June 16, 2010
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The contestant must price three items within specified ranges: a grocery item priced under $10 within $1; a small prize priced under $100 within $10; and a medium prize priced under $500 within $100. For each bid given within the correct range, the contestant chooses one of five colored mechanical rats (yellow, green, pink, orange and blue), which are positioned on a large dollar sign-shaped race track. If the contestant does not win any of the Rats, the game loses immediately (the first time this has happened was on December 23, 2010).
The rats are then set in motion on the track. If one of the selected rats finishes in third place, the contestant wins an additional small prize; in second, a medium-sized prize; and if a selected rat wins the race, the contestant wins a car. Contestants can win more than one prize depending upon how the chosen rats finish the race; a contestant can win all three prizes by earning three rats and having each of them come in either first, second, or third place.
While the track is designed to be the same length for all five rats, not all of the rats are guaranteed to finish; indeed, occasionally one of the rats gets stuck on the track, and the race continues to play out, just as competitors occasionally do not finish in various races in real life.
This game was created by Drew Carey and premiered on June 16, 2010.
Rat Race was the second pricing game to premiere under Drew's tenure as host (the first was Gas Money in Season 37).
The game got its first officially won after the third playing on October 15, 2010, where all three prizes were won.
Four times during the game's lifespan (December 23, 2010, May 2, 2012, October 8, 2012, and December 27, 2013), the contestant wiped out and didn't even get to have a race.
On October 31, 2013, as part of the episode's Halloween theme, Rat Race was named "Bat Race"; the toy rats donned bat ears and wings and the cartoon rat on the game display also appeared in costume.
On May 1, 2014, two of the rats didn't make it and the last rat ended up third.
During November 10, 2014, Rat Race had a cash prize of $175,000 in Big Money Week. (1st place: $100,000, 2nd place: $50,000, 3rd place: $25,000) On that playing, $100,000 was won.
Rat Race has a new prize reveal on January 15, 2015, the first two prizes were in front of Door #3, and the car was revealed afterwards.
Rat Race has been officially won 17 times (excluding the $100,000 won on November 10, 2014), and had three perfect wins (all three prizes won). The most recent win happened on January 15, 2015.
- As in Master Key and Switcheroo, the contestant only needs to win the car (not necessarily all three prizes) for the game to be officially counted as won. A win of only one or two of the smaller prizes is considered a "partial win" as far as affecting perfect or winless shows; winning none of the three announced main prizes (i.e. no rats placing third or higher or one or two rats placing fourth or fifth if a contestant wins one or two rats) is considered a wipeout. And contestant winning three rats guarantees winning at least one prize.
- Rat Race has never been the first or second pricing game to start any show because it needs time to start up. the game can be no earlier than 3rd on the show.
Rat Race Premiere (June 16, 2010)
First Rat Race Perfect win! (October 15, 2010)
A Rat Race Car Win! (January 16, 2012)
Another Rat Race Car Win! (May 9, 2013)
Another Rat Race Car Win! (February 26, 2013)
Another Rat Race Car Win! (October 9, 2013)
Another Rat Race Car Win! (November 25, 2013)
A Rat Race Shutout (December 27, 2013)
Rat Race for $175,000 (November 10, 2014)