Hey o! Big money!
No whammies, no whammies!
I always thought it would probably be a lot of fun to be on a game show (especially if you won), but for those of us who’ve never had that experience, we’re pretty much in the dark about how all this stuff actually works.
Are you ready for a peek behind the scenes of what goes on at game shows?
Let’s see what these folks had to say on AskReddit.
1. Big money!
“When I was about ten, there was a gameshow on Spanish TV where you would call in to play the game. My mom and I got through one night and won a grocery store certificate for $100.
We were so excited as this was big money in the eighties. We get to the store, by bus, and do our shopping. We get to the register and let the check out person know we won the prize and she tells us the manager isn’t there and that we would need to come back another day for verification.
My mom explains that we arrived by bus and how it is difficult to make the trip again. I remember feeling so sad. Thankfully, another employee at the supermarket stepped in and let us take the groceries home.
I still remember the feeling of relief when he allowed us to do that.”
2. The San Francisco treat.
“My brother was on pPyramid in 1977 or 78, he got a lifetime of Rice a Roni.
It was a case of like 48 boxes every year for like 3 years. We got a letter that the show was going off air and out of the Rice a Roni business.
Cut us right off.”
3. Hey, not bad!
“My grandmother was Queen For A Day. It’s an older game show.
She won a new living room set. Pretty nice for the time.”
4. Pretty nice.
You get $300 if you get called down to contests row on The Price is Right and don’t make it to the stage.”
5. Life changing!
“I won $125,000 on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire about 20 years ago. After taxes, I still had about $80,000. I paid my car off, got a computer, was able to quit a full-time job I hated and take a more enjoyable part-time job, and went to college.
Now I work at a job I love that I wouldn’t have if I never got a college education.
6. That’s helpful.
“I won the top prize ($500) on a quiz show called Inquizition. This was around 1999.
The check arrived right before my car registration was due, which was helpful because I had just lost my job.”
“I was on a kid’s game show in the late 1980s with my brother.
We won, but lost the grand prize (a trip to Disneyland) in the bonus round, and were given a $500 gift certificate to a toy store instead.
$250 each for a toy store was absolutely incredible for a couple of kids. I still remember that shopping trip.”
8. Big winner!
“I won the showcase on The Price is rRight.
It was the spring break episode so it was only college students. It was my senior year of college.
Winning a new car and a bunch of other stuff made the last semester of college awesome. It’s s been 9 and a half years and I still drive the car.
So I guess it’s changed my life in that I’ve never had car payments.”
9. So jealous!
“Not really a “game show” but for those who remember Bozo’s Circus, I got to play the Grand Prize Game — every midwestern child’s dream.
How did it help my life? For every bucket you hit (out of 6) you get a bunch of toys/gifts.
I think I got to bucket #4 or 5 (they’re much smaller in person) and we drove home with a car full of toys, games, and Bozo hotdogs.
As a child, it was pretty epic.”
10. Shop Til You Drop.
“My girlfriend and I were on Shop Til You Drop and won big. I still use the dishes every day.
The trip I won was decent. I paid the taxes on my winnings with a check before leaving the lot. It took months and months for all the deliveries to come in, which was weird. I sold off some of it, used a lot of it, and can’t find the episode anywhere.
How did it help my life? The producer became a friend of ours and helped me propose to my gameshow partner girlfriend and we’re still happily married 15 years later.”
11. Helping out the family.
“Won $700 getting a question right on a radio call in show, my parents gave me $100 of it and kept the rest.
At the time I was annoyed, as an adult looking back it was because we were flat broke, $100 was an insane amount of money to a 12 year old in the 90’s, and the rest went to crazy things like “us being able to eat”. So overall not too bad.
Oh and when I was 20 I got to stand in a glass tube as a bunch of store vouchers for my local mall zoomed around me and anything I caught I kept.
Shoved them all in my shirt and walked away with a few hundred worth.”
12. You got a car!
“I was on “Let’s Make a Deal” in 2016 and I won a new car. It was actually perfect timing because my old car was on its last legs and I had started saving for a new one, then I won a new one and the money I had saved paid the fees and stuff.
I won the car in August but didn’t actually get it until November when the episode aired, but they drove it to my apartment and had me sign the deed and it was all pretty painless.
I had heard rumors throughout life about winning on gameshows “costing you” and things like that, I guess because I already had some money saved for fees and taxes it ended up really painless. Got a brand new car work 16k for about 3k in fees and stuff. Totally worth it and would totally recommend it!
Here’s a tip: If you ever go to one of those game shows that pick contestants out of the audience, they have a producer briefly interview EVERYONE (usually in groups) beforehand, and as long as you’re lively without being theatrical, and seem interesting without being crazy, you have a good shot at being picked.
When the producer was interviewing the 20 member slot of audience members I was grouped with, he asked everyone their name and what they did and one interesting fact about themselves. And one random guy who desperately wanted to be on TV started doing the worm there in the interview area.
You could immediately see on the producer’s face that though he was forcing laughter, that’s definitely not what they’re looking to put on TV. Loose cannons are a big no go.”
13. That’s a good haul.
“I won $15,000 on Millionaire (with Meredith, not Regis).
I kept $11,200. I had to wait 4 months for the episode to air and another month after that to get paid.
Went to England and did a few smaller travel things with it, and then used it to rack up as little debt as possible in grad school.”
Alright, game show veterans, we want to hear from you.
Give us all the dirt about your TV experiences.
Tell us your stories in the comments. Thanks!