sixty-four-thousand-dollar question, the

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

sixty-four-thousand-dollar question, the

The hardest question of all; the crucial question. This term comes from the name of a popular television quiz show of the 1950s in which $64,000 was the top prize. It in turn may have been an inflation of the earlier sixty-four dollar question, named for the top prize on a CBS radio quiz show Take It or Leave It, which ran throughout the 1940s. This cliché may soon join its forerunner in obsolescence.