A Salute to Game Shows

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Pricing Games

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Make Your Move

Nine digits appear in a string; these are the prices of a 2-digit, a 3-digit, and a 4-digit prize (none overlap). Player must determine which is which to win all three.

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Master Key

5 keys: 3 open one "prize lock" each, 1 "Master Key" (opens all 3), other opens none. Two chances to win keys; two 2-digit prizes with 3-digit prices are shown; contestant picks either first two or last two numbers as the price. Correct guess wins prize and choice of key. Whatever prizes you "unlock", you win. The 3rd lock is always a car, the 2nd is usually a trip. This wins my vote as 2nd personal favorite.

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Money Game

Nine two-digit numbers are displayed; one is the first two digits of the car (occasionally boat or snowmobile) being played for (denoted by a picture of the front half of a car behind the card), another, the last two digits (back end of the car). The remaining seven are marked "$", with that amount awarded to the contestant, who keeps picking until finding both halves of prize (wins car and money) or four money cards (wins the money). With five-digit cars, the third digit is given to the contestant. (NOTE: Around '84-'85, when 5-digit cars first appeared, this game was briefly renamed "Big Money Game.")

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money-game-3.jpg (13959 bytes)  money-game-4.jpg (9725 bytes)

Note the absence of "El Cheapo", a semi-regular number on Money Game, recognized as a number with a zero as the first digit.  It occasionally throws off a contestant or two.

Most Expensive

Pick which of three prizes is the most expensive to win all three. On the Dennis James TPiR, it was called "All or Nothing at All".

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Now... or Then

Prices are displayed for products.  The contestent must determine whether the prices are todays, or from a time in the past. Three correct answers "in a row" (there are six, as wedges on a wheel) to win. Game used to be called Now and Then.

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One Away

Numbers shown in price of car are one away from actual digits; that is, if the last digit is shown as 7, it could be 6 or 8. Player guesses digits and is told how many are correct  ("Ladies, do I have at least one number right?"), if at least one digit is correct, player can make changes once.

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One Right Price

Guess which of two prizes is the given price to win both.

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one-right-price-3.jpg (14257 bytes)

One Wrong Price

One Wrong Price is played for 3 prizes, each with a price displayed. Choose which price is wrong, and you win all 3 prizes.

one-wrong-price.jpg (11760 bytes)


Contestant stands on a 5 x 5 grid of 25 digits; starts on center square (first digit of 5-digit car, '*' if 4-digit car) and must step to adjacent digits in attempt to build car price; up to 3 mistakes can be recovered by guessing which of two prices shown for one of 3 smaller prizes is correct.

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Penny Ante

The contestant is given three oversized "Barker Pennies" and must give one back for every wrong guess in the game. Two products are used in the game, each with four possible prices. Player wins if he can pick both prices without losing all his/her cents.

penny-ante.jpg (14744 bytes)

Pick a Number

Price of prize is shown with one number missing. Pick right number from choice of three and win. This wins the vote for the most uninspired game ever, taking the title from Double Prices. It needs to be retired.

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pick-a-number-3.jpg (14293 bytes)  pick-a-number-4.jpg (16769 bytes)

Pick a Pair

Six products are shown. Player gets two chances to pick two with same price to win. Three such pairs are on the board. Originally set on a ferris wheel, the game proved unnerving while contestants waited for a product to reappear and was redone as a simple table game.

pick-a-pair.jpg (14366 bytes)


Game starts with four small prizes, each with a 2-digit price showing (eg $37). Contestant guesses whether the 1st or last digit is correct, with a correct guess winning the prize and a "Plinko Chip". (One chip given free at start, therefore the max number of chips is 5).  Chips are used on a giant peg board; cash prizes of zero, $100, $500, $1000, and $5000 await at the bottom. Player places chips flat against the board and releases them one at a time, and the chips bounce off various pegs until landing in a $ spot. Bob Barker retreives stuck Plinko chips with his trusty "Plinko Stick". This is easily the most popular game in TPiR history.

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plinko-3.jpg (12668 bytes)  plinko-4.jpg (11677 bytes)

plinko-5.jpg (13760 bytes)

Poker Game

Four prizes are shown, each with a 3-digit price; player selects two and forms a poker hand from 5 of the 6 digits (9 high, 0 low, straights don't count), then decides whether to keep the hand or give it to the house; other hand is made up of digits from the other two prizes - if player's hand is at least as good as house's, player wins all four prizes.

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Punch A Bunch

Four "higher or lower" prizes, each one also awarding a punch on a giant 50-hole punchboard containing 10 $50 prizes, 10 $100, 10 $250, 10 $500, 5 $1000, 3 $5000, and 2 $10,000. One each of the four lowest values is a "second chance"; this awards an additional punch whose value is added to the previous one. (Thus, it's possible to win more than $10,000 - and it's happened.) After each punch, the player can keep the amount or give it back. Original format of the game (played twice) featured the higher or lower pricing but different play when came time to punch the holes. The player had to punch the holes one at a time and then pick a letter in PUNCH BOARD. The letters hid numbers from 1 to 10, and the holes hid slips of paper marked ONE, TEN, HUNDRED and THOUSAND. So a player punching a HUNDREDS hole and choosing the letter with the 8 won $800, or could give it back. This was terribly time consuming and didn't offer good odds that $10000 could be won, so the format was scrapped. Punch-A-Bunch was the first game to offer cash.

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Push Over

A series of blocks are displayed with the price of a 4 digit prize hidden in the series of blocks in the right order.  The contestant has to push the blocks so that the price appears in a blue frame.  The contestant can push some or all of the blocks off the table & "into China" at which point they are out of play.

push-over-1.jpg (14153 bytes)  push-over-2.jpg (14066 bytes)

Race Game

Four prizes are lined up on stage; player has four price tags and must run to the items, put the right price on the right item, and run back to pull a lever which displays the number correct on a giant screen. Player has 45 seconds to attempt to get all four prices right.

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A Salute to Game Shows 1999-2001 Ben F. Schumin, Chris-Place.com.  All rights reserved.

This site is not affiliated with the game show's producers or the National Broadcasting Company. All material on this site is property of their respective owners. There is no claim to ownership being made through these pages, either expressed or implied.


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Page Last Updated: April 24, 2002