Archive for the 'Games' Category

Games Spotlight: Hole in One

Mar. 4th 2009

Name: Hole in One (or “Hole in One or Two” since 1987)
Debut: May 9th, 1977

The game is typically played for a car or other vehicle and revolves around putting on a miniature golf-esque hole which consists of a long, flat, straight pathway ending in a circular area contained by a short rail. The hole (larger than a standard golf hole) is in the center of this area. The pathway has six evenly spaced lines, the last of which is where the pathway meets the circular area. The lines represent the possible distances from which the contestant will have to putt for the car.

Six grocery items are used to determine from which line the contestant will putt. The announcer reveals all six prizes, and the contestant is asked to order the items from least to most expensive, with red flags representing the items being placed in the given order at each line on the straightaway, starting with the one farthest from the hole. The prices are then revealed in the order the flags were placed. As long as each item is higher-priced than the previous item, the contestant moves up to that line. Otherwise, the contestant does not advance and the remaining flags are removed. If the contestant orders the grocery items perfectly, they win a $500 bonus and putt from the line next to the hole.

The contestant then has two attempts to sink a putt from the line they have earned to win the car. A putt counts if it is sunk after bouncing off the rail behind or beside the hole. If the contestant fails to sink the ball in the hole on their first attempt the game’s sign, featuring the “One” in the “Hole in One” title, flips to reveal the addendum “or Two”, revealing the contestant actually gets two chances to sink the putt. If they miss the second putt, the game ends.

Fun Fact: One of the game’s best-known features is the “inspiration putt,” a practice started by longtime host Bob Barker, in which the host attempts a putt from the furthest line in an attempt to inspire the contestant. At various times, the putt has also been done by the announcer, models, special guests (including golf pros), or members of the production staff.

Hole in One

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Games Spotlight: Magic #

Feb. 11th 2009

Name: Magic #
Debut: September 14, 1992

Magic # is a game played for two prizes, both of which are over $1,000 in retail value. The two prizes are shown, and the contestant is told which one is the least expensive of the two. The contestant must then find a “magic number” – a number that falls between the two prices, exact numbers inclusive, in order to win both prizes. To do so, the contestant either raises and lowers a lever attached to the prop that will increase or decrease the number displayed on the readout.

Fun Fact: For the first several years of Magic #’s existence, the game’s computer automatically rounded the magic number to the nearest ten every time the lever was released (therefore, no contestant could ever select a value that didn’t end in a zero). However, this was never intended to be a feature of the gameplay, and the issue was corrected once the producers realized it was happening.

Magic #

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Games Spotlight: Grocery Game

Feb. 4th 2009

Name: Grocery Game
Debut: September 8, 1972

Grocery Game is typically played for a prize between $3,000 and $10,000, although on special occasions, it has been played for a car or other larger prizes. Five grocery prizes are revealed. The goal of the game is to purchase a number of the shown prizes to spend at least $20 and but no more than $21. To do this, the contestant chooses an item, and a quantity of that item to buy. The price is revealed, multiplied by the quantity purchased, and rung up on a prop cash register operated by one of TPiR’s models. If the total is less than $20, they may choose another item and quantity, which is added to their total. This continues until they have spent over $20 or used all five grocery items. The player loses by spending over $21 or by spending less than $20 after using all five items.

Fun Fact: The first four times Grocery Game was played the contestant was awarded supplies of all five groceries regardless of the game’s outcome.

Grocery Game

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Games Spotlight: Bullseye

Jan. 31st 2009

Name: Bullseye
Debut: July 1st, 1976

Bullseye is commonly played for a prize usually valued between $3,000 and $10,000, and uses grocery items. The centerpiece of the game is a board which contains an Archery style target with rings ranging from $2 to $12 above five grocery prizes. The contestant who must choose one of the five prizes and then tell the host how many of the chosen prize will total between $10 and $12. If the total price of the guessed amount of product is not in the “bulls-eye,” but less than $10 the player receives a marker on the board. The player has three chances to get between $10 and $12, but if they fail, they can still be victorious. One of the five products has a “hidden bullseye”. If this is revealed behind a product whose guess “hit the target” (was less than $100), the contestant also wins the game. The other four contain the word “SORRY” and finding only these markers loses the game.

Fun Fact: The current Bullseye should not be confused with the original Bullseye (a car game played only during the show’s first two weeks). The old game is often referred to as either “Bullseye I” or “Bullseye ’72,” with the current version sometimes referred to as either “Bullseye II” or “Bullseye ’76.”


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Games Spotlight: Switch?

Jan. 28th 2009

Name: Switch?
Debut: February 27th, 1992

Switch? is a pricing game typically played for 2 prizes from between $1,000 and $10,000; however, on occasion (during primetime specials) it has been played for two cars. Two prizes are shown with one price tag in front of each prize. The contestant is to decide whether the prices of the prizes should be switched or if they should be left alone. If the contestant makes the correct decision, then he/she wins both prizes.

Fun Fact: The distinctive, “peppy,” music for Switch? has been used without fail since it’s third playing in 1992– and is the last few measures of the music used in Switcheroo.


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Games Spotlight: Money Game

Jan. 24th 2009

Name: Money Game
Debut: December 25th, 1972

Money Game is a pricing game that is almost exclusively played for a car (as well as a default nominal cash prize). There are nine different 2-digit numbers shown on a large board. The contestant is provided with the 3rd (middle) number in the price of the vehicle. The contestant must then select the first two numbers and the last two numbers in the price from the nine cards. Each card covers either a dollar sign or the image of half of a car. If the contestant reveals either half of the silhouetted car, they begin to search for the other half. If a dollar sign is revealed, that many dollars are won to keep and the number is placed in one of four slots on the left. If they reveal all four dollar signs before finding the the correct price of the car, they win only the money they earned in the cash column, and do not get any more chances to search for the digits in the car.

Fun Fact: Ever curious as to how the hosts of The Price is Right are always human calculators when it comes to adding up the running cash total in Money Game? During this game, the displays in Contestants’ Row are used to keep track of the total amount of money that has been accumulated.

Money Game

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Games Spotlight: Bonkers

Jan. 14th 2009

Name: Bonkers
Debut: October 1st, 2001

Bonkers is played for a 4-digit prize valued between $2,000 and $10,000. The contestant is shown an incorrect price; all of the listed numbers are wrong. The contestant is to determine whether each digit is higher or lower than the given number. To do this, the contestant is provided with 4 paddles and instructed by the host to place each paddle either above (indicating that the actual number is higher) or below (indicating the actual number is lower) the given digit. The contestant has 30 seconds to get the price right and is allowed to make as many changes as he/she can make within the 30 seconds of time in order to get the price correct. After each try, a buzzer sounds if the contestant is wrong; if the contestant gets the price correct, then he/she wins the prize.

Fun Fact: Bonkers’ first playing was scheduled to air in mid-September. However, due to CBS’s ongoing coverage of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the show was pushed back until October 1st, 2001.

Fun Fact II: Bonkers made an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show for a promotional event during an interview with then-new-host Drew Carey.


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Games Spotlight: Coming or Going

Jan. 7th 2009

Name: Coming or Going
Debut: October 2nd, 2003

Coming or Going is played for a four digit prize– typically ranging in value from between $3,000 and $10,000. The contestant is presented with a string of four digits on a tilting platform which pivots around a central axis, like a see-saw. If the person tilts the platform to the left (also known as ‘coming’), the digits string to the left, forming one price, or if the contestant tilts it to the right (‘going’), the digits arrange themselves in the reverse order, forming another price (for example, $5,219 vs. $9,125). One of the two prices is the correct price of the prize. The contestant is asked whether he is “coming” or “going” and tilts the platform accordingly. If they are correct, bells and lights go off; if they are incorrect, a buzzer sounds.

Fun Fact: As of the time of this writing, Coming or Going is the only one on the show that does not contain a price reveal, either by game set, model, announcer, or host. The contestant simply knows he or she has won by the winning bells and flashing lights on the main prop, or lost by the buzzer and losing horns.

Coming or Going

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Games Spotlight: Dice Game

Dec. 31st 2008

Name: Dice Game
Debut: June 2nd, 1976

This game is played for a car. There are five digits in the price of the car; all are between 1-6, inclusive. The first digit is always lit up and therefore, given to the contestant. The contestant is then presented with four oversized dice, and must roll each one across a white line on a felt table. If the number rolled matches the second digit, the digit is revealed and shown on both screens (see image below); otherwise, the contestant must decide whether the actual digit is higher or lower than the roll which is then marked by an outline of lights. If the roll is a one or a six it is typically automatically marked higher or lower, respectively, since there are no digits that can be lower than one or higher than six per the game’s rules. The die is then placed in the slot with the rolled number facing outwards. The remaining dice are played in the same way for the three remaining digits.

After all the dice have been rolled, the host will ask for reveal of the numbers one by one (which results in the correct digit being lit up above or below each individual die). This is not necessarily done in order that the dice were rolled to maintain suspense for the digits that are most in question.

Fun Fact: Dice Game was originally played for cars with four-digit prices, and the first digit was not given. During the 1980s, when cars under $6,667 were still common, the game was occasionally played for cars with five digit prices. When such cars were offered, the game was known as “Deluxe Dice Game;” which appeared for the first time on April 22, 1983. In these cases, the word “Deluxe” was added to the top of the game board, and an extra (removable) display box was added to for the free digit. On January 8, 1988 the game offered its last four-digit car and the five-digit version of Dice Game became permanent.

Dice Game

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Games Spotlight: That’s Too Much!

Dec. 28th 2008

Name: That’s Too Much!
Debut: April 19th, 2001

That’s Too Much! is a pricing game that is traditionally played for a car. There is a row of 10 prizes, which are revealed to the contestant in order of increasing value one at a time. The contestant is asked to choose the first price in the row that is over the actual retail price of the car. When the contestant feels that the host has revealed the first price that is more than the actual retail price of the car, he/she says “That’s too much!” Then host asks if the contestant is correct and then the contestant is either buzzed meaning he/she is wrong it is revealed that he/she is correct. In both cases, following the win/lose sound effects, one of the beauties shows the actual retail price to the contestant, and the correct price (at which the contestant was supposed to stop at) is lit up among the ten prizes.

Fun Fact: The game is actually quite opposite to many pricing games on the show; instead of being closest to the actual retail price without going over, to win the game, the contestant is supposed to be closest to the actual retail price while going over.

That's Too Much!

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