A crazy thing happened Friday on the venerable game show The Price is Right. More accurately, a series of crazy things happened. But were they too good to be true?
A very quick Price is Right primer for those unfamiliar: Twice per show, three contestants participate in the Showcase Showdown to try to win their way into the show’s final segment — the Showcase — where a prize package often in excess of $25,000 is given away. In the Showcase Showdown, the three contestants spin the Big Wheel — numbered in five cent increments from a nickel to a dollar. The aim is to come closest to $1.00 without going over.
If the contestant, in one spin or two, gets exactly $1.00, he or she wins a cash prize (generally $1,000, but raised to $10,000 on Friday in honor of the show’s season premiere week), and gets a Bonus Spin, in which they could win another $25,000 if they land on $1.00 again. The show can feel secure in offering that prize because each contestant has, statistically, a one-in-200 chance of getting $1.00 back-to-back.
But what occurred on Friday was hard to fathom. The odds, in fact, were one-in-400,000.
Each of the three contestants managed to get $1.00 in their first round spins. A contestant named Charlotte got the dollar in one spin, while competitors Wilbur and Zachary did it two.
Then, it was bonus spin time. Wilbur led off, and he got another $1.00. Charlotte followed, and did the same.
The crowd went absolutely bonkers. Five consecutive wins. A grand total of $80,000 given away.
Was it on the level? If it was a fix, the contestants certainly aren’t to blame. They all gave the wheel strong spins, using mostly the same amount of torque on each. And it seems near impossible for there to be some sort of mechanism for the producers to slow the wheel as it landed on the preferred number. As we noted, the wheel didn’t land on $1.00 each time — Wilbur and Zachary both got to the magic number in two spins.
So few things in this world are pure anymore. We badly want to believe this one is real.
Watch above, via CBS.
[featured image via screengrab]
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