The Price Is Right: Fascinating Untold Truths About The Show

By: Lauren Wurth | Last updated: Sep 14, 2022

When a bit of relaxation is in order, game shows are always a great way to pass the time. The Price is Right debuted in 1956 and holds the record for being the longest-running game show. However, as with most television productions, there are many undisclosed realities that remain hidden from viewers until this day. 

We all know there’s a lot that is going on aside from what we see on television. There’s more to everything than meets the eye. To prove it, we’ve collected 35 previously untold facts about The Price Is Right, which were hidden behind the scenes. No doubt, these facts will surprise you!

The Show Is Legitimate

There was an investigation conducted to prove the legitimacy of the show because of the discovery that some game shows are fixed. In the end, it was found that the show does not have any evidence of being rigged.

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Despite a careful investigation, no controversy has ever been uncovered – the show does not have any tricks up its proverbial sleeves. Hopefully, the show continues to capture the hearts of new audiences as it did with its first-generation run. 

The Longest Running Game Show

As we mentioned, The Price is Right is one of the longest-running game shows ever aired. It’s not a surprise because of its popularity. In total, there have been over 11,000 episodes. When compared to other game shows, The Price is Right eclipses the competition.

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Source: CBS.com

As its popularity grew, the producers hired Bob Barker, who did a great job of keeping the hype high. He made the show more interesting and more exciting, and he gets much of the credit for making The Price Is Right famous to many people around the world.

Bob's White Hair Improved Ratings

Bob Barker’s signature look was one of the reasons why the show got positive reviews. As frontman of the show for more than 30 years, he constantly dyes his hair to hide the grays for years. This habit continued until 1987.

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Barker stopped dying his hair when he received ample positive reactions to his natural color while on vacation. From then on, he embraced his soft, white hair. Surprisingly, the show’s ratings actually improved as a result of Bob’s natural look. His new style got a lot of people talking, which helped the show’s viewership increase.

Bob Barker’s Love For Animals

Aside from being a successful game show host, Bob Barker is also an advocate for animals. He works with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and his involvement has nothing to do with The Price Is Right. Animal activism is simply where his heart lies. 

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Bob Barker was set to host the Miss USA pageant in 1987, but he declined, stating that he would only do it if the contestants wore faux fur instead of genuine fur. Bob regularly involves himself in animal rights issues like this.

Prizes Come With A Catch

Some of us may believe that the participants’ awards would be provided to them as is, but this is not the case. The reward is not tax-free, which means the contestants take home less than you think. That’s right – the government takes a cut of every prize.

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Source: CBS.com

Contestants on all game shows have to pay an amount, which may be rather large, based on their total winnings. As a result, some winners refuse to take their prizes. While most prize refusals are due to this tax issue, one memorable contestant refused a $10,000 prize because he didn’t want to share it with his wife!

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When Luck Is On Your Side

Errors and mistakes are inevitable, no matter how long your show is running. The people behind the show are ordinary human beings who are bound to commit mistakes. The only problem is, these mistakes often allow players to win big time. 

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Source: CBS.com

A man who needed to guess the price of a computer is an example of a mistake transformed into success. They stated it was a Dell computer, but it turned out they got it wrong; it was an HP PC. As a result, the contender was given the computer by management, who believed the game had not been fair due to the accidental deception.

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Top Notch Prizes

The Price Is Right has some of the most amazing prizes of any game show. One of its contestants, Carl Slater, won an amazing set of prizes when he joined the show in 1958. It was a prize that was composed of many things.

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He received a dining room suite, a suit of armor, a trip to a castle in Scotland, and a pony. Yes, a pony. When we said diverse, we meant diverse! Although we have to admit, a pony, a suit of armor, and a trip to Scotland do oddly go together. It is, in fact, the dining room suite that seems out of place.

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The Big Wheel

Without the big wheel, The Price Is Right would not be the same. Each competitor tries their luck at spinning the wheel in one of the most anticipated moments of the show. People were curious about the winning rate of the large wheel because it was so well-known.

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Source: CBS.com

The show drew the interest of The Royal Economic Society, which funded research concerning the likelihood of the person to win something while spinning the wheel and the decision-making of the contestant. The data revealed that participants frequently deviated from their usual course of action. The intense pressure of going on the program causes many to reconsider their strategy.

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Bob Barker Was An Actor

Bob Barker isn’t only a host and an animal advocate. He was once an actor too. Bob starred with Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore, and his role was quite physical. We can see the overflowing talent that Bob has to offer in the industry. 

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That’s not the only time these two actors crossed paths. They both attended a charity event where they recreated their famous fight scene that made audiences around the world laugh. Bob also appeared in TV shows like How I Met Your Mother and Bonanza.

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The Most Kissable Host: Bob Barker

If you want some evidence to back up this claim, then you’d better watch the reactions of the people in the crowd. It’s not scripted. While all of us would love to win incredible prizes, some people are only waiting for their chance to meet the most kissable host in game show history – Bob Barker.

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Bob has garnered thousands of kisses from fans and audience members in his position as host of the longest-running game show. In 2007, Bob exited the show, and fans of the host were heartbroken. His position was handed over to Drew Carey.  

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A Change Of Host

It was a huge responsibility for Drew Carey to perform well and keep audiences happy as the new host of The Price Is Right. The former host, Bob Barker, had made the show successful for more than 30 years. 

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Source: CBS.com

Because of this, management was worried that fans of the old host would lose interest in the show. If this happened, ratings would suffer. To address these concerns, they made changes to the entire show, including a controversial move – they made the games easier for the contestants to win.

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Board Games

Did you know that this game called “Board Game” predates the famous “Risk”? This version of The Price is Right allows the fans to play in the comforts of their homes, with rules that match the game played on the set.

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Source: CBS.com

They need to outbid the other players to get the closest price of an item. While many people have long since left board games behind in favor of video games and smartphone scrolling, we say it’s time to dust off The Price is Right and enjoy some old-fashioned fun! 

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All The Prices Comes From One State

California is the place where the producers and staff of the show find their prices. Why do you think they get their prices in one state alone? It’s simple – they want it to be a level playing field. It’s good to know that they respect fairness above everything else; it only goes to prove how legitimate the game show is.

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Source: CBS.com

Because of this, contestants can do some research and get an idea of current pricing for things in California. The only problem is, you never know what prizes and items you’re going to have to guess. That is kept strictly confidential. 

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Prizes Are Not Given On The Day

When a contestant wins something, the prizes will not be given on the same day. They need to wait until their episode is aired. Why? The producers of the show want to preserve the reactions of the audience at home.

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Source: CBS.com

If you witness someone carrying new items into their home and claiming they won them on the program, your excitement is likely to fade. Your interest will wane, and you will stop watching the show. It’s astounding to think that they put so much effort into perfecting every aspect of the show.

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The Waiting Game

Before you can play the show’s game, you need to play the waiting game. What does that mean? Well, if you want to be a contestant of the show, you need to fall in line and wait for your turn to enter the studio.

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Source: CBS.com

You may have to wait for hours to get into the studio. You’ll also need some luck on your side to get your name called. All of this waiting will be worth it once you finally get the opportunity to play. Believe it or not, some people wait at the studio all day just for an opportunity to do it.

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Skinny Microphones

Have you ever wondered why The Price is Right uses a skinny microphone? As it turns out, this is based on psychology. Contestants on the show, particularly first-timers in the spotlight, feel more at ease with skinny mics – the producers were spot on with this one.

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For some people, regular microphones are daunting, especially when speaking in front of a crowd or, worse, in front of a camera. If you are too scared to speak into a large, bulky microphone, a skinny mic can be your saving grace.

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Drew’s Insane Giveaway

The prizes from The Price is Right are not cheap. Some are luxuriously amazing, while others are downright weird. If you win something, you can be sure it’ll be top-notch, consisting of either the strangest or most spectacular goods or a combination of the two.

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Source: CBS.com

However, there’s more to these prizes than meets the eye. If you guess the exact price of an item, Drew Carey, the host of the show will give you $500 from his own pocket! Yes, you read that right. He will give you his own money. By 2017, Carey had given away an incredible $187,000.

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Vanna White And The Price Is Right

Vanna White is a well-known game show host and film actress. Before Vanna earned wide fame on Wheel of Fortune, she was seen by the public as a contestant on The Price is Right. In 1980, Vanna made her first game show appearance ever. 

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Bob Barker said that she spent more time viewing herself in the mirror than playing the game during her tenure as a participant on The Price is Right. As a result, she did not win any prizes during her episode.

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Screening Process

Have you heard of Stan Blitz? Stan Blitz is the one who screens everyone who has ever been on The Price is Right. He interviews each hopeful contestant to get a sense of their personality. Aside from that, he must assess the individual’s energy.

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The most important thing for you to be considered a player or a participant in the show is that you need to have energy – something that can make the show livelier. Stan has issued one warning to potential contestants: he will not take a bribe in exchange for a position.

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Male Models On The Price Is Right

In 2012, male models began appearing on The Price is Right. This occurred as a result of the producer’s belief that the show lacked something. This is just one example of how open they are to making modifications for the sake of the program.

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Source: CBS.com

Rob Wilson was the show’s very first male model. Rob skipped school to see the show as a kid. Of course, skipping classes is never a smart idea. However, Rob’s delight was palpable when he was cast in the show. Being a part of it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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Bathroom Break

Many people missed their opportunity to play on The Price is Right because they used the restroom at the worst possible moment. If this sounds like something you would do, then we don’t even want to think about how many missed opportunities you may have had!

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Source: CBS.com

Patricia Bernard, an audience member on The Price is Right, lost her chance for just this reason. She needed to use the restroom and hurried to the nearest facility. What she didn’t expect was that her name would be called by the host while she was away. The show must go on, so poor Patricia missed out.

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Brand New Cars

When it comes to tempting prizes, The Price Is Right is unrivaled. Each episode of the show features at least three different vehicles. People will flood the studio to try their luck at winning one of the brand new automobiles.

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Aside from the host, the prizes are what make the show so exciting. It’s no wonder the show’s producers believe it will be popular with contestants and viewers alike. The Price Is Right stores up to 45 luxury vehicles. They’re brought in at different intervals to guarantee that there’s always something new to try.

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Fancy A Ferrari?

How would you feel if you were competing in a game show and the reward was a Ferrari? The executive producer of The Price is Right always hoped that the show would give away a brand-new Ferrari.

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In 2013, Mike Richards’ dream nearly came true. The show rented a Ferrari 458 Spider for a few hours and showcased it to the world. Unfortunately, the contestant wasn’t lucky enough to win the grand prize. If they had won, the show would have been forced to buy the car.

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The Crossover

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has gotten us used to cross-overs and cameos. However, this has been happening for quite some time in the game show world. For example, an actor from Breaking Bad became a contestant on The Price is Right. The actor, Aaron Paul, was chosen to play the game.

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Aaron was seen enjoying the game show while he was playing. He even shouted to Bob Barker the words, “You’re the man!” because he truly admired the game show host. Aaron felt content with merely participating in the program, even though he didn’t win.

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Cheating Allegations

We all know there’s a lot of segments in the show that help it rank high in ratings. One of these is the Showcase Showdown. Many people try to be part of this game simply because there are tons of prizes waiting for them. However, the chances of winning in this game are pretty low.

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In 2010, Terry Kneiss guessed the price of the showcase correctly. Allegations of cheating were made, and the producers requested that the performance be paused for an hour to examine what had occurred. As it turns out, the numbers were personally significant to Terry. It was pure luck that they perfectly matched the showcase.

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Cue Cards

It is unavoidable for the audience to make a lot of noise while the show is filming. However, this means many people are unable to hear the program presenter say, “come on down.” Sadly, some people lost their chance to enter the stage. As a result, the producers devised a plan that included the usage of cue cards.

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They didn’t want to dim the noise of the crowd, so they created a better way of calling people out. We think the producers, staff, and the host did their best to cater to the needs of the people inside the studio.

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Wardrobe Malfunction

Containing someone’s happiness in a game show is not easy. Many people are eager to make it up on stage. When players realize they’ll be competing for rewards, they often have trouble keeping their joy in check.

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Source: CBS.com

One woman dashed to the stage, stumbling in the middle and showing something unfit for television. Bob Barker’s remark on the incident was so amusing that it took the focus away from the woman. Barker jokingly said he had “never had a welcome like this!” During this time, she corrected the wardrobe malfunction before continuing to play the game.

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Wait For The Cue

It is always important to keep an audience engaged and clapping. Energy is one of the most important parts of a game show. But did you know that the audience is told when to clap and when to stop clapping? 

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The producers have to keep the studio audience entertained so that the energy stays high throughout the entire show. If there is not enough energy in a television program, it will fall flat, and viewers at home will be bored. This is why there are behind the scenes cues and signs to get the live studio audience on their feet.

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Miscommunication On The Set

Plinko holds the honor of being the most popular segment of all time on The Price Is Right. The producers developed an advertisement in 2008 to show that participants can definitely win $10,000. They did this by setting it to always deliver $10,000, but then they forgot to reset the machine before filming the next episode. 

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CBS.com

The contestant won $10,000 each time, which made her understandably ecstatic. The producers of the show realized their mistake, but in the end, there was nothing they could do. The participant took home $30,000 in prize money, so it worked out well for her!

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The Infamous Car Accident

Florence Henderson had no idea she would be involved in a car accident on set when she appeared on The Price Is Right. She was supposed to arrive in an SUV, making a special entrance to the stage. 

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Source: CBS.com

However, the car ended up crashing into the set at 2 MPH. Fortunately, the set was not damaged, and no one was hurt. However, the brand new car was damaged in that incident. The contestants who were playing to win that specific car surely were hoping for a fully intact version.

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Wardrobe Malfunction 2.0

It’s no surprise that the success of The Price is Right has spawned a slew of spin-offs in other nations. Danielle Atkin, one of the models in Australia, was in charge of introducing the show’s host to the stage as a sign that the taping was about to begin.

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However, something horrible happened in this episode. While she was making her opening statement, she had a wardrobe malfunction. The audience in the studio witnessed what occurred, but poor Danielle only became aware of it when the host entered the stage.

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The Prize Isn’t Right

The most interesting part of The Price is Right is that no one knows what the prizes will be until they’re revealed. The same goes for the contestants. This keeps things interesting, but it can have unfortunate results. Comedian Danielle Perez was a contestant on the show, and it was a good thing she had a sense of humor about her prize.

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Source: CBS.com

Danielle has been in a wheelchair since she lost her legs in 2004. She participated in the show and won a treadmill. When the host revealed the prize, the audience became quiet, and the mood became awkward. Thankfully, Danielle’s comedic side shone through, and she got everyone laughing about the situation.

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Answer The Postcard

The original show in the 1950s popularized the phrase, “Answer the Postcard.”  People at home were able to provide answers in the form of postcards. This became such a sensation that they finally had to recruit hundreds of workers merely to go through all of the postcard entries to determine who had won.

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Sometimes, you don’t know what is coming next, but you will be left wondering how the producers can pull off such tricks every time. It seems the people behind The Price Is Right can invent anything, and audiences at home will love it. 

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Drew Carey’s Life

When Drew Carey took over as host of The Price Is Right in 2007, he was met with considerable criticism. However, he rapidly adapted to his new job and gained a large following. Being a host of the longest-running game show even helped him find love.

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Drew Carey announced his engagement to Amie Harwick – a family and sex therapist and writer – in January 2018. However, the two were only together for a short time. Although they have gone their separate ways, Drew still values the time they spent together. 

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Drew’s Heartbreak

Two years after their amicable split, Amie was found dead in a suburb of the Hollywood Hills.  The tragic event stunned everyone, especially Drew. In his statement released on CNN, Drew said that Amie and he had the kind of love that only comes around once in a lifetime.

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Drew’s life was at a crossroads at the time. Drew Carey may be seen enthusiastically talking to the crowd on the show. However, his persona on The Price is Right is just a fraction of who he really is. We wish Drew all the best in recovering from this tragedy and finding peace. 

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