Money Game is a pricing game that offers a car and also awards small cash amounts.
- The contestant is shown a board containing nine two-digit number cards and is given the third digit in the five-digit price of a car. He/she must then guess which cards represent the first two and last two digits in the price. To do this, the contestant selects one card at a time, which covers either a dollar sign or the image of half of a car. The front half of the car is hidden by the first two digits and the back of the card by the last two digits. If a dollar sign is revealed, the number is placed in the player's cash column. Should the contestant find both "halves" of the car before four dollar signs, they win the car; regardless, they will always win the total dollars in the cash column, thus making this a game where it is not possible to win nothing.
History and behind the scenesEdit
- When the game first premiered on Christmas Day 1972 (#0171D), it was won right away.
- Originally, Money Game was played with four-digit cars and no free digit was given. Money Game was originally played on stage behind The Giant Price Tag until December 24, 1981 (#4324D), when it moved to the Turntable, though an exception was at least on December 28, 1981 (#4331D), when it was still played on stage. It was first played for a 5-digit car on February 22, 1990 (#7541D). The current game board debuted on September 10, 1991 (#8092D). The car silhouette used on the current board is based on a 1991 Ford Taurus.
- On the 1985 syndicated TPIR hosted by Tom Kennedy, Money Game was sometimes played for cars worth at least $10,000. The game was dubbed "Big Money Game" and the last digit was revealed first, similar to that of Lucky $even during the primetime specials, meaning that the contestant then had to find the first two digits and the third and fourth digits of the price.
- On October 21, 1996 (#0101K), the player almost filled up the cash column while playing for a 1996 Dodge Neon Hi-line Sedan but the player made an astonishing comeback by finding the first 2 numbers of the car's price and the last 2 numbers of the car's price and won the car.
- One of Money Game's most memorable playings was on the episode aired February 19, 2002 (#2072K), when a contestant named Percy played for a $17,620 Ford Focus. As the car was described, Percy told Bob that his old car had recently been totaled. Percy went on to have an emotional and joyous win as he celebrated his replacement car. Percy made another appearance on the episode that aired March 14, 2013 (#6264K). He wore a shirt that said "Money Game is my fame" and Drew gave him a shout out, as Money Game was played (and won) on that episode as well.
- Money Game serves as the all-purpose substitute car game, should the intended car game break down, as it involves no electronics, and is easy to set up on short notice.
- During this game, the displays in Contestant's Row are used to keep track of the total amount of money that has been accumulated; this is generally not seen on-camera, though it only happened once.
- Money Game was the first pricing game played on the first show broadcast with Drew Carey hosting (October 30, 2007, #4062K, aired out of order on October 15), although this show was not his actual first aired episode (His actual first aired episode (#4041K) was originally scheduled for October 15, but aired out of order on October 16.).
- On the April Fool's Day 2016 (#7475K) episode, the car silhouette on both the Money Game sign and the Price holder used a picture of a boat, though the car picture was still used on the board behind the correct numbers.
- There are three common practices the producers often use in hiding the correct price. One is called "El Cheapo" (as coined by host Bob Barker; Carey continues that tradition today), where the last two digits of the car is hidden behind one of the smallest numbers on the board (usually requiring a 0 as the first digit to receive the moniker), which a contestant trying to bank the most money would be less likely to select. The other is the "old front and back trick" (also coined by Barker), where the first two numbers and the last two numbers are right next to each other, side by side, on the board. Another common choice is to hide the back of the car behind a number ending in zero or five. Unlike practices in some other games, these are not rules that apply to every playing of the game. The last two numbers are not usually hidden behind a season number; though in rare cases, the season number has the back of the car.
- A running joke in Drew Carey's time as host of the show is that if a contestant chooses a 19 card in the game, Carey will repeat the number back as "N-n-n-nineteen." This is a reference to the song "19" by Paul Hardcastle, which features a sample of someone saying the word "nineteen" that loops back that same way.
- First two-digit number choices are usually consecutive (Ex: 20, 21, 22) and the last two-digit number choice is a six choice number.
- Although never used on air, the losing horns are played once on February 3, 1995 (#9445D).
- On October 23, 2013 (#6463K, aired out of order on October 9), a contestant named Adam Consovoy won a $20,000 bonus for being the first person on stage to win their pricing game during PCH week. It was played in the third slot. He went on to win his showcase.
- The most number of times this game was played in any season was 48.
Money Game has the same rules all around the world, but often may have slight differences:
- Australia - Never played for a car. To win the prize, usually consisting of two pieces of furniture, the contestants had to find pictures of the prizes underneath the numbers.
- United Kingdom - On Bruce's version, not finding any half of the car had "NO" displayed vertically, with the "O" looking like a wheel. This was also used on Cash en Carlo in the Netherlands and O Preco Certo (em Euros) in Portugal, although the Dutch version had contestants playing for a trip (by finding two halves of an airplane), while the Portuguese version has varying prizes, sometimes worth under €1,000 (for example, a scooter worth €512 would be displayed as "0512"). During Leslie Crowther's run, there were three digits in the price, and no free digit was given, nor was there a zero among the options. when Joe Pasquale era, the contestant choose 5 times.
- Germany - The reveal of a car half (made to look like an old-fashioned car) or money amount was displayed on the other side of the card rather than underneath it. Otherwise, it was the same as the US.
- Mexico - The first and fourth digits are given for free, as cars tend to be more than MX$100,000 down there due to the roughly 10-to-1 exchange rate on the peso. Otherwise, it was the same as the US.