Unknown Facts About “The Price Is Right” That Didn’t Air on TV

“The Price Is Right” is one of America’s most treasured game shows. “Come on down!” is the sentence that several fans have yearned to hear as they arrive at the studio. People from the audience get the chance to earn several prizes as they attempt to get the closest guess when it comes to the price of each item.

Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images / Washingtonpost.com / CBS

Now, “The Price Is Right” has the record as one of the longest-running TV game shows. It first premiered in 1956 and has been celebrated by audiences ever since. However, there are facts about “The Price Is Right” that have been unknown until now.

One of the All-Time Longest-Running Game Shows

It’s difficult for many of us to remember a time before “The Price Is Right.” Though today a TV staple, the game show originally ran for 10 years before it was abruptly canceled.

Source: CBS.com

That was until the demand for the show was so intense, the network turned things around and hired Bob Barker to host the series from 1972. There have been over 11,000 episodes of the game show, which is more than both “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune.”

Bob Barker Going Gray Paved the Way for Positive Show Ratings

Bob Barker was the frontman of “The Price Is Right” for more than 30 years. Bob had been dying his hair for years to keep his gray hair at bay. He kept this up until 1987, when he finally decided to embrace his natural locks.

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Being complimented on vacation was all Bob needed to opt for the gray. The host stopped dying his hair and grew his gray hair freely. The new hairdo got viewers talking, and the hair color change to gray quickly saw the ratings for “The Price Is Right” skyrocket.

Contestants Don’t Get to Take Home All Their Prizes From “The Price Is Right”

You appear on a game show, win prizes, and bring it all home, right? Wrong! Winning a lot of money on a game show doesn’t give you authorization to it all because it’s a taxable income.

Source: CBS.com

Winners pay a different amount depending on their total winnings, and it can sometimes be a sizable sum of money. Actually, it’s claimed that some contestants are unwilling to accept their money. One report said that a winner refused the $10,000 he earned as a contestant because he didn’t want to give half of it to his ex-wife.

Bob Barker Working With PETA

There are numerous reasons why Bob Barker has become revered to many around the world. One reason is his work with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – PETA. The host would end each episode urging people to neuter their pets, something current host Drew Carey continues to preach.

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Bob was supposed to host 1987’s Miss USA, but he wouldn’t until the pageant contestants replaced any real fur for faux fur pieces. Bob is still involved with animal rights, such as donating to help revamp and modify a building to make an operational center.

Some Errors Have Worked in a Contestant’s Favor

Although “The Price Is Right” has been on for years, there are still errors on the show. One contestant had this work in their favor when told to guess the worth of a desk and a Dell laptop. It appeared simple enough, but that wasn’t what they were supposed to bid on.

Source: CBS.com

The computer turned out to be an HP and not a Dell, meaning the contestants’ guess was $5,000 off with their guess. The production team decided the contestant had been unintentionally deceived and let them take the computer.

Weird and Wonderful Prizes Contestants Have Won on the Game Show

“The Price Is Right” has had many prizes but none quite like Carl Slater’s 1958 win. The contestant won one of the most miscellaneous sets of prizes that had been on the show: a dining room set, a suit of armor, a pony, and a trip to a castle in Scotland.

Source: CBS.com

Thankfully, Carl isn’t the lone contestant with a captivating story to tell the grandkids. Other contestants have left with a peacock, a Ferris wheel, and an island found in the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Drew Carey Takes Over and the Show Gets Easier

Long-running fans of the show may have seen that things shifted when Drew Carey started as host – it got easier for the contestants. It turns out this was a purposeful move from the producers. Bob Barker had been hosting “The Price Is Right” for over 30 years.

Source: CBS.com

The show was concerned that Barker fans would lose interest when Drew stepped into his shoes. They chose to make it slightly easier to win, and there were numerous winners in the first few months. The move seemed to work as most of the fans have stuck around.

‘The Price Is Right’ Board Game

It turns out there are other versions of “The Price Is Right” beyond the show. The board game allowed fans to bring the show home with them since its 1958 release. The rules are the same as the ones on the TV.

Source: CBS.com

Players have to outbid each other to get the closest to the actual price. Unfortunately, there are no computers or hot tubs at the end of the board game. Trivia fact: “The Price Is Right” board game has been around longer than the classic “Risk.”

All of the Prices Come From One Specific State

Have you ever wondered where “The Price Is Right” finds the prices for the show? There are so many changes in the market, and things cost differently depending on the state. The producers want to make sure it’s fair as possible, so they find all of their prices in California.

Source: CBS.com

Although not all contestants are from California, it means they know what to expect when they’re on the show. However, there is one thing we’ll never know: what stores “The Price Is Right” uses for the prices. They want to ensure that people don’t do their homework beforehand.

Contestants Don’t Get to Take Their Prizes Home the Same Day

Do contestants have to arrive with giant trailers in case they win a ton of stuff? “The Price Is Right” wants to ensure contestants don’t ruin the illusion and only gift their prizes after the episode has aired. It turns out they don’t get them that night – or sometimes for weeks.

Source: CBS.com

As if that’s not enough, if the episode is pulled, the contestant might never get their prizes. The show wants to make sure the audience’s reactions are authentic and haven’t been affected by someone in the neighborhood with brand new items.

Investigations Have Proven Show Is Legitimate

Several game shows have dealt with claims of rigging things to make sure people do or don’t win, while others have said producers coach them on what to say and do to make sure they win. “The Price Is Right”? It checks out as all clean fun here.

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Despite extensive research, nothing scandalous has ever hit the newspapers. There are no hidden tricks, and all of the people are real. That’s unlike the game show “Twenty-One” that caused anger when a former contestant said a producer assisted them. Hopefully, “The Price Is Right” will always remain legitimate.

The Audience Waits Long Hours

If you want to be chosen as a contestant on “The Price Is Right,” then you must be ready to wait your turn. It could be hours before you can enter the studio, let alone your name getting called. Seats in the audience are scarce as one person in the audience shared.

Source: CBS.com

They had to wait in line for over four hours before entering the set. Then, they were audience members for 90 minutes as the episode was filmed. All of that is worth the wait for those who want an opportunity to walk away with prizes.

Producers Chose to Use a Skinny Microphone

Avid fans of ‘The Price Is Right’ are familiar that the show’s host always uses a small microphone. The producers quickly realized that many of the contestants would have never been on TV before the game show.

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They wanted to help make them feel as natural as possible to make sure the show ran smoothly. The team decided to use a skinny microphone to make it less frightening. Now, it’s less like they’re being interrogated for the news and are less likely to grab the microphone.

Cash Tips From Carey’s Salary

If contestants guess the exact price of an item, they get a cash bonus of $500. Drew Carey seems delighted to pull the money from his pocket and give it directly to the contestants, but there is more than meets the eye.

Source: CBS.com

The money Drew gives out is legitimately from his pocket. The host allegedly uses his own salary to pay the generous tip. CBS did the math, and by 2017, Drew had given away about $187,000 from his own salary.

Vanna White’s Connection

Audiences recognize Vanna White thanks to her time on “Wheel of Fortune.” Believe it or not, her first game show gig was on “The Price Is Right” in 1980, two years before her hosting duties.

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Vanna was a contestant on the show! Unfortunately, Vanna failed to win anything during her episode of “The Price Is Right.” As if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, Bob Barker said that Vanna spent too much time looking at herself on the monitor.

“The Price Is Right” Included Male Models Starting In 2012

The show models seem to be having a fun time as they help contestants enjoy their time on the show. Many use their time playing with the available prizes, but something was lacking from the show until 2012.

Source: CBS.com

Luckily, they decided to be more inclusive and let male models join the cast. Rob Wilson was the first male model to star on the game show and had always strived to be a part of the experience. Even as a kid, Rob would ditch school to watch the show.

Contestant Screening Process

Every contestant on the show has been screened by one man: Stan Blits. Everyone must have an interview with Stan before the show, where he judges their character. However, the most crucial thing to Stan is a person’s energy.

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He thinks that if a potential contestant is more energetic than him, they deserve a spot on the show. The producers want to make sure the audience is engaged during the episode. The one thing that Stan has warned potential contestants: he refuses to accept a bribe from someone for a spot.

Bob Barker Has Tried Acting

The former host has worked beyond ‘The Price is Right.’ Although he never thought of fighting a contestant on the series, Bob has fought a Hollywood celebrity. He starred in the comedy film ‘Happy Gilmore’ with Adam Sandler, where the two get into a fistfight.

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The pair were at a charity event two decades later, where they thought it would be funny to recreate the scene. Bob might have been in his 90s, but that didn’t prevent him from taking swings as Adam before taking the actor to the ground. Bob has even made guest appearances on “How I Met Your Mother” and “Bonanza.”

Potential Missed Turn Due to Bathroom Break

Why do we always need to use the bathroom at the absolute worst times? Patricia Bernard was an audience member when she needed to go and sprinted to the restroom. She didn’t know that she was the one that got called.

Source: CBS.com

The cameras were looking for Patricia and noticed her husband moving around, attempting to locate her. Bob Barker didn’t hold back when Patricia finally returned as he teased her husband was busy trying to locate her, while viewers at home wondered how long the show would wait for her to return from the restroom.

“The Price Is Right” Luxury Car Lot

Almost every episode of ‘The Price Is Right’ features the staple prize of a brand-new car. One of the show’s producers said that most episodes have at least three different types of cars in them. Some people even apply to the show just to attempt to win a new vehicle.

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The show makes sure it switches cars to make sure the audience doesn’t see identical vehicles repeatedly. “The Price Is Right” holds up to 45 luxury cards in its own car lot. They are brought in at various times to ensure there is always a variety to offer.

The Chance to Win a Ferrari

Like many people, executive producer Mike Richards prefers Ferraris and always hoped the show would give one away. Mike’s hopes came true in 2013 when the show rented a Ferrari 458 Spider and took it out on stage.

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Technically only rented for a few hours; things would have worked out in the contestant’s favor had they won the car. Mike claimed they would have purchased the vehicle to go through with their promise. Unfortunately, the contestant walked away with nothing, and the Ferrari was brought back to the dealership.

The “Breaking Bad” – “The Price Is Right” Crossover Event

The series “Breaking Bad” helped many actors earn their place in Hollywood. Aaron Paul, who played Jesse Pinkman, is one of the many who starred in the series. It wasn’t his first time on TV as the actor was a contestant on “The Price Is Right” before getting into acting.

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Aaron was picked to play and even got to meet Bob Barker. While he wasn’t a successful winner on the episode, Aaron seemed pleased with simply taking part. Aaron screamed, “You’re the man!” to Bob as he tried to share just how much he liked him.

Cheating Scandal During the Showcase Showdown

The Showcase Showdown is the part of the show that most contestants want to participate in since are a ton of prizes at once. The chances of someone getting the exact price are pretty low. In fact, not one contestant had guessed the exact price until 2010.

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Contestant Terry Kneiss guessed $23,743 and was dumbfounded when that was the precise number on the board. Everyone was so shocked by the guess that producers stopped the episode for nearly an hour as they investigated the contestant. It turns out the all the numbers held some meaning for Terry.

Bob Barker, TV’s Most Kissable Host

The audience’s reaction to Bob Barker was enough to tell that he was the star of the show. People wanted to win a prize or two, but many of them merely wanted the opportunity to meet the host. Many contestants would greet Bob with a smooch on the cheek.

Source: Photo by Getty Images M. Tran/FilmMagic

CBS calculated that Bob got approximately 22,000 kisses while hosting the show. Bob ended his reign of “The Price Is Right” back in 2007. Drew Carey has now acquired his place as host, though many will always love Bob.

Cue Cards Are Crucial for Contestants

One of the audience’s favorite moments is when people are told to “Come on down!” to the stage. Though it looks loud at home, it’s nothing in comparison to what it’s actually like live. Some claim to lose their hearing temporarily.

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This noise means that many contestants miss their names getting called. The producers found a solution by using cue cards with names on them to make sure people know when they need to come to the stage. The noise? Not so much they can do about that, but the show must continue.

Overexcited Wardrobe Malfunction

It can be challenging for contestants to contain their happiness when they learn they’re the ones playing for prizes. Many of them sprint to the stage, including a woman in 1977 whose clothes didn’t get the message. This woman was a little overexcited when she went to the stage.

Source: CBS.com

As the woman sprinted to the host, her top slipped, revealing a little more than she ever intended. She managed to correct the wardrobe malfunction shortly after that, but that didn’t prevent Bob Barker from saying he’d “never had a welcome like this!” – and hopefully won’t again.

Producers Tell Contestants When to Stop Clapping

Energy’s the most crucial thing potential contestants need to bring to “The Price Is Right.” This is due to the amount the audience is expected to clap during the show. If you’re in the audience, you must expect to clap until you’re told to stop – and that doesn’t happen often.

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The producers want viewers to think the audience is having a fantastic time. This means they have to continue clapping to music that is played during the commercial breaks. If they stop clapping, there is a good chance they won’t get picked to appear as one of the contestants.

Producers Accidentally Gave a Contestant $30,000

They were filming a 2008 commercial to prove that contestants could win $10,000 on the Plink machine. The game is beloved on the show, and they set it to make it come up with the most significant amount every time.

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The problem came in the following episode as the show’s producers forgot to reset the machine. The Plinko game came out for another round, and a contestant was ecstatic when they got $10,000 each time. The producers suddenly recognized their mistake but knew they were to blame. In the end, the contestant won $30,000.

The Big Wheel Research Was Funded by The Royal Economic Society

One of the most exciting moments in ‘The Price Is Right’ comes when people spin the big wheel because a lot rides on what the wheel decides. The Royal Economic Society was so fascinated by the wheel that it wanted to study it.

Source: CBS.com

It funded some research that examined the winning percentage and how contestants decide. The findings concluded that contestants often went away from decisions they would typically make. The overwhelming pressure of being on the show is enough to make people rethink choices.

Florence Henderson’s “The Price Is Right” Car Accident

When Florence Henderson appeared on ‘The Price Is Right,’ she had no idea that she would be involved in a car accident on set. The actress was supposed to be in the SUV as it was driven onto the stage during a special Mother’s Day show.

Source: CBS.com

They got on stage but continued driving as the car crashed into the set at a whopping 2 mph. Luckily, the set remained intact, and no one was injured. Contestants on the show hoping to win a brand-new car would have to settle for a used one.

Presenter Wardrobe Malfunction

‘The Price Is Right’ is so treasured that it has developed spin-offs around the world. Australia is one of many countries with its own version. Danielle Atkin was tasked with welcoming the show’s host to the stage at the start of the episode.

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During her opening speech, Danielle moved her arm and caused a surprise beneath her gown. Danielle didn’t initially notice anything until Larry Edmur, the host of the show, arrived on stage. Though it happened in 2003, people won’t let Danielle live it down.

Answers On a Postcard

Do you know the phrase “answers on a postcard”? It came from the show’s original run in the 1950s. Now, fans use the app to estimate the cost of a bundle. If they’re right, they could win the whole thing.

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Viewers used to have to send their guesses on postcards, and the phrase has stuck ever since. The contest turned out to be a giant hit. They eventually had to hire hundreds of people solely to sort through all the postcard entries to conclude if they had a winner.

Winning a Treadmill as Someone Who Uses a Wheelchair

One fun thing about appearing on ‘The Price Is Right’ is no one has any clue what they could win. There have been so many odd and incredible prizes over the years to help improve people’s lives. That wasn’t what happened when Danielle Perez was a contestant.

Source: CBS.com

The comedian won a treadmill. Danielle lost her legs in 2004 and has been using a wheelchair since. The audience was noticeably silent, and you could tell they were uncomfortable. Luckily, Danielle found it hysterical and even said it couldn’t be written. Apparently, the silliest thing for Danielle was her lack of feet.

Drew Carey’s Former Fiancée Passed Away

In 2007, Drew Carey had some resistance when he took over hosting ‘The Price Is Right.” The host quickly settled into his new role and garnered plenty of fans. In January 2018, Drew announced he was engaged to family therapist and writer Amie Harwick.

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The couple ended up going their separate ways. Two years after the announcement, Amie’s body was located in a dangerous neighborhood of Hollywood Hills. Many were crushed, including the show’s host, and CBS Studios stopped recording the game show out of respect to a grieving Drew.