the sixty-four-dollar question

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the sixty-four-dollar question

A question that is very important and difficult or complex to answer. Taken from the title of the 1940s radio program Take It or Leave It, in which the big prize was 64 silver dollars. The sixty-four-dollar question now is whether he should choose his former opponent as a running mate. A: "Do you want to get Italian or Chinese tonight?" B: "Well, that's the sixty-four-dollar question, isn't it?"
See also: question
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

sixty-four-dollar question

Fig. the most important question; the question that everyone wants to know the answer to. Who will win? Now, that is the sixty-four-dollar question. Now for the sixty-four-dollar question. What's the stock market going to do this year?
See also: question
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

the sixty-four-dollar question

n. the most important question; the question that everyone wants to know the answer to. When? Now, that is the sixty-four-dollar question.
See also: question
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

$64 question

The essential or ultimate question. One of the most popular radio quiz shows during the 1940s was Take It or Leave It in which contestants strived to answer question after question until they reached the top prize of sixty-four silver dollars. The questions increased in difficulty, and at any point contestants could choose to stop and keep the amount of money they had won to that point. The phrase “$64 dollar question” became a catchword to the point that it became the program's name, and people applied the phrase to any very important question or matter. Even more popular was the 1950s television spinoff, The $64,000 Question, with the phrase, now adjusted to inflation, catching on in popular speech, but not to the extent that its antecedent did.
See also: question
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
In the end, everything will eventually wind its way back to the 64-dollar question: how have the parents of all generations raised their children?
But asked again if he thinks his colleagues would agree to it considering the public outrage over the alleged misuse of public funds, the senator said: "You know that's a 64-dollar question. I can't read their minds.
When asked why he felt the need to shoot him a second time, he said: "That is a 64-dollar question.
"It's always a 64-dollar question. Is ski season going to start before Thanksgiving?