point rollover switches along the right orbit path. Only the first rollover switch need be hit to earn the extra ball.

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An upper playfield view showing the right ball lock orbit, the Jet Bumpers, the BANKK targets and the Silver/Gold Target. The right orbit is also shot to collect an extra ball when lit.

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The Cash Held target on the middle-right side of the playfield.

M-O-N-E-Y Stationary Targets:The MONEY targets are on the middle left side of the playfield, split by the Gold Bar skill shop passage and the right ball lock plastic ramp. Each unlit MONEY target scores 5,000 points and one bonus advance. Each lit target scores 1,000 points and no bonus advance. Completing the targets scores an additional 50,000 points and opens the left outlane gate for 5 seconds. Completing the MONEY targets and hitting the Gold Target lites Earn Again (extra ball). Shooting the right orbit awards Earn Again. Actually there are two 10 point rollover switches along the right orbit path. Only the first rollover switch need be hit to earn the extra ball.

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The MONEY targets on the middle-left side of the playfield.

Wheel of Riches & Eject Holes: The Wheel of Riches feature is activated by landing a ball in one of two lit eject holes. There's one eject hole on each side of the playfield. Both eject holes are lit at the beginning of each ball. Once used, they can be temporarily lit again if the ball passes through an opposing inlane. Landing in a lit eject hole scores ______ points, ???bonus??? and spins the wheel. The ball is held until the wheel is spun and any prize is awarded. Landing in an unlit eject hole scores _____ points ???bonus???.

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The left-side spin when lit eject hole.

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The right-side spin when lit eject hole.

System-11 prize wheels are typically driven by a stepper motor (Cyclone, Jokerz or Bad Cats, for example). The awards are not really random because the computer may deliberately stop the prize wheel on any given award based on preprogrammed game adjustments. Millionaire is different. The prize wheel is a mini-roulette wheel with a physical ball and the game has no control over where the ball lands. Nevertheless, the game does exert some control over the more lucrative prizes as noted below. The wheel has 12 prize positions. Starting from the one o'clock position and moving clockwise, the awards are:

10,000 points
5,000 points and Multiball
5,000 points and Extra Ball when flashing
20,000 points
30,000 points
5,000 points and Special when flashing
40,000 points
5,000 points and Multiball
5,000 points and Extra Ball
50,000 points
100,000 points
5,000 points and Special when flashing

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Wheel of Riches in the lower-center of the playfield.

The point awards are both random and underwhelming. ???bonus??? There's a one in six chance of earning multiball. Multiball rules are the same as those explained above except both balls need not be locked. If one ball has been locked then both balls are already on the playfield. Both are ejected and multiball play begins. If no balls have been locked then the second ball is served to the shooter lane. The first ball is ejected when the second ball is shot into play and multiball play begins.

There's a one in six chance of getting an extra ball if both extra ball lamps are flashing. But there may only be one or no flashing lamps depending on game adjustments (39-44). Moreover, the adjustments may be set to dynamically adjust themselves depending on the number of extra balls awarded during recent games. Likewise, there's a one in six chance of getting a special if both special lamps are flashing. But there may only be one or no flashing lamps depending on game adjustments (39-44). Moreover, the adjustments may be set to dynamically adjust themselves depending on the number of specials awarded during recent games.

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MILLIONAIRE and bonus lamps in the center of the playfield.

Slingshots: The slingshots are of the usual configuration and score 10 points. There's one other 10 point rebound switch across from the jet bumpers by the right orbit entrance.

Inlanes: The inlanes are of the usual configuration and score 5,000 points.

Outlanes: The outlanes are of the usual configuration and score 20,000 points and 3 bonus advances. Each outlane also includes a gate. The left gate diverts to the left inlane and is opened via the MONEY targets as noted above. The right gate diverts to the shooter lane and is opened via a successful skill shot as noted above or by way of the BANK targets as noted above. Note that the left outlane gate is below the outlane switch. If the gate is open the switch still scores 20,000 points, but only one bonus advance. The right outlane gate is above the right outlane switch such that the ball is returned to the shooter lane ???without scoring any points or bonus advances???.

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The lower playfield.

Flippers: There are a pair of conventionally arranged flippers at the bottom of the playfield. There's also a upper right flipper below the right eject hole. I find this flipper of limited use. It's possible to get off a multiplier shot toward the drop targets or to hit one of the MONEY targets. But my reflexes aren't so great and I'm more likely to flip the ball down the left outlane.

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The upper right flipper.

Extra Balls: An extra ball award is called Earn Again. Earn Again is awarded by way of the Gold and MONEY targets as noted above or by way of the Wheel of Riches as noted above.

End of Ball Bonus: .

Specials: .

Millionaire Vocabulary:
(M) = Male Voice; (F) = Female Voice:

"Well done darling"(F) - Ball Lock
"Oh what gorgeous emeralds"(F) - Start Multiball
"Darling I love rubies"(F) - Re-lock during Multiball
"Diamonds are a girl's best friend"(F) - 2nd re-lock during Multiball
"Go for it"(F) - 3nd re-lock during Multiball
"How about a spin"(F) - Lite kickout saucer for spin
"I love millionaires"(F) - 1 million points scored; part 1
"Really?"(M) - 1 million points scored; part 2
"Really?"(M) - Occasional response to female comment
"Break the bank"(M) - Hit lit silver target
"Big money"(M) - Complete MONEY targets
"Millionaire"(M) - Complete millionaire lights
"Get a job"(M) - Drain with poor score
"I love millionaires"(F) - Random Attract
"How about a spin"(F) - Random attract
"Darling I love rubies"(F) - Random attract
"Diamonds are a girl's best friend"(F) - Random attract
"Break the bank"(M) - Random attract
"Millionaire"(M) - Random attract
"Get a job"(M) - Random attract
Telephone ring** - Random attract

**Occasionally the game will produce the sound of an old-time telephone ring. This is a rare attract sound and is otherwise not produced during game play. It's a neat attention getter now in our contemporary world of modern ring tones.