the 64,000 dollar question

the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question

A question that is very important and difficult or complex 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 64,000 dollar question

If a question is the 64,000 dollar question, it is very important but very difficult to answer. Why should I, young, healthy and female, suddenly lose my hair? The sixty-four thousand dollar question remained unanswered. Note: Other large sums of money are sometimes used instead of 64,000 dollar. They asked the million-dollar question: `So what makes a good marriage?' The billion-dollar question is: how much are those benefits worth? Note: In the United States in the 1940s, there was a radio quiz show called `Take It or Leave It'. Contestants had to answer questions for prizes ranging from two dollars for an easy question to $64 for the hardest. A similar television quiz show in the 1950s increased the prize to $64,000 dollars.
See also: dollar, question
References in periodicals archive ?
So the 64,000 dollar question is why hasn't Youssouf Mulumbu managed to get himself a new club?
"That is the 64,000 dollar question - how far will he get?
Having explained its origins the 64,000 dollar question (another old adage) is does it actually hold any water?
Whether the same will be the case for Wales is the 64,000 dollar question.
Lennon has certainly played an integral part in boosting Celtic's bank balance but the 64,000 dollar question is how much of that will he see for squad rebuilding?
They clearly didn't want to answer the 64,000 dollar question - why sign a contestant they knew had mental health issues?
"That's the 64,000 dollar question. Why has Stewart Downing failed to settle down at Liverpool?
So the 64,000 dollar question with this all-singing, all-dancing production of Cinderella is ...
When I asked Hughton the 64,000 dollar question on what United's best chance on Sunday is he wasted no time in replying: "We will have to stifle their play.
However, the 64,000 dollar question at Newcastle United now is what should happen to Sir Bobby Robson?
The 64,000 dollar question is whether we can stop them.
``We can score goals but the 64,000 dollar question is can we stop them?It is the biggest test my young defenders have ever had.
That race was over two miles and the 64,000 dollar question is will he stay the extra half-mile at Ascot?
The 64,000 dollar question is have last year's top juveniles matured into potential Classic material?