Time is Money has similarities of Race Game and the opposite essence of Switcheroo and Line 'Em Up. Originally, it was played for a prize and a $500 cash bonus, but today, it is being played for up to $20,000 in cash.
The contestant was shown five grocery items. They were given 20 seconds to place each of the items on one of three shelves based on their prices: Less than $3, $3-$6 and over $6. If the contestant placed all of the items correctly, they won a prize; otherwise, they were told how many items were placed incorrectly (but not which ones) and were given another 20 seconds to make corrections to win the prize.
While the game itself remains the same, the player now has 10 seconds instead of 20 to place the items in the right platforms based on their prices: $0-$2.99, $3.00-$5.99 and $6.00 or more. Once finished, the player will hit a button to see if they're successful; although s/he doesn't have to hit the button, s/he can let the time run out. If they are right, they win $20,000. Otherwise, the cash begins to countdown very rapidly at $500 a second (thus giving the player 40 seconds total). If the player completes the game before the money hits $0, they win whatever's left.
- On the original version's first two playings, Time Is Money used a 15-second clock and the contestant was given a $500 voucher to start the game. If all products were placed correctly in one turn, the player won both the prize and the money. Otherwise, they were not told the number of mistakes or which items were placed incorrectly, but were offered the choice of keeping the $500 or returning it in exchange for a second chance-- similar to that of Make Your Mark/Barker's Markers before its permanent removal from the pricing game rotation in 2008-- and another 15 seconds to place the items. The then-regular rules debuted on October 24, 2003 (#2645K).
- The game was removed from the pricing game rotation after its final playing on April 23, 2004 (#2895K, aired out-of-order on April 30, 2004), partly because it proved very hard to tape the game without having to make post-production edits. Then-producer Roger Dobkowitz, who created the game, had announced plans to bring the game back with a smaller set on the stage's turntable, but it never came to fruition, as he was fired at the end of Season 36 by then-executive producer Syd Vinnedge, which eventually led to the game being officially retired in the summer of 2008, although it was announced on CBS.com ten days before the premiere of TPIR's 43rd season that the game would return to the rotation, along with a revamped set and all-new rules, effectively turning it into a "pure" cash game.
- On November 21, 2014 (#6895K, aired out-of-order on November 12, originally rescheduled to air on November 14) and February 21, 2018 (#8223K, aired out of order on February 19), during Big Money Week, it was played for $200,000, but sadly, the contestants in both episodes won nothing.
- On January 26, 2015 (#6981K), history was made when a contestant named Suzanne Grimmer managed to place the five grocery items in the right spots on the first try (within the 10-second time limit), becoming the first of three contestants to win the $20,000 (contestant D'Juana Davis was the second on February 1, 2017, #7793K, and Bridgitte Yeager was the third on October 4, 2017, #8033K). With the perfect win, the clangs and whoops were heard and the lighted squares on the orange and the left half of the blue big doors flashed green and teal as a backdrop and the lighted borders surrounding it flashed green and teal as well.
- Time is Money has never been the first or the second game to be played in the game's slotting list, mainly because, like Rat Race, it needs time to start up. The game can be no earlier than third on the show.
- Time is Money has been lost four times in the original version. And, in the newer version, it has been lost (no money won) 24 times, the most recent being February 21, 2018 (#8223K, aired out of order on February 19).
- For its first several playings of the original version, the grocery placards were above the trilons. Beginning on November 25, 2003 (#2962K), they were moved below the trilons, with the trilons themselves now sporting white asterisks (not Goodson-Todman asterisks) on a red background.
- For the current version's first three times the game has been played, there are no prices on the grocery products at game's end. The prices on the grocery products were added on November 6, 2014 (#6875K). Originally, the correct guesses were verified with a cash register sound; this changed to the sustained bell rings on February 18, 2015 (#7013K).
- This game can't just use any five grocery items. At least one grocery item has to be below $3.00. At least one grocery item has to be between $3.00-$6.00. And at least one grocery item has to be above $6.00.
- At least one grocery item must be on each shelf.
- This game can have at most three grocery items on any one shelf.
- The most number of times this game was played in any season was 16.
- The former and current versions both debuted on the same day (but obviously different years).
Suzanne Wins Time Is Money (January 26, 2015, #6981K)Edit
Grocery Item RevealsEdit
Premiere Playing (original) (September 22, 2003, #2601K)
Finale Playing (original) (April 23, 2004, aired out-of-order on April 30, #2895K)
Premiere Playing (current) (September 22, 2014, #6811K)
$200,000 Time is Money (November 21, 2014, #6895K, aired out-of-order on November 12, originally rescheduled to air on November 14)
The first ever Perfect Win! (January 26, 2015, #6981K)
2nd Perfect Win! (February 1, 2017, #7793K)
3rd Perfect Win! (October 4, 2017, #8033K)