The Lightning Round is the bonus round on Password. The celebrity gives the contestant clues for five passwords. Each correct password nets the contestant $50, for a maximum of $250. If a celebrity is having difficulty with a password, he or she can pass. However, the passed word cannot be gotten. Should the celebrity inadvertently say the password, the contestant still gets the $50. The Lightning Round lasts for a minute. A bell sounds when the clock runs out or when the contestant gets the last password.
In the ABC version, after the main Lightning Round, the winning contestant can bet any or all of his/her winnings on one more password called the "betting word" in which the contestant now gave clues to the celebrity partner for the next 15 seconds. Later in the ABC run, the value per word was upped to $100 for a possible total of $500 and with the betting word, the possible grand total is $1000.
Big Money Lightning Round
In 1975 after the show reverted back to having contestants, a new and richer Lightning Round was played. The Big Money Lightning Round was now a three-level game. On each level, the celebrity had 30 seconds to get his/her partner to say three passwords. On the first two levels, each password guessed was worth money, and getting all three won extra money for every second leftover. The contestant must guess at least one password to go to the next level, and not getting any passwords right ended the round automatically.
- Level 1 - Each word was worth $25. Getting all three earned $75 plus an additional $5 per second leftover.
- Level 2 - Each word was worth the total amount of money won on the first level. Getting all three earned an additional $10 per leftover second.
- Level 3 - The celebrity had another 30 seconds to get his/her partner to say the final three passwords. If the contestant did get all three he/she won ten times the cash won from both levels, but not getting all three still kept the money won from both levels.
After the Big Money Lightning Round, the winning contestant along with the contestant he/she defeated in the main game played another elimination round with two new challengers.