the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question

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the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question

A question that is very important and/or difficult to answer. Taken from the title of the 1950s television game show based on the earlier radio program Take It or Leave It, which popularized the phrase "the sixty-four-dollar question." The sixty-four-thousand-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-thousand-dollar question, isn't it?"
See also: question

the sixty-four thousand dollar question

something that is not known and on which a great deal depends.
This expression dates from the 1940s and was originally the sixty-four dollar question , from a question posed for the top prize in a broadcast quiz show.
1996 Independent Will conversion make the society a better business? That is the $64,000 question.

the sixty-four thousand dollar ˈquestion

(also the million dollar ˈquestion) a very important question which is difficult or impossible to answer: The sixty-four thousand dollar question for modern astronomy is ‘Is there life elsewhere in the universe?’This phrase originated in the 1940s as ‘the sixty-four dollar question’. It came from a popular US radio quiz programme at the time on which the top prize was $64.
References in periodicals archive ?
How much control do we have over suicide is the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question.