**Bonkers**

(Blog post:

https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_2.html)

**Random fact**

The button the contestant pushes to find out if they are right isn't connected to anything. There's someone backstage watching the locations of the paddles and they manually play the "wrong" or "right" sound when they see the contestant press the button.

**Win-loss record**

- Actual (seasons 29-46): 111-135 (45.12%)
- What it would be by random chance: N/16, where N is the number of unique guesses the contestant makes in the 30 seconds.

**In order to win, the contestant had to place...**

- All 4 paddles in the "higher" position: 0 playings (0%)
- Exactly 3 paddles in the "higher" position: 64 (26.02%)
- Exactly 2 paddles in the "higher" position: 98 (39.84%)
- Exactly 1 paddle in the "higher" position: 81 (32.93%)
- All 4 paddles in the "lower" position: 2 (0.81%)
- The paddles in unknown positions because the prize's price wasn't revealed: 1 (0.41%)

**Strategy**

There is one way many people play this game that drives me, well, bonkers. So everyone, repeat after me: do not look at the audience. I repeat: do NOT look at the audience. One more time:

**DO NOT LOOK AT THE AUDIENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!**

Got it? You only have 30 seconds and you simply don't have time to decode whatever it is your friend is trying to say. Besides, do you really think your friend knows that the trip to Germany has a price that ends in a 2 rather than a 7? Instead, you need to try as many combinations as possible. The record for most combinations ever tried is 9, which has happened once and was a win; the record for most combinations tried in a loss is 8, which has happened 8 times. Guess what? You can guarantee a win if you know the first digit of the price of the prize and you make 8 attempts! Here are all 8 possible combinations for the last 3 digits:

L is "lower" and H is "higher." Those are all the possible combinations for the last 3 digits, so if you know the first digit of the prize, or at least know the first digit in the price of the prize is higher or lower than the number shown in the incorrect price, you should win this game every single time. Thus, the idea is to figure out the first digit while George is describing the prize, put the paddle for that in its correct position when the game starts and leave it there, and then try the 8 combinations above for the last three digits.

(Side note: if you're a math geek, you can think of the above combinations as going through the numbers 0-7 in binary. Think of 0 as "L" and 1 as "H.")

**Addendum: "Go with the odds" recent trend.** After I wrote this Bonkers guide but before I posted it, someone posted on golden-road.net about a new pattern emerging in this game. It's simply this: go with the odds. If the wrong digit is 0-4, go higher. If the wrong digit is 6-9, go lower. If it's 5, then it could be either. For example, if the wrong price is 4753, it should take at most two attempts: HLHH and HLLH. This is a recent trend:

**Season 47:** This was always true for every digit (up to June 16 at least).**Season 46:** This was always true for every digit except the first. There were times the wrong first digit was 6 or 7 and the actual first digit was 8 or 9. But the pattern held for digits 2-4 in every playing.**Season 45:** This was false plenty of times.

So this may be a new unwritten rule or it may be a coincidence in the last season or two. I personally would go for the "try every combination" tactic myself, but it's worth continuing to look over the next year or two to see if this continues to be the case.