Author Topic: Family Feud Payouts  (Read 736 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Kyle

  • Double Showcase Winner
  • ******
  • Posts: 1796
Family Feud Payouts
« on: January 01, 2018, 04:53:27 PM »
File this under #ShowerThoughts, but it occurs to me that for as popular as Family Feud has been over the past 40 years, it definitely also has to be in the running for some of the, if not the worst payouts in game show history.

Just think about this, back in 1976 when the show first began, the prize for winning Fast Money was only $5,000 and families had to retire after five times on the show. Assuming that a family won all five times at Fast Money and won the maximum amount of money in the main game ($599), the absolute most a family could walk with would be $27,995. Adding to the problem is that money would logically have to be split amongst five family members, so an individual at best could win $5,599 on Family Feud in the '70s. Even the syndicated show's payoff of $10,000 for winning Fast Money hardly makes up for it because there were no returning champions on that version, so at best a family walks with $10,599 (which is roughly $2,120 per family member). Compare this to some of the other shows on the air at the time, like Password Plus and (especially) Super Password where contestants were generally playing for $10,000-$20,000 at a time, multiple times (there are numerous instances on Super Password where contestants are playing for amounts over $30,000).

The problem continued on the CBS version as they still played for the paltry $5,000 up until the Bullseye round was introduced in 1992, but it seems to me that most families generally won no more than $25,000 after their combined run on the show was over, anyway, so there was really no increase in the general winnings for most families. If anything, it went down in the 1994 season by dropping the top prize from (a potential) $20,000 to only $14,000.

When Family Feud came back in 1999, they were still only playing by the old syndicated show's payouts and only giving away $10,000 to one family before kicking them off the show, which is ridiculous that a show being made in 1999 is still giving away the same top prize as a show that was being made in 1978. Sure, they brought the top prize up to $20,000 in 2002 and started letting families stay on the show for five days again but, let's be real, I have seldom ever seen a family win more than $43,000 on Family Feud, even if they stay on the show for five days. And since Steve Harvey started hosting the show, it seems obvious to me that the producers are bringing out much harder questions with lower survey number one answer values after a family has won Fast Money one time. So, you figure roughly an average of maybe $44,000 over a five day run (plus a new car, which seems idiotic to me - how can you split a car among five people?) Meanwhile, the minimum prize on contemporary episodes of Wheel of Fortune is $35,000 for winning the bonus round, most Jeopardy! champions are winning in the area of $15,000-$20,000 per show, and a Price is Right showcase generally goes for at least $22,000 per show.

And of course, there's the glaring problem of a family that loses Fast Money on Family Feud still wins five dollars a point just like they did in 1976. I mean, what a waste of the audience's time when you really get down to it - you just watched this show for half an hour and the family loses and they win, at most $995 in the year 2017. It's basically a hair above not giving them anything. Why this amount has not been raised to $10 a point at least 10 years ago completely escapes me. Even if they didn't want to give that much money to a family that loses Fast Money, at least give them $5,000 for winning the Feud. It's completely asinine to me that families that win the main game on the show today win absolutely nothing except a chance at $20,000. Prior to the Bullseye round being introduced, they at least played the Feud for dollars instead of worthless points.

Sorry that this became long winded, but as you can see, Family Feud has always been one of the cheapest game shows on television. I mean, the show is now usually the top rated syndicated show on television - why they cannot give away some real money makes no sense. In my view, if you win the Feud, you should win $5,000 right there (give the losing family $1,000). They should be playing Fast Money for $30,000 each time, no money for losing Fast Money and if a family becomes five time returning champions, instead of winning the (worthless) car, then should play their final Fast Money for $50,000.

Comment is invited.

Offline blozier2006

  • Double Showcase Winner
  • ******
  • Posts: 1247
Re: Family Feud Payouts
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2018, 05:11:54 PM »
Just think about this, back in 1976 when the show first began, the prize for winning Fast Money was only $5,000 and families had to retire after five times on the show.
Minor nitpick, but in the ABC run, there was no explicit day limit. Families retired after reaching $25,000, regardless of how many matches it took them to get there (and I've seen examples of families hitting six or seven wins before hitting the cap).

Why this amount has not been raised to $10 a point at least 10 years ago completely escapes me.
For what it's worth, the 1987 Ray Combs pilots had a $10/point rule, something that should've been kept for when the show came back on CBS in 1988 (and ever since then).

Those points aside, I wholeheartedly agree, the fact that the show seems to be on a shoestring budget is ridiculous. Those are the kind of payouts I'd expect from a GSN original, not the highest-rated show in syndication.

Offline SuperSweeper

  • Double Showcase Winner
  • ******
  • Posts: 1197
Re: Family Feud Payouts
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2018, 05:14:19 PM »
I agree with this question so, so much - this show needs a raise!

Just think about this, back in 1976 when the show first began, the prize for winning Fast Money was only $5,000 and families had to retire after five times on the show. Assuming that a family won all five times at Fast Money and won the maximum amount of money in the main game ($599), the absolute most a family could walk with would be $27,995.

Both of these accounts are not true - there was no appearance limit on the ABC daytime run, and I know of at least one family that won over $30,000. Chuck Donegan lists in his collection a 1985 episode where the Rezzo family left with $33,467.

Meanwhile, the minimum prize on contemporary episodes of Wheel of Fortune is $35,000 for winning the bonus round

Have you seen the cars they're offering this season?   :oldlol:

Offline blozier2006

  • Double Showcase Winner
  • ******
  • Posts: 1247
Re: Family Feud Payouts
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2018, 05:15:48 PM »
Both of these accounts are not true - there was no appearance limit on the ABC daytime run, and I know of at least one family that won just over $30,000. Chuck Donegan lists in his collection a 1985 episode where the Rezzo family left with $33,467.
Almost forgot that, in the 1984-1985 season they upped the limit to $30,000 (probably at the same time that the goal for winning became $400).

Offline Kyle

  • Double Showcase Winner
  • ******
  • Posts: 1796
Re: Family Feud Payouts
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2018, 06:06:29 PM »
Fair enough, I always was under the assumption there was a five-day limit on the ABC version.

Even still, a $30,000 limit in 1984 is still exceptionally rare, I would say and still pales in comparison when you figure Super Password was routinely playing their endgame for amounts that rivaled that or sometimes were higher than that during the same time.

Offline blozier2006

  • Double Showcase Winner
  • ******
  • Posts: 1247
Re: Family Feud Payouts
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2018, 06:16:43 PM »
Even still, a $30,000 limit in 1984 is still exceptionally rare, I would say and still pales in comparison when you figure Super Password was routinely playing their endgame for amounts that rivaled that or sometimes were higher than that during the same time.
Funny you mention that, since it seems that across the board NBC seemed to offer the largest payouts in the 1980s (as far as I know, their shows never had cash limits, only day/match limits). Hell, at least two of their shows routinely offered $100,000+ payoffs to undefeated champions (Sale of the Century and Dream House), plus you had Scrabble having $40,000-$50,000+ winners with some frequency in the 1984-1986 time frame.

Almost makes me wonder if Price would've been able to offer $20,000-$30,000+ Showcases back then, if it had been an NBC series.

Offline SuperSweeper

  • Double Showcase Winner
  • ******
  • Posts: 1197
Re: Family Feud Payouts
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2018, 08:02:00 PM »
Even still, a $30,000 limit in 1984 is still exceptionally rare, I would say and still pales in comparison when you figure Super Password was routinely playing their endgame for amounts that rivaled that or sometimes were higher than that during the same time.

CBS's limit was also $25,000 until 1984 - then it grew quickly, first to $50,000 later that year and then to $75,000 in 1986. As blozier demonstrated, NBC was the exception to the rule at that time.

I wonder if ABC ever raised or eliminated their winnings limit after Feud left the air. It's likely that they didn't (or didn't have to), as the only game shows that I believe they had post-1985 were Bargain Hunters and Match Game.

Offline JayC

  • Double Showcase Winner
  • ******
  • Posts: 4419
Re: Family Feud Payouts
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2018, 10:54:04 PM »
I've been wondering for a while too why the consolation for not winning Fast Money is still only $5 a point. That is super cheap. It should be at least $10 a point and should've been since the prize money was increased to $20,000.

I agree about the bonus money too. It could stand to go up for each day the family is there, like adding $5,000 or $10,000 more each day the family is on so they play for $40,000 or $60,000 if they're on their 5th day.

Offline gamesurf

  • In Contestant's Row
  • ***
  • Posts: 190
Re: Family Feud Payouts
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2018, 12:44:58 AM »
Family Feud is cheap, no arguments there. Would I like to see them raise their prizes? Yes, absolutely. Heaven knows Fremantle can afford it with how successful it's been.

But would it improve the show? Well... not really, IMO.

Look at its ratings. It's beating Wheel of Fortune, a show that hands out $9,000 trips like they're free samples at Costco. Prize money clearly isn't the thing that's drawing people to Family Feud.

There are games like Deal or No Deal or Millionaire or Sale of the Century where the prize is central to everything that happens in the game. (Even TPiR is probably closer to this end of the spectrum--the prize *is* the puzzle the contestant needs to solve.)

And there are games where the prize is totally secondary. You could play Password or Lingo or What's My Line for a box of cracker jacks and it'd still be fun to watch.

Family Feud is definitely closer to this end of the spectrum. The format's survived Louie Anderson, Richard Karn, "celebrity firefighter ex-wives" specials, and "dick joke of the day" questions--and even through all that, the game is still a rock-solid format that gets people yelling answers at their TV.

You know the phrase "Come for the sizzle, stay for the steak"? In Family Feud's case, "Steve Harvey overreacting" is the sizzle that pushed it over the top, but the game is the steak. And it's not a skimpy steak, but a juicy, prime cut that's almost impossible not to play along with once you've tuned in. The game is solid enough on its own to keep people playing along and hold their attention even when there *aren't* crazy, over-the-top moments going on.

So would I like to see a bigger endgame prize? Sure. But I don't think it would affect their ratings that much. It's just a slightly bigger number to read at the end of the show.

Offline WooWho

  • TPiR Alumnus
  • *
  • Posts: 774
Re: Family Feud Payouts
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2018, 08:43:49 PM »
you just watched this show for half an hour and the family loses and they win, at most $995 in the year 2017. It's basically a hair above not giving them anything.

The $1 win on Jeopardy! this season would like a word with you.

Offline Kyle

  • Double Showcase Winner
  • ******
  • Posts: 1796
Re: Family Feud Payouts
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2018, 09:40:52 PM »
The $1 win on Jeopardy! this season would like a word with you.

A rare occurance that has happened how many times in 30+ years?

Offline JayC

  • Double Showcase Winner
  • ******
  • Posts: 4419
Re: Family Feud Payouts
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2018, 10:53:12 PM »
You have a point gamesurf, clearly people are tuning in and families want to be on the show. The prize money must not make that big of a difference to people. The show has been on in for five decades now, it must be doing something right. Still though, $5 a point as a consolation prize just feels cheap and has for a long time.

Offline Teddy

  • Double Showcase Winner
  • ******
  • Posts: 4434
  • One of the great multitaskers on G-R.net!
Re: Family Feud Payouts
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2018, 05:16:26 PM »
Sure, Family Feud may be the cheapest game show on TV, but at least it is highly-rated among the syndicated game shows, battling it out with Wheel, Jeopardy! and Millionaire. And who cares if losing Fast Money yields $5 a point for each point? The whole point of the show is to have fun at guessing more survey answers than your opponent. OTOH, I agree that the losing family should have some sort of consolation prize, like they once did on the first two series (IIRC, if a losing family did not reach 250 points in the main game, they were guaranteed at least that amount in cash, so in that regard, I wish they would continue to convert points into dollars today so that everyone would walk away with something).

Offline PatrickRox80

  • Double Showcase Winner
  • ******
  • Posts: 4532
Re: Family Feud Payouts
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2018, 08:09:17 PM »
$5 a point as a consolation prize just feels cheap and has for a long time.

$5 a point was a generous consolation prize in the '70s. It got cheap by the time Louie Anderson started hosting. When returning champs on two shows of work earn less than a third-place player on Jeopardy!, your show really looks cheap, especially if the prize has to be split among five people.

Offline Reloaden

  • Taking a Bonus Spin
  • *****
  • Posts: 640
Re: Family Feud Payouts
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2018, 11:06:25 AM »
They are now offering $1000 to the losing family which isn't much.

I would love to see the prize money raised to 50k and 10 dollars a point if the family loses fast money.


The only thing producers care about is Steve bringing in the ratings theres a list of things that show could use to be better.