Worst Game Show Prizes!

My aunt and uncle won a waterpik on a 1970s game show called It’s Your Move. They never used it. Nearly 40 years later, after uncle had died and aunt had moved to an assisted-care facility, it fell into my hands, still in its original box, still with the original receipt. I tried it a few times, liked it, then some long-unused gasket blew and spilled water all over the place and that was that.

True story.

If memory serves, Jeopardy! was still giving away trips to Jakarta as second prize until after the 1998 riots broke out. Hundreds of people were killed but luckily no Jeopardy contestants were among the dead as far as I ever learned. Thanks, Alex, but I think I’d rather have the Rice-a-Roni.

A single bag of them?

12 crates of Lee Press-On Nails

400 cans of Turtle Wax

My friend’s Dad was on the Wheel of Fortune(he won a car). He also got to do the “shopping” thing and got a Batman and Robin painting. I never saw it. I assume they sold it.

Ceramic dalmatian

Bob Harris, in his book “Prisoner of Trebekistan” mentions receiving box after box of the promotional prizes. Deodorant, air fresheners, all-purpose cleaners…they just kept coming for months.

I recall them saying, “A Lifetime Supply of Turtle Wax!” which would be about ***2 ***cans.

One to open and use once, and one to not open 'cause you never want to do that again!

The UK game show, Countdown, which is like a slightly more professional version of Boggle, has a prize each week of an extremely ugly teapot. I am not too familiar with the show*, but it seems to me that it’s the tradition that matters.

*Apart from when 8 Out Of 10 Cats does its crossover version, which is where I discovered the wondrous marvels that are Rachel Riley and Susie Dent

You think that would be bad? One unlucky Bachelorette on “The Dating Game” won a date with a serial killer (and an ugly one to boot!)

And the prices were always the outrageously inflated suggested list price. So, a Canon Sure Shot, selling in the mall for about $119 would set back the contestant $289.95 of their winnings. You could bank some of your money, too, but a bankrupt would take that away.

100 Grand… as done in countless radio contests

Apparently, they usually offered a cash prize, like $100 or so, instead of the Zonk, but according to Monty Hall (Monty Hall Interview : Let's Make a Deal / Classic TV ), they would have to give them whatever they showed them on stage:

I would think the prizes for Guy “Poochie” Fieri’s Minute to Win it, would be pretty lame. Show looks like the have the budget of a commericial.

This would be a nightmare if it was all one prize package. You have go to camping in Detroit with a live orangutan and all the bananas you can carry, and while you are away, Gary Busey lives in your house. It’s the Showcase Showdown of the Damned.

$1,000,000 worth of bitcoins.

Redeemable in 2015.

Here’s the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7ggePjCP8Y

I recall hearing a comedian saying the biggest middle finger a game show gives to its non-winning contestants is the home version of the game they just lost on. So they could relive sucking at the game over and over again.

Funny how so many of us have the image of the porcelain dalmatian etched into our subconscious. I can even recall the pained grimace of some 80s contestant sheepishly asking for the monstrosity, and the remaining $2.50 on a gift certificate.

I was on Wheel of Fortune in 1993, just after the prize era - we got cash, thankfully. Though I did win a lovely biking trip to the UK, I think they tweaked the cash value of the trip a tad.

My fellow contestants who were runners-up got the Harry and David fruit basket and the huge shipment of York Peppermint Patties (or was it Eskimo Pies?). At any rate, my buddy answered the door about a week after the show aired, and there was a palette of frozen goodies on his porch. He called all of us over to help eat them.

Our college week show re-aired later that fall. While I didn’t get a new wad of cash or another trip, my buddies did indeed receive second shipments of their prizes!

On my second (and final) day on Jeopardy!, they sent me home with the Jeopardy! game for the PC. I have a Mac. I don’t think I ever opened it (not to mention that I was traumatized from losing)…