- The contestant is given $500 in cash and is shown four prices on a game board. Three of the prices correspond with the three prizes; the fourth is an extra price that does not match any of the prizes.
- The contestant is asked to place markers beside the three prices that correspond with the prizes. The contestant is not required to specifically match prices to their prizes; they are only required to choose the three prices that are correct.
- The correctly marked prices of two of the prizes are revealed, leaving the third prize and two possible prices. The contestant is then given the option to return the $500 in order to move their marker to the unselected price if they believe their initial choice is wrong.
If the marker is correctly placed, the contestant wins all three prizes, plus the $500 if they have not returned it. If they are incorrect, however, they lose everything.
History and behind the scenesEdit
- The game's original name, "Barker's Marker$", referred to former Price Is Right host Bob Barker. When Barker's Bargain Bar was on hiatus, there were no games currently being played which refer to Barker in name. A third game, the now-retired Trader Bob, was played from 1980 through 1985. The name change after its final playing under Barker on April 19, 2007 (#3954K) was also accompanied by a completely updated game prop (with solid colors where there had previously been pink and purple marbling) for Season 36.
- The origin of the name "Make Your Mark" lies with 1994's syndicated The New Price is Right, on which the game's name was changed for its single appearance (as the show was hosted by Doug Davidson, not Bob Barker). On this version, a sign reading "Make Your Mark" was placed over the "Barker's Marker$" lights.
- The game's three prizes had a different staging during early playings of the game. Instead of resting on risers, they were placed on the stage floor and the displays that light up their prices were on individual podiums. The original staging caused confusion when price displays were placed between prizes. The more familiar staging debuted on March 24, 1995 (#9515D).
- Also on the very early playings of the game, the prices lit up on the game. On later playings, the prices exposed underneath the prizes.
- On February 21, 2008 (#4214K), contestants began placing markers themselves rather than verbally choosing a price and the host marking the appropriate selection. It was also the first playing under the new name.
The game was retired after Drew explained the rules incorrectly on its only appearance in Season 37 on October 16, 2008 (#4464K, aired out of order on October 9, 2008), stating that as long as the contestant did not move the third marker, he would win the $500 no matter what. In order to avoid embarrassing Drew, the staff decided on the fly that these would be the game's "new rules" and allowed the playing to proceed. After the taping, the staff decided the game would never be played again.
- On the UK's Bruce's Price Is Right, the game was renamed "Price Tags" (not to be confused with "Five Price Tags").
- The most number of times this game was played in any season was 18.
- From a purely statistical perspective, if the contestant's selection of the markers is assumed to be random, there is a 75 percent chance of winning by switching the marker and a 25 percent chance by leaving it as-is. This is because the placement of the three markers is also effectively a choice of the one wrong price which is left unmarked. Since there are four possible wrong prices, there is only a one-in-four (25 percent) chance that this initial choice is made correctly. In the other three scenarios, the actual wrong price will be left as the option to switch to, making "switch" the correct decision. This analysis is indicative of the Monty Hall problem.
- However, unlike the Monty Hall problem, the contestant in Make Your Mark does not choose randomly from identical doors but rather from four different prices for three prizes. Whether the prices are appropriate for the prizes is a factor in the probability of a choice being correct, and makes the options not equally probable.