‘The Price Is Right’: How One Winner Caused the Show to Change the Rules

by Taylor Cunningham

In 2008, a crafty contestant cracked the algorithm of The Price is Right and guessed the exact answer to a showcase showdown—we mean to the penny. And his mind-blowing genius led the producers to make some changes to the show.

That genius was Terry Kniess. He was both a TV weatherman and casino surveillance employee in his past, which gave him some lessons on recognizing patterns. And when he decided to try an appearance on the game show, he used that skill and coupled it with an amazing memory to prepare himself for the show in the best way possible.

Leading to the historic showdown guess, Kniess and his wife watched every episode of The Price is Right and memorized the cost of items that were consistently offered. And by the time he stood behind the podium with Drew Carey asking for a number, he was somehow able to recall all those prices and use some routines of card counters he caught at the Blackjack table to quickly give an exact answer.

Drew Carey Worried The Player Was in Cahoots With a Past Anomaly

When Kniess handed out that exact number, Carey was less than thrilled. While attempting to hide his suspicion, he said, “you got it right on the nose” before reciting his normal advice about spaying and neutering your pets.

In reality, the host was already worried about cheaters bamboozling him on-air. And because of the unlikely perfection from Kniess, he thought something had to be up. More specifically, he and the producers thought he had teamed up with another past contestant named Ted Slauson. He also worked out a formula for a perfect bid.

The Price is Right never did prove any of its suspicions. And Terry Kneiss was able to enjoy his $56,437 worth of prizes.

But to stave off any more outwitting players, the show decided to change up its format a bit. Instead of offering the same merchandise, it started adding variety by changing the brands. The producers also began giving away high-end prizes such as boats and cars. That way, no one could possibly memorize the price because the accessories would always make it different.

‘The Price is Right’ Accidentally Gave a Contestant a Fixed Plinko Board

During a chat with Sirius XM’s Jeff and Larry’s Comedy Roundup, Drew Carey revealed that the Showcase Showdown phenomenon wasn’t his first time dealing with a possible cheater either.

Apparently, the year before, a round of Plinko played out a bit too perfect for his liking. When a college student dropped her chips down the board, three in a row went straight to $10,000. But Carey soon found out that the student wasn’t the one to blame.

As a fourth chip was headed towards another $10,000, the director walked on set and stopped it from falling all the way. And he then leaned in and told Carey that the game was fixed.

It turned out that The Price is Right literally created that specific board for a commercial. And all chips would go to the coveted jackpot.

The segment never made it to TV. But the show honored the winnings and handed over the $30,000, which may be the costliest mistake in the series’ history.