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Clock Game is a game where the contestant races against the clock to win two prizes, an additional bonus prize, and originally a cash bonus.

GameplayEdit

  • The contestant has 30 seconds to deduce the price of two prizes, one at a time. The contestant makes guesses at the price; after each guess, the host will tell the contestant "higher" or "lower," until they guess the correct price, which is displayed onscreen for the audience and for the people at home to see. Unlike most pricing games, the audience is not allowed to provide contestants with any help during Clock Game. On some occasions, audience members have blurted out answers despite being told not to. If this happens, generally, offending audience members are removed from the studio.
  • If the contestant successfully guesses the price of the first prize within the 30 second time limit, he/she wins it and keeps the prize no matter what happens. Then with the time remaining, the contestant can bid on the second prize, as before. Successfully guessing both prices wins the contestant a bonus prize; however, if time expires while bidding on the second item, the contestant still wins the first prize.
  • If the contestant does not bid the first prize in time (a rare occurrence), the losing horns are played; if the contestant does not bid the second prize in time, only the "Time's Up!" buzzer (the foghorn) is heard.

StrategyEdit

The best way for contestants to win the game is give a bid in $100 increments (eg: five hundred, six hundred, seven hundred, eight hundred, etc.) Then the contestant would give a bid in between $700-$800 for example and go for seven fifty. Then, they'll try adding or subtracting $10 depending on what the host tells the contestant. The contestant is allowed to take shortcuts in pronunciation to save time. One common example many contestants did would be saying out the numbers in the tens and the ones column which would be 991, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99. Another example that some contestants did would be saying the numbers in the ones column only which would be 991, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. This logical strategy for the game is binary search strategy, which makes the game fairly easy to win.

HistoryEdit

  • Clock Game's clock was very problematic during its first rehearsals back in 1972, to the point where it very nearly never debuted. Two early Clock Game losers were awarded their prizes after their shows were taped because the clock had counted down from 30 to 0 in only 22 seconds.
  • Clock Game was lost on the day it first premiered, but it was won for the very first time 2 days later, on September 13, 1972 (#0023D).
  • The $1,000 cash bonus was added on December 14, 1998 (#0941K), as a way to compensate for the fact that Clock Game never offers prizes worth more than $999. During the primetime specials that aired in 1986, a winning contestant chose a cash bonus from one of four envelopes. The available bonuses were $1,000, $2,000, $3,000 and $5,000. In all primetime specials since 2002, a $5,000 bonus has been awarded to winners. For Clock Game's first six times it had been played on the 1970s syndicated edition, players won a $1,000 bonus for winning both prizes with at least 2 seconds to spare.
  • Also during the 1970s syndicated run, starting with Episode #215N, until the end of that run, Clock Game was played for three prizes.
  • For a brief period in the early 1980s, Clock Game was played with four-digit prizes, including cars, but the large numbers proved to be too hard for contestants to handle in the fast-paced game. Spotting contestants the thousands digit and not requiring them to say it didn't help matters.
  • By 2008, Clock Game, even with the $1,000 cash bonus, again had the lowest payout of all pricing games. For a brief period from 2008 to 2009 (Season 37), prizes with four-digit prices were offered again, but with the exception of one technical win, the game was never won under this format; so the rules were amended to the player bidding on a small portion of the second prize package and throwing in the larger prize as a bonus prize beginning on April 29, 2009 (#4733K). As of this season, prizes with four-digit prices were offered as bonus prizes in addition to the $1,000 bonus.
  • There have been some memorably bad occasions for Clock Game. On January 21, 1994 (#9045D), a contestant named William (who looked a lot like Rod Roddy) bid $50 on a $701 baker's rack, and increased his bids in very small increments, never even making it to about $300 before time ran out. Bob was at a loss for words, but finally told him, "You will never buy a baker's rack for $50!"
  • Another memorable playing was on February 11, 1999 (#1014K), when a contestant, named Brian, although he managed to win the first prize, a rower, in about 20 seconds, had a memorably bad playing. He bid $89 and then $105 on a $983 set of dinnerware, promoting Bob to stop the game to chide him for his ridiculously low bids. Then, he remarked that "you couldn't buy those saucers for $89!" His next bid was $485, but he said it so quickly (pronouncing it "four-eighty-five"), it sounded like $45, which prompted more chiding from Bob. He then reminds Brian to try again. So as the rest of Brian's time was running out, while still bidding slightly lower, his final bid was "eight or nine hundred". When the game was over, Bob wanted to know if that was really his bid. He also remarked that "for both of our sakes, I'm glad your time is up!" And also how he was aghast that Brian ever said $89 for the dinnerware.
  • Another memorable playing was on November 14, 2002 (#2304K), where contestant Gabriella, at first, didn't know how to play the game. This news shocks Bob and the audience. He reminds her that it's been around for 30 years, but Gabriella defends herself by saying "I've been in school!" (which has been a common excuse amongst others, who haven't had time to watch the show), despite seeing other pricing games being played on the show. Later, Bob explains the rules of the game, and some of them seem to be familiar to her. They first play for a desk, valued at $939. During the first 13 seconds of the game, she starts bidding, but she later bids so fast, that she doesn't give Bob a chance to say "Higher or Lower". He stops the clock and chides her, even though he understood some of her bids, before he stopped the clock. When the clock started up again, Gabriella kept bidding between $875 and $950, but she accidentally went so low (by saying $155, instead of $955), that it provides more chiding from Bob. Exhausted, he asks "Could I have a glass of tequila, please?" So they resumed the game and she finally won the desk, but only had 1¾ seconds permitting. Gabriella uses that time for a dinette set, valued at $999. Before the price was ever shown, she bids $3500. Bob says that he wasn't ready, but he gives her a hint that "it's lower than $3500!" The price is then revealed and her last two bids were $700 and $1000. At first, Bob was in dismay that she missed it by $1, but he reminds her that she's been an outstanding contestant.
  • On 1994's syndicated The New Price is Right, the game was played using the show's on-set video wall (with a digital clock). The game frequently used prizes with four-digit prices (the contestant was provided with a $1,000 range in which to guess the price), and on some occasions, a third prize was awarded as a bonus for winning.
  • The blue Chroma key screen on the Clock Game board was problematic on March 25, 2003 (#2482K, aired out of order on April 8) after the turntable was redesigned to a pink/purple/blue pattern, as the blue from the turntable was interfering with the Chroma key. To combat this, the producers originally placed a large yellow circle behind the game on April 23, 2003 (#2513K), until finally repainting the board yellow on May 30, 2003 (#2565K) with the Chroma key changing to green. On November 23, 2005 (#3423K), the board was repainted again to feature a blue border and base.
  • On September 26, 2014 (#6815K), a completely overhauled look was introduced. After the prizes were described, the previous look was seen on its back side of the turntable, and then Drew Carey explained that there were so many pricing games making changes, so everyone was about to see a new look of Clock Game. So the turntable turned its way around to the front to show everyone the new look - a new electronic blue stopwatch look with its Clock Game logo on top and a new look for the clock underneath, with only hash marks for the 30 seconds. Instead of a Chroma key, the left side of the clock is now where the contestant's graphic is shown. Additionally, the price tag graphics for the prices to be shown to the audience, instead of chyron, were now CGI. Finally, the red price boxes became silver. Also, the $1,000 bonus was discontinued.
  • On February 9, 1984 (#5194D) and November 26, 2014 (#6903K), Clock Game has offered a car as a bonus prize. (The latter is played only if the contestant won the first prize.)
  • Clock Game was won 7 times on the primetime series out of the 8 that have been played.
  • On the January 30, 2017 (#7791K) playing, Drew Carey gave the contestant incorrect information on a couple of occasions while playing for the first prize. Because of this, he asked producers to put some time back on the clock, and 6 seconds were added. The contestant won the second prize, and thus the bonus, with 1 second to spare.

TriviaEdit

  • The most number of times this game was played in any season was 79.

Foreign versions of Clock GameEdit

  • Clock Game is played on versions of The Price Is Right in numerous countries besides the United States, sometimes with minor alterations; for instance, on the UK's Bruce's Price Is Right, from its second series onward, contestants were told that all of the game's prices ended in 5 or 0. The 1980s UK version took a markedly different approach; after using Clock Game in its first series, the game was replaced with an original pricing game called "Time-Play". Time-Play gave a contestant 30 seconds to guess the prices of three prizes, and the clock would not stop after correct guesses.
  • On Mexico's Atínale al Precio, the contestant was given 45 seconds to guess the prices of three products, rather than the usual 30 seconds to guess two. As such, the clock goes around ¾ of the way rather than only halfway.
  • Like most foreign versions of US pricing games, Clock Game has unique looks—for instance, Bruce's Price is Right in the UK used a watch-style setup with two computer displays, one for each digit, while Larry Emdur's runs in Australia used a setup resembling a castle, with the clock going around completely rather than only halfway like in the US, and lighting up as each second ticked.
  • No foreign version is known to carry a bonus for guessing all the prizes correctly within the time limit.

PicturesEdit

Cynthia's Million Dollar WinEdit

  • On one of Drew Carey's Million Dollar Spectaculars, which aired March 7, 2008 (#026SP, aired out of order on April 4), Cynthia Azevedo won $1,000,000 off Clock Game, which was the Million Dollar Game of the evening. To win the million, you must win both prizes in less than 10 seconds (winning both prizes in more than 10 seconds but under 30 still won $5,000). Given the prices for the items ending in "x99", a common bid by contestants playing Clock Game, it was fairly easy for her to win. Below is a picture gallery of what happened.
  • It is the only time the million was won in a pricing game; the other two times were due to the showcase bids being within $1,000 ($500 in later episodes).

The New Clock Game PropEdit

  • On September 26, 2014 (#6815K), audiences (home & studio) were introduced to a shiny & magnificent new look for the Clock Game.

Other PicturesEdit

YouTube VideosEdit

Close Call Win from 2001
Another close call win from 2005
Greatest Playing of Clock Game
Primetime Clock Game $1,000,000 Winner (March 7, 2008, #026SP, aired out of order on April 4)
New Clock Game set change (September 26, 2014, #6815K)

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