‘The Price Is Right’: One Prop Is Always Kept Hidden On Stage

by Megan Molseed

The popular daytime TV game show, The Price Is Right is known well for its unique price-based game-show style. It is also well-known for the multitudes of games contestants could face during their time on The Price Is Right stage. And, each one of these games leads to the game show’s iconic wheel-spinning segment. A segment that ultimately leads to the show’s climax moment, the showcase showdown.

There are numerous mini-games that contestants could face while on the popular game show’s stage. From the Bargain game to Cliffhangers, to a few card-game options or even the clock game, there are certainly some classic options that have become all-time fan favorites over the daytime game show’s 50 years on the air. But, one stand-out favorite has long been a fan favorite. And, this game brings with it one secret Price Is Right prop that the show’s hosts – originally Bob Barker, and now Drew Carey – keep on hand whenever they are on stage.

Among the many fan-favorite mini-games that fans have played on The Price Is Right stage is the infamous Plinko game. This game became a staple on the game show in 1983. And, since then, fans regularly go wild when they have a chance at the Plinko board.

Price Is Right fans know that there is very little skill to the Plinko game. It’s all about chance…and gravity. Contestants face a price-guessing portion of the segment. In this segment, the contestants have an opportunity to win Plinko chips. For each correct pricing guess, the player gets one chip.

Once all game chips are collected during the pricing portion, the contestant then steps up to the infamous Plinko board. And, in a game that rests solely on the premise of “letting the chips fall where they may,” the player releases these game chips down the board, one by one, as they bounce from peg to peg on the way down. Eventually, this chip lands on a prize, determining what the contestant wins for the segment. Obviously, the more chips, the more chances the player has to secure a top prize.

Now, most of the time these Plinko segments go off without a hitch. However, every once in a while there is the challenge of a Plinko chip getting stuck in the pegs on the way down. This is where the secret prop comes into play: a special Plinko stick to loosen stubborn chips.

It’s a handy gadget, really. All the host must do is wiggle the chip loose in order to retrieve it from the Plinko board. And, the contestant gets another chance to drop it down the board. It’s a great way to keep the game running as smoothly as the showrunners can. Without having to take an unplanned break to extract a stubborn play piece!