General Questions

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When and in what order did the pricing games debut?

In the following list, episodes that were aired out of order are shown with the date they should have aired on.

  1. Any Number -- September 4, 1972; first game
  2. Bonus Game -- September 4, 1972; second game
  3. Double Prices -- September 4, 1972; third game
  4. Grocery Game -- September 5, 1972; first game
  5. Bullseye ('72) -- September 5, 1972; second game
  6. Clock Game -- September 11, 1972
  7. Double Bullseye -- September 19, 1972
  8. Five Price Tags -- September 26, 1972
  9. Most Expen$ive -- October 16, 1972
  10. Money Game -- December 25, 1972
  11. Give or Keep -- December 27, 1972
  12. Range Game -- April 3, 1973
  13. Hi Lo -- April 9, 1973
  14. Double Digits -- April 20, 1973
  15. Lucky $even -- August 28, 1973
  16. Temptation -- September 7, 1973
  17. Mystery Price -- September 26, 1973
  18. Shell Game -- June 17, 1974
  19. Card Game -- July 4 or 5 (but probably 4), 1974
  20. Race Game -- August 14, 1974
  21. Ten Chances -- July 15, 1975
  22. Golden Road -- August 19, 1975
  23. Poker Game -- September 9, 1975
  24. 1 Right Price -- September 11, 1975
  25. Danger Price -- January 8, 1976
  26. 3 Strikes -- February 12, 1976
  27. Hurdles -- February 19, 1976
  28. Cliff Hangers -- April 12, 1976
  29. Safe Crackers -- April 27, 1976
  30. Dice Game -- June 2, 1976
  31. Bullseye ('76) -- July 1, 1976
  32. Switcheroo -- October 22, 1976
  33. Hole in One -- May 9, 1977
  34. Squeeze Play -- September 13, 1977
  35. Secret "X" -- September 14, 1977
  36. Professor Price -- November 14, 1977
  37. Finish Line -- February 21, 1978
  38. Take Two -- June 23, 1978
  39. Shower Game -- September 4, 1978; third game
  40. It's Optional -- September 4, 1978; fifth game
  41. Punch a Bunch -- September 27, 1978
  42. Telephone Game -- November 1, 1978
  43. Penny Ante -- January 25, 1979
  44. Barker's Bargain Bar -- April 22, 1980
  45. Trader Bob -- April 29, 1980
  46. Grand Game -- May 16, 1980
  47. Now....and Then -- September 17, 1980
  48. Hit Me -- November 7, 1980
  49. Super Ball!! -- February 3, 1981
  50. Blank Check -- October 14, 1981
  51. Check-Out -- January 28, 1982
  52. Pick-a-Pair -- April 12, 1982
  53. Plinko -- January 3, 1983
  54. Master Key -- March 25, 1983
  55. The Phone Home Game -- September 12, 1983
  56. Walk of Fame -- November 4, 1983
  57. Balance Game ('84) -- April 9, 1984
  58. On the Nose -- September 14, 1984
  59. One Away -- December 4, 1984
  60. Bump -- September 13, 1985
  61. Add 'em Up -- September 11, 1986
  62. Pathfinder -- April 7, 1987
  63. Credit Card -- December 7, 1987
  64. Spelling Bee -- September 15, 1988
  65. $uper $aver -- May 10, 1989
  66. Make Your Move -- September 11, 1989
  67. 2 for the Price of 1 -- December 12, 1989
  68. Gallery Game -- September 10, 1990
  69. Swap Meet -- September 9, 1991
  70. Pick-a-Number -- January 31, 1992
  71. Switch? -- February 27, 1992
  72. Buy or Sell -- March 27, 1992
  73. Magic # -- September 14, 1992
  74. Cover Up -- September 13, 1993
  75. Joker -- February 14, 1994
  76. Side by Side -- May 10, 1994
  77. Barker's Marker$ -- September 12, 1994
  78. Freeze Frame -- February 22, 1995
  79. Split Decision -- November 9, 1995
  80. Shopping Spree -- January 17, 1996
  81. Eazy az 1 2 3 -- April 25, 1996
  82. It's in the Bag -- September 26, 1997
  83. Fortune Hunter -- November 21, 1997
  84. Line em Up -- March 10, 1998
  85. Clearance Sale -- September 21, 1998
  86. One Wrøng Price -- October 23, 1998
  87. Push Over -- March 3, 1999
  88. Let 'em Roll -- September 20, 1999
  89. Flip Flop -- February 25, 2000
  90. Triple Play -- October 2, 2000
  91. That's Too Much! -- April 19, 2001
  92. Bonkers -- September 24, 2001
  93. Pass the Buck -- October 4, 2001
  94. Step Up -- February 7, 2002
  95. On the Spot -- January 27, 2003
  96. Time I$ Møney -- September 22, 2003
  97. Coming or Going -- October 2, 2003
  98. 1/2 Off -- May 28, 2004
  99. Pocket ¢hange -- January 10, 2005
  100. Balance Game ('06) -- February 6, 2006
  101. Stack the Deck -- October 9, 2006
  102. More or Less -- February 16, 2007
  103. Gas Money -- September 22, 2008
  104. Rat Race -- June 16, 2010
  105. Pay the Rent -- September 20, 2010
  106. Double Cross -- June 8, 2012
  107. Do the Math -- September 23, 2013
  108. Vend-O-Price -- September 25, 2015
  109. Hot Seat -- September 23, 2016
  110. Gridlock! -- September 18, 2017
  111. Back to '72 -- September 20, 2021
  112. To the Penny -- September 24, 2021

Is the end of the show called the "Showcase Showdown?"

No. The term “Showcase Showdown” refers to the Big Wheel. The end of the show is simply called “The Showcase.”

How do they decide which contestant in the Showcase is the Top Winner?

The contestant who has won more in cash and prizes during the course of the show is the Top Winner; the one who has won less is the Runner-Up.

How do they decide which displays the first four contestants stand at?

The first four contestants can stand at any spot in Contestants’ Row as long as it hasn’t been taken already. They can line up in any order they want.

Has there ever been a tie in the Showcase?

Yes. It's happened one time, on episode #008N, the eighth episode of the '70s nighttime show. Each contestant won the showcase that she had bid on.

Has anyone ever bid perfectly on a showcase?

Yes. It's happened two times -- once on a daytime show from the first or second season before the Double Showcase rule was introduced, and again on the November 24, 2008 episode (which was aired out of order on December 16).

Many people who remember seeing the first perfect bid say that the winner’s podium displayed “00000” for his difference.

Is there some kind of bonus for bidding perfectly in the Showcase?

No. The contestant still wins both showcases for being within $250, but there’s no extra bonus specifically for a perfect bid.

What would happen if there was a tie in the Showcase with a difference of $250 or less?

There would be what I suppose would be called a “Double Double Showcase Win;” both contestants would win both showcases. Additionally, if such a thing were to occur on a Carey-era $1,000,000 Spectacular, both contestants would also win a million dollars.

How many perfect shows have there been over the years?


What's the most anyone has ever won on the show?

The biggest daytime win occurred on October 14, 2019, during Big Money Week, when a contestant won $262,743, including $202,000 cash in Plinko, a car in the Showcase, and a jackpot of $29,657 built up from whatever was awarded in any non-big money games that were won during the episode. However, since this show had several unorthodox aspects to it, I feel it is also worth mentioning the biggest winner on a show with only normal game play. This contestant, who is currently the daytime show's third-biggest winner, appeared on Season 42's New Year's Eve show, which was aired a day early on December 30, 2013; they won $170,345, consisting mostly of a $157,300 Audi and $10,000 in cash, both acquired in Gas Money.

The biggest primetime win occurred on MDS 17 on February 22, 2008, where a contestant won $1,153,908, including both showcases (which contained, among other things, a Ford Escape Hybrid 4x4 and a Cadillac XLR Convertible), a million dollars, and an additional $20,000 from Grand Game.

I was a contestant on TPIR x number of years ago. Can I be a contestant again?

For 35 years, the answer to this question was "no;" however, the rule was amended in November, 2007, so if your appearance on the show was at least 10 years ago, you are allowed to be a contestant again.

The person from the audience who spun the Big Wheel after the Showcase on $1,000,000 Spectacular 12 was exempt from the above restriction, as he was not officially counted as a contestant.

I was a contestant on TPIR less than 10 years ago. Can I still go to another taping just to watch the show?

Of course! Former contestants are always welcome back at the studio.

If the two Showcase Showdown winners have won exactly the same amount, how do they decide which one is the Top Winner in the Showcase?

As silly as this probably sounds, the contestants draw numbers out of a hat. They’ve actually had to do it a couple of times, too, which is the only reason we know the answer.

Similarly, if two contestants in a Showcase Showdown have won the same amount, a coin toss is used to decide which one spins the Big Wheel first.

How can I get tickets to the show?

To order tickets online to The Price Is Right, simply go to, scroll to the bottom of the page, and select "Get Tickets." Click on the link for the date you'd like to attend, and fill out the brief info form that appears on your screen. It's that easy!

To order tickets over the phone, call 855-44-PRICE for ticket information. Have ready the day you wish to go and the number of tickets you need. That's 855-44-PRICE, so come on down!

A word of warning: there are more tickets for each episode than there are seats in the studio. A ticket does not guarantee admission, so if you want to get in, GET THERE EARLY.

For decades, it was also possible (or even mandatory) to write to the show to request tickets, but this is no longer an option. However, as the ticket plug was a daily part of the show for many years, we leave it quoted here for posterity.

Again, please note that THIS NO LONGER WORKS:

"If you would like to see The Price Is Right in person, send your request, including the number of tickets and the date you wish to attend, along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope, to:

“The Price Is Right”
CBS Television City
7800 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA

Okay, Bob!"

What's it like to spend a day at the show?

One of our members who wishes to remain anonymous has written an excellent essay on the TPIR taping experience. You can read it here.

What does it mean to "win" a pricing game?

The show’s official defintion of “winning” is as follows: a car game is won if the car is won; a cash game is won if the big prize announced at the beginning of the game is won (this means that Plinko has never been won); any other game is won if all of the main prizes being played for are won.

However, there are many cases in which you can not win a game but not really lose it, either; for instance, winning $8,000 in It’s in the Bag, winning only one or two prizes in Race Game, or winning the 3-digit prize in Any Number. The show recognizes these as “partial wins;” just as Bob or Drew will not declare a perfect show if there are five wins and $41,000 given away in Plinko, they will not declare them skunked if there are five losses and $100 given away in Plinko. Also, because it seems so goofy to say that Plinko has never been won, a lot of people consider it a “win” if the center slot is hit at least once. For an episode to truly be “winless,” nothing can be won in any of the pricing games beyond small prizes (a la Cliff Hangers or Switcheroo), insignificant amounts of cash in certain games, and the first prize in Ten Chances. The next entry in this section gives a more detailed description of partial wins.

In addition to this, Super Ball!! and Walk of Fame sometimes blurred the above distinctions between types of games; they weren’t car games, but in each game, the final prize was a car sometimes. Under these circumstances, the games’ normal requirements prevailed, meaning that it was possible to win a car in your pricing game and still technically not win the game.

What constitutes a "partial win" in a pricing game?

In some pricing games, it is possible to neither completely win nor completely lose; these outcomes are termed "partial wins." These generally involve winning only some of the game's prizes and/or winning some amount of cash. It should be noted that small prizes never contribute to partial wins.

While every game has circumstances that qualify as full wins and full losses (Double Bullseye, notably, satisfied both of these conditions on every playing by its very nature), the only "partial win" situations are as follows:

  • Any Number: Win the 3-digit prize. (Winning the piggy bank is a loss.)
  • Double Prices: Win one of the two prizes on episodes (#003N), #004N, or #006N of the '70s nighttime show; partial wins are not possible in Double Prices on any other episodes.
  • Grocery Game: Receive the $100 bonus by running out of products without reaching $6.75; possible only on episodes #0012D and #0015D, as the bonus was dropped after the first week of tapings.
  • Clock Game: Win the first prize (or the first two prizes on three-prize nighttime playings).
  • Temptation: Take the gifts. (Technically, this only applies on hour shows, as Temptation was scheduled as a small prize game in the half-hour era.)
  • Race Game: Win one or two prizes.
  • Ten Chances: Win the first two prizes. (Winning only the first prize is considered a loss, since not winning it is impossible.)
  • Golden Road: Win the first or the first two prizes.
  • Cliff Hangers: For the day $250,000 cash was offered only, winning anywhere between $10,000 and $240,000. Cliff Hangers does not have partial wins under normal circumstances.
  • Hole in One: Win the cash bonus for ordering all six products correctly.
  • Punch a Bunch: Under the original format, win any "HUNDRED" or "THOUSAND" amount other than $10,000. Under the normal format, win any amount of cash between the lowest and highest values on the frequency chart; winning $50 (or $100 from Season 40 onward) is considered a loss, since doing worse requires not winning any punches.
  • Telephone Game: Win one of the first two prizes.
  • Grand Game: Win $10, $100, or $1,000 (or $20, $200, or $2,000 on Salutes and MDSs). Winning $1 is considered a loss, as it requires making a mistake right off the bat.
  • Super Ball!!: Win one or two prizes.
  • Plinko: Win any amount of money other than the top prize.
  • Master Key: Win one or both of the first two prizes.
  • The Phone Home Game: Win any amount of cash besides $15,000.
  • Walk of Fame: Win one, two, or three prizes.
  • On the Nose: Win the $1,000 bonus for guessing the price.
  • Spelling Bee: Quit with any amount of cash.
  • It's in the Bag: Quit the game at any point.
  • Let 'em Roll: Win any amount of cash higher than $500. $500 itself is considered a loss, as winning less than that is impossible.
  • Pass the Buck: Finish or quit with any amount of cash.
  • Step Up: Win two or three prizes.
  • Time I$ Møney: Win any amount of money under $20,000 under the current rules, or quit with the $500 voucher on the first two playings of the original format; partial wins were not possible under the normal version of the original rules.
  • 1/2 Off: Win one of the cash bonuses introduced during the Carey era. (1/2 Off did not have partial wins while Bob was hosting.)
  • More or Less: Win any of the prizes that come before the car.
  • Gas Money: Quit with any amount of cash.
  • Rat Race: Win one or both of the first two prizes.
  • Pay the Rent: Quit with $1,000, $5,000, or $10,000.
  • Hot Seat: Quit the game at any point.
  • To the Penny: Quit the game at any point.

Which pricing games are considered cash games?

Punch a Bunch, Grand Game, Plinko, The Phone Home Game, It’s in the Bag, Fortune Hunter, Time I$ Møney (except in Season 32), 1/2 Off, Pay the Rent, Hot Seat, and To the Penny.

I was watching the credits, and I saw the name "Adam Sandler." Is that the same guy from Happy Gilmore?

No. Price’s Adam Sandler is a different person; he currently serves as the director and one of the producers.

On Bob's $1,000,000 Spectaculars, why did the Big Wheel start on .05 in post-Showcase spins?

The show’s insurance policy for the $1,000,000 Spectaculars, which was written before the possibility of spinning after the Showcase was added, stated that the Big Wheel had to go at least 21 spaces for the million dollars to be awarded; as a result, when the post-Showcase spins were instituted, they couldn’t start the wheel on the dollar, even though it looks like doing so would make more sense. It had nothing to do with the wheel’s green sections; in fact, there was no $5,000 bonus awarded for landing on them after the Showcase.

Note that nothing in this answer affected the Showcase Showdowns, which worked just like they did on the daytime show (with the exception of the increased bonus, of course).

When a local station pre-empts CBS Daytime, why do they reschedule the soap operas but not Price?

The soap operas have complex storylines that, at least in theory, you have to watch every episode in order to follow. In contrast, each episode of Price is self-contained; one could argue that you must see an episode to predict which games will be played later in the week, but most people simply don’t pay attention to things like that. On top of that, stations generally get a lot more calls from complaining viewers when they pre-empt a soap opera than they do when they pre-empt Price (with the notable exception of cutting off the end of the Showcase).

In short, rescheduling the soaps is just seen as more important than rescheduling Price.

Was the show taken over by a new company during Season 30?

Not really. What actually happened was that Pearson decided to get out of the TV business and sold the Pearson Television division to FremantleMedia -– a company that had already partly owned the division, anyway. It’s still essentially under the same management.

When did Bob start his "spay or neuter" line at the end of the show?

He started saying it every so often sometime in the early ‘80s, around the time his wife died; she had been involved in animal rights, and he picked up her cause. I believe he started saying it on every episode in the early ‘90s.

What is the "replaced" game of Triple Play that people talk about occasionally?

On the October 28, 2003 episode (which also reran on December 30, 2003), the first game of the day was supposed to be Triple Play; in fact, the game was played, and the contestant playing it lost on the first car. However, during the taping stopdown while the crew was setting up for the next act, it was discovered that Bob had misheard a bid in Contestants’ Row, causing the wrong person to end up onstage. After discussing the situation and what to do about it for nearly an hour, it was decided to redo the entire first act of the show, using a different One-Bid prize and playing Money Game for Triple Play’s second car.

On the version of the episode that aired, the only part of the original first act that survived was the opening; everything after Bob pointing to the Item up for Bids was from the reshoot.

When was the perfect bid bonus in Contestants' Row instituted, and when did it change from $100 to $500?

The bonus was introduced sometime in the spring of 1977. It was increased to $500 on November 12, 1998. It was also upped to $500 in the later days of the Kennedy run.

Incidentally, on the $1,000,000 Spectaculars, the bonus is $1,000.

I saw a game on another site called "Do-It-Yourself." Why isn't it covered here?

Do-It-Yourself wasn’t a pricing game; it was a showcase. (Don’t feel bad –- it’s a common mistake.) It was used in late 1974 and early 1975. The showcase had three categories of prizes, each of which had three prizes in it. The contestant randomly chose a prize from each category, and those three prizes were then presented as the contestant’s showcase.

Do-It-Yourself wasn’t done very many times. Between needing to have nine prizes ready to go on display at a moment’s notice and having 27 different possible prices depending upon which prizes the contestant picked, there were just too many chances for something to go wrong.

What's the smallest Showcase overbid ever?

At least twice in the show’s history, on July 12, 1974, and October 19, 2004, a contestant has overbid on a showcase by only $1.

When was the Double Showcase rule instituted, and when was it changed?

The Double Showcase rule was introduced sometime in March or April of 1974. It was changed from “less than $100 away” to “$250 or less away” on the first show of Season 27, probably because no one had won both showcases during Season 26.

In games that use small prizes, which ones do the contestants win?

This varies from game to game:

  • In Bonus Game, Five Price Tags, 1/2 Off, Joker, Master Key, Pathfinder, Plinko, Punch a Bunch, Rat Race, Secret “X”, Shell Game, and Super Ball!!, you win any prizes or sets of prizes whose prices you make correct guesses on. Available evidence so far indicates that this is probably also the case in Hot Seat.
  • In Cliff Hangers, you win all three (or early on, four) items if you win; otherwise, you win all the ones you got past before the mountain climber went over the cliff. The same pattern holds true in Back to '72, although given that contestants' total winnings include the items' prices from 1972, it seems likely that they are awarded cash instead of the items.
  • In Double Digits and Switcheroo, you win any prizes whose prices are right at the end of the game.
  • In Finish Line and Give or Keep, you won the three prizes that you selected for the horse/”keep” column.
  • In Trader Bob, you won the last item to have its price revealed before the game ended; this was the final item in the sequence if you won and the first item you picked incorrectly if you lost. The base prize and the correct items in the first two pairs were impossible to win.
  • In Mystery Price, you won any items that you didn’t overbid on.
  • In On the Spot, you won any prizes that you correctly matched with a price. (This made certain items impossible to win on the game’s last two playings.)
  • In Spelling Bee, you win any prizes for which your bid was within $10 of the actual price; if you make a perfect bid on any of the prizes, you automatically win all three.
  • In the original Balance Game, you received all five items if you lost, presumably because you used all of them; based on this, I would guess that if you won the game, you received any items whose prices were revealed.
  • In Temptation, which is listed here for the sake of completion because it was regarded as a small prize game during the half-hour era, you won all the small prizes as long as you didn't go for the car and lose.

In games that use grocery products, do the contestants win any of the groceries?

With the exception of the first four playings of Grocery Game, in which the contestants were given supplies of all five products regardless of the game’s outcome, no. The groceries are just there for use in playing the games.

Contestants do win groceries that are successfully bid on in Rat Race, since for the purposes of that game, they are considered small prizes.

Why did The Price Is Right use only domestic cars from the early '90s through 2008?

After Desert Storm, Bob and the staff decided to stop using foreign cars as a show of patriotism.

I have an idea for a pricing game. How do I send it in?

Unfortunately, you don’t. For various legal reasons, Price can only accept game ideas from people who work for the show or its parent company, Fremantle.

What are Anvil Drop and The Incredible "T"?

Anvil Drop and The Incredible “T” are a couple of non-existent pricing games that appeared years ago in the dreams of our member Mallory16. Since that time, they’ve sort of taken on lives of their own as inside jokes. They have nothing to do with the show in any reality-based sense, but they’ve been brought up so many times on our forums that I feel they merit being explained here.

Anvil Drop was exactly the same as Double Prices, except that there was an anvil hanging over the contestant’s head. As described by Mallory, “if she picked the wrong price, the anvil would fall on her head, presumably killing her. Fortunately, she won.”

Mallory’s original description of The Incredible “T” went as follows: “There were four Ts. You had to pick two of them, and if you didn’t get electrocuted (which one of the Ts would do to you if you touched it), you won.”

The post that introduced these games is unfortunately lost to time, as the original incarnation of our forums was deleted over 20 years ago; however, it has certainly left a legacy worthy of being associated with The Price Is Right.

Why didn't Bob used a cordless microphone?

Because he liked the corded one.

Why did Bob sometimes enter the studio through the audience instead of the Big Doors?

Generally for one of two reasons -– either the day’s first game was Golden Road, which takes up the entire stage and would have been seen way too early with a Door #2 entrance (and usually was before audience entrances became a thing), or the first game was something that blocked Door #2 and was annoying to set up during the first One-Bid. The second reason was most associated with Plinko and 3 Strikes, but it also applied to other games, such as Bonkers, One Away, and Pocket ¢hange.

Contrary to somewhat popular belief, Triple Play didn't require an audience entrance, nor did it ever use one on the daytime show. The game’s set is contained entirely behind the Big Doors; as such, Bob was able to use his normal Door #2 entrance when it was played with no trouble whatsoever.

There were exceptions to these things -– $1,000,000 Spectaculars have done audience entrances simply because the staff thought they would look neat in primetime (this is one of the causes of the Triple Play misconception); Any Number had one on April 2, 1996, when its 3-digit prize was hidden behind the Giant Price Tag; and there’s a Season 28 show with an audience entrance for Credit Card for no apparent reason.

Drew generally does not do audience entrances -- they've only happened twice during his tenure, on the last Golden Road playing of Season 36 and as the result of a vote during a Socially Awesome Week. Otherwise, games that Bob would have entered through the audience for are now set up during the first Item up for Bids.

When did Bob's hair turn gray?

Thursday, October 15, 1987 (which was really the October 22 show -- several full weeks of episodes were aired out of order around that time). Coincidentally, the TPIR sign behind the left side of the audience made its first appearance the same day, as did the third design for the front of the Clam.

Has Bob or Drew ever entered from the Turntable at the top of the show?

Bob did it a single time -– September 14, 1988, on the third show of Season 17.

How many pricing games debut each year?

It varies. 16 games debuted during the show’s first season, and quite a few debuted in the fourth, sixth, and seventh seasons, after the hour conversion. Aside from that, there are generally 1-3 new games each year; Season 20 is the only year since the ‘70s to introduce four games, and no new games debuted in Seasons 25, 36, 41, 43, and 47-49 (although 43 did see the return of Time I$ Møney with a new format after a 10-year hiatus).

Do contestants actually win the amounts of change that they spin on the Big Wheel?

No. Those are only there for gameplay purposes. The only money that can be won in the Showcase Showdown are the bonuses of $1,000, $10,000, and $25,000.

Did the Double Showcase rule apply to the nighttime James/Barker or Kennedy versions of the show?

As far as is known, no.

When did the bonus spin and the green sections debut in the Showcase Showdowns?

Both features were added on December 12, 1978's show, although this was actually the second show to air with them -- the episode was pre-empted by a Special Report and not broadcast until two days later, so viewers actually saw their second episode first.

Why have several episodes since late Season 33 not had a small prize game?

Since almost none of the small prizes currently used on the show were provided by sponsors, Roger decided late in Season 33 that it was no longer necessary to play such a game in every single episode. He’s not actively excluding them...but if a lineup is taking shape in such a way that none of the small prize games can be fit in neatly, he’s no longer going to extra lengths to include one.

This principle was also briefly applied to grocery item games around January and February of Season 35, and has been again since sometime during Season 37.

How do they determine what order the contestants spin the Big Wheel in?

The contestants spin in order of how much they have won in cash and prizes thus far in the show, with the biggest winner in the half spinning last.

When did the major set change of 1975 occur?

The set’s “regular” color scheme first appeared on Tuesday, August 19, 1975. The last show with the brown set aired on Friday, August 15; the show that ran on Monday, August 18 was actually aired out of order, delayed from July 17.

Interestingly, the original yellow curtain was still behind the audience at this time and remained there at least through the end of the season. The red-blue-green-yellow curtains were in place by the second week of Season 4, though.

What order do the numbers appear in on the Big Wheel?

Starting and ending at the dollar, and going in the direction in which the wheel is spun:

100, 15, 80, 35, 60, 20, 40, 75, 55, 95, 50, 85, 30, 65, 10, 45, 70, 25, 90, 5, 100

The numbers also appeared in this order on the “Rainbow Wheel” used in the week of trial hour-long shows.

How do I read an episode's production number?

A daytime show’s production number consists of four digits followed by a letter (either D, K, or L). The way to read them is best explained through an example, so let’s look at the number from the episode on which Shower Game and It’s Optional debuted: #2931D. The first three digits in the number are a week counter; here, they indicate that this episode is part of the 293rd week of first-run episodes. A “week” can contain as many as five episodes or as few as just one; a one-day-long week is most likely to occur around Christmas or at the end of a season. The fourth digit is simply a code for a weekday – 1 = Monday, 2 = Tuesday, etc. “D” means “daytime;” “K” means “thousand;” and "L" is simply the next letter after K (which I admit sounds stupidly obvious but which really does describe its function here). K replaced D in the numbers in week 1,000 so that a fifth digit wouldn’t have to be added to the numbering system, and L will replace K in week 1,999 for the same reason. Since there is no week #000xK – the numbers go straight from #9995D to #0011K – the week indicated by any production number ending with K is actually one higher than it should be; for instance, “#3322K,” the production number of the Season 33 finale, is essentially shorthand for “#13312D” (although this is not meant to imply that the latter number is in any way official). Similarly, after #9993K (in a week with no Thursday or Friday shows), the next episode is #0011L, and the week indicator becomes two higher than it should be.

An interesting exception to this format is the show’s third episode; its production number is #0013D(R), with “R” presumably meaning “replacement.” It is in fact not the original third program; episode #0013D was discovered after it had finished taping to feature an ineligible contestant and was never aired. A similar thing happened early in Season 14 with episode #5811D, which was pulled from the schedule for reasons unknown, relabeled as #58XXD, and replaced with a new #5811D. A third oddity occurred near the end of Season 28, when a second episode #1513K was taped, with the original being shelved due to Contestants' Row getting shuffled around without anyone noticing and being redesignated as #1513X. There was also an episode thrown out early in the '70s nighttime run; its details are covered below in the paragraph on that series.

Also, during the first three seasons, the numbers appear to have been assigned to weeks of the year instead of weeks of new shows, as there are no episodes with the designations #042xD, #054xD, or #076xD. Week 42 – June 18-22, 1973 – and Week 54 – September 10-14, 1973 – were used to show episodes whose original airings were interrupted by coverage of Watergate; oddly, seven episodes from May and June of 1973 were redesignated at some point as #0415D through #0431D in CBS’s files, but the show’s own records retain their original production numbers. In Week 76 – February 11-15, 1974 – the show was pre-empted entirely due to a daily 90-minute special called CBS Daytime 90, a series of drama presentations intended to serve as pilots for potential series (none of which were ever picked up).

Additionally, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 briefly threw a wrench into this system. Because of the virus, taping for Season 48 had to be cut short after episode #9172K, nearly a month early; however, the season's last two shows, #9221K and #9222K, had already been taped and aired out of order during the winter. With no hope of resuming production before fall and no sensible way to renumber the episodes, these two shows essentially ended up functioning as week #918xK. The production codes then looped back around to an actual #9181K when Season 49 began and subsequently jumped from #9215K at the end of its fourth week to #9231K at the start of its sixth week.

The first five daytime shows taped, which comprise the first week minus the replacement episode, actually have two production numbers – the regular one, and a second one that corresponds to the taping order. Episodes 1, original 3, 4, 2, and 5 are labeled #0101-x, with x being 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively. The practice was discontinued after the first week, so there’s no way of knowing for certain what the next number in the sequence would have been.

The ‘72-’80 nighttime show’s production numbers were simply the three-digit week counter followed by “N,” for “nighttime.” For example, the sixth episode of this run is #006N. (Note that due to the syndication practices in use during the ‘70s, the episodes in this run were not necessarily aired in the right order in all markets.) The third episode of the run, relabeled as program #(003N), was thrown out and never aired due to a mistake during the Showcase that no one could figure out how to fix; a new #003N was taped to replace it at the end of the season.

The Kennedy version used a system nearly identical to that of the daytime show, only with "N" instead of "D," and with the letter first, with a space between it and the number (noteworthy only because none of the other codes are written with one). For instance, the Friday show of the 10th week is labeled #N 0105.

The Davidson version is believed to have used a system nearly identical to the '70s nighttime show, except with four digits instead of three. The shows are known not to have been broadcast in order, as the second episode aired has a production code of #0015N.

The Price Is Right Specials from 1986 are believed to have used three digits followed by the letter "P," presumably for "primetime." The shows are assumed to have aired in order on CBS, although this is not known for certain.

The 25th Anniversary Special is labeled #0001S, and the 30th Anniversary Special in Las Vegas is labeled #0001LV.

The Price Is Right Salutes, the $1,000,000 Spectaculars, A Celebration of Bob Barker's 50 Years in Television, the reality show specials from Season 44, The Price Is Right at Night, and The Price Is Right Celebrates 50 Years are considered a single series. They run on the same principle as the ‘70s nighttime show, with three digits followed by the letters “SP.” For instance, MDS 15 is #021SP. (This system was also briefly shaken up by the COVID-19 outbreak, with #040SP taping in Season 48 but production shutting down before #039SP could be recorded; the latter ended up being used for the first primetime show of Season 49.)

In which pricing games does knowing all of the prices NOT guarantee a win?

This list assumes that you know how to manipulate the prices in whatever way is necessary to play your game; for instance, it assumes that you can multiply and divide for Hit Me and that you know which hands beat which in Poker Game. It also assumes that you can move or talk quickly enough to make at least one guess in any timed game.

Card Game (prior to May 11, 2005), Double Bullseye (but only if you’re the second bidder), 1/2 Off, Hole in One, Joker, Let ‘em Roll, Master Key, On the Nose, Pass the Buck, The Phone Home Game, Plinko, Professor Price, Punch a Bunch, Rat Race, Secret “X”, Spelling Bee, Super Ball!!, and 3 Strikes.

Why do some grocery products and small prizes not have their brand names mentioned on the show?

When this happens, it means that the show just picked the item up at a local market or store and is not receiving any money from its manufacturer for displaying it. Since they’re not being paid for the appearances, they leave the brand name out of the prize copy in an attempt to give as little free advertising as possible.

Using non-sponsored items at all seems illogical at first glance, but in truth, it is necessary –- the show has been having trouble getting sponsors for years. The brand names were only cut from the non-sponsor plugs partway through Season 32, but even before then, it was generally possible to tell which products weren’t being paid for, as the prize copy the show writes for such items usually sounds very generic.

When a supply of a grocery product is awarded with an Item up for Bids, how large a supply does the winner receive?

Generally, the contestant wins $40 worth of the item. This should not be considered while bidding, as the grocery is not included in the price of the prize.

How did the Gameshow Marathon episode work?

On May 31, 2006, CBS premiered a series called Gameshow Marathon with an episode focused on The Price Is Right. The series featured celebrities playing game shows for charity (although it’s not clear exactly what the charities receieved), and the prizes won by the the winner of each episode (in Price’s case, the Showcase winner) were also chanced off to home viewers via a cell phone/internet contest. Ricki Lake hosted, as she did for all seven episodes of the series; Rich announced, and Shane, Rachel, and Lanisha served as the Beauties. Rich also announced the other six programs, and later episodes also featured Brandi, Rebecca, and Phire (as well as one-shot model Aly Sutton). The contestants were Paige Davis, Kathy Najimy, Tim Meadows, Lance Bass, Brande Roderick, and Leslie Nielsen.

The hour-long program opened with a retrospective on Price’s history, focusing on the Cullen and Barker versions; following this was what was essentially a half-hour game of TPIR with a Showcase Showdown shoehorned into it. The Showcase winner advanced to “Finalists’ Row”, indicating that she had earned the right to advance beyond the fourth episode of the marathon. The pricing games played were Hole in One, Plinko, and Race Game; Cliff Hangers was also present in case any of the other games would need to be subbed out.

Since the marathon was taped in Studio 46 and not Studio 33, a not-quite-duplicate set was built for Price, including a Turntable set, two Big Doors (both of which looked like Door #3), and a table for the Contestants’ Row displays to rest atop; the latter prop had a white front with two red Goodson-Todman asterisks on it, so as to look as close as possible to the appearance of the floor in front of Contestants’ Row in Studio 33. All of the pricing game props, the Contestants’ Row displays, the Big Wheel, the Showcase podiums, and the Race Game Curtain were the genuine articles.

Some further notes on the episode:

  • The Hole in One contestant's second putt (which she missed) was edited out of the final program; this caused most viewers to incorrectly assume that the game's original rules were being used.
  • Plinko was played for its standard primetime top prize of $100,000.
  • A special rule was written for Plinko stating that every non-celebrity member of the audience would receive its fourth small prize if the contestant won that item's chip.
  • A Plinko chip getting stuck was apparently edited out of the final program.
  • The rules used for the Showcase Showdown were rather confusing and were not explained very clearly on the air; I will not attempt to explain them here, because there is no way I would get them right. The basic concept seemed to be that the two contestants who came nearest to a dollar without going over would advance to the Showcase.
  • During the Showcase Showdown, the Big Wheel was shown using a variaton of the arrow graphic split-screen shot which, at the time, had not been seen on the show since around 1996; instead of using a black screen around the arrow and the wheel, the arrow was displayed over a full-screen shot of the Big Wheel.
  • No mention of the Double Showcase rule was made during the Showcase, nor was it explained how a winner for Finalists' Row would be determined in the case of a tie. It is known that if there had been a Double Overbid, the contestants would have been told and allowed to make new bids, as was the case on the very first nighttime episodes.

The other six games played in the marathon were Let’s Make a Deal, Beat the Clock, Press Your Luck, Card Sharks, "Match Game ‘73," and Family Feud; despite its title, Match Game was actually played using the three-round Match Game PM format.

How many episodes of the daytime show are half-hour shows?

Counting the original third episode, 800. 739 of these made up the first three seasons; 39 were in September and October of Season 4; the next 16 were done to accomodate CBS Magazine during Seasons 4, 5, 6, and 7; and the last six were done in 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, and 1994 to accomodate the Pillsbury Bake-Off.

Which pricing games were played on the '70s nighttime show?

The original nighttime show used 24 game over its eight years on the air: Any Number, Bonus Game, Cliff Hangers, Clock Game, Danger Price, Dice Game, Double Bullseye, Double Prices, Five Price Tags, Give or Keep, Golden Road, Grocery Game, Hurdles, Lucky Seven, Money Game, Most Expensive, 1 Right Price, Race Game, Range Game, Shell Game, Squeeze Play, Take Two, Temptation, and 3 Strikes.

Which pricing games were played on the Kennedy version?

The nighttime show from Season 14 used 27 games: Any Number, Cliff Hangers, Clock Game, Danger Price, Deluxe Dice Game, Double Prices, Golden Road, Grand Game, Grocery Game, Hi Lo, Lucky Seven, Money Game and Big Money Game, Most Expensive, One Away, 1 Right Price, Pick a Pair, Plinko, Punch a Bunch, Race Game, Range Game, Safe Crackers, Secret “X”, Shell Game, Squeeze Play, Switcheroo, Take Two, and 3 Strikes.

How many episodes did the show's syndicated runs have?

The ‘70s nighttime show ran for 300 episodes over the course of eight seasons, plus one extra Season 1 show that was produced to make up for an unairable episode from earlier in the year. The Kennedy version had 170 shows, and the Davidson version lasted only 80 episodes.

Has the show ever offered anything that couldn't be won?

Yes. The first three items in the correct trading sequence in Trader Bob could not be won, and the setups of the final two playings of On the Spot resulted in some of the small prizes being unattainable, as there were no circumstances under which they would ever be a right answer. In a similar vein, it was not possible to win either of the wrong prizes in the original format of 1 Right Price used in the first season of the nighttime show.

Has anyone in the show's cast ever been a contestant?

Surprisingly, yes. Before her stint as the more or less official substitute Barker's Beauty in the '80s and '90s, Kyle played and won Poker Game on November 17, 1983.

If my t-shirt is extra cool, will it give me a better chance of being picked as a contestant?

Not one bit. Stan doesn't pay any attention to people's t-shirts while he's doing the interviews.

If I go first in the Showcase Showdown and get 65, should I spin again?

Yes, you should. While it isn't very likely to lead to you winning, the odds of winning if you stay are actually worse.

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