"Come on down! You're the next contestant on The Price Is Right!"
Five days a week, for decades, these immortal words emerged from millions of American television sets. The Price Is Right stands as the longest-running game show in US history, so it has become a regular a part of countless people's lives: a bright and entertaining way to spend an hour of the day and an undeniable comfort in a stressful and sometimes scary world. But like any good American institution, the show saw its fair share of behind-the-scenes secrets and stories the public knows virtually nothing about.
The Price Is Right began life in 1956 in a noticeably different format. Hosted by Bill Cullen, it ran until 1965, but it was so popular that for a brief period during its initial run,creators started a weekly nighttime version. After its cancellation, the show was extensively retooled, eventually returning to the airwaves in 1972, this time with the legendary Bob Barker hosting. This second incarnation is the version everyone knows and loves today. Since its debut, The Price Is Right has given away more than a quarter of a billion dollars in cash and prizes and secured itself a permanent place in popular culture.
Now come on down, and let's look at some of the behind-the-scenes secrets from The Price Is Right.
The CBS Television Lot Is Full Of Shiny New Cars
Pretty much everyone who comes to The Price Is Right hopes to win a car (except this guy). But just think: in any given show, a few different cars get offered as prizes, and the Showcase Showdown typically includes at least one car as well. With five shows a week, that's a lot of cars.
You never see the same car twice, and they always happen to be the latest, shiniest models. That's because the show keeps 37 to 45 vehicles on the studio lot at any given time, and the inventory rotates every week.
Only One Contestant Made A Perfect Bid On The ShowcaseVideo: YouTube
The Showcase Showdown always contains an abundance of high-dollar prizes, and even coming close to placing a winning bid without going over or under remains a challenge. Some contestants landed in the ballpark, but only one has ever guessed the dollar amount right on the nose.
His name was Terry Kniess, a Price Is Right superfan who had meticulously studied the show beforehand. Because the show often features similar prizes, Kniess previously memorized the value of each of his Showcase items and added them up in his head before placing his bid
The show, obviously, was stunned, and they stopped taping for almost an hour while they tried to figure out just how he accomplished the feat.
Bob Barker Needed To Receive Approval To Stop Dyeing His Hair
For decades, Bob Barker sported deep, chocolate-y-brown hair. It sounds a bit hard to imagine now, given that his silver mane became one of the things for which he is most known. But initially, The Price Is Right felt reluctant to let him go from brown to gray. Barker told BookPage the decision to stop dyeing his hair was a big deal to the show's producers.
“I was the only guy on TV with gray hair," he said. "I had to get approval from the head of daytime programming!”
The Most Money Ever Won On The Show Was $1,153,908
Sure, the games make for enjoyable viewings, mostly because they're as much about chance as they are about strategy, which makes for good entertainment. And the contestants can be a hoot. But the real draw of the show lies in getting a gander at those amazing prizes. Over the years, they've offered some showstoppers. Like the $285,716 Ferrari 458 Spider that no one won, and a $157,300 Audi R8 V8 Spyder that Sheree Heil won in 2013. Heil also won $10,000 in cash and a $3,045 pair of Prada shoes, beating the previous Price Is Right record of $147,517 won by a single contestant.
But the biggest winner of all time was Adam Rose, who took home $1,153,908 during The Price Is Right Million Dollar Spectacular primetime special.