‘The Price is Right’: One Winner Could Go Down in History as a Legendary Plinko Player

by Sean Griffin

On May 24, 2017, Ryan Belz made history. The Price is Right super-fan and first-time contestant pulled off the Plinko performance of a lifetime. However, Belz’s record-breaking playing yielded him cash earnings totaling $31,500, a number surpassed just once since he set the mark in 2017.

When Drew Carey summoned Ryan Belz to ‘come on down,’ neither thought the contestant was about to break records. Belz leapt down the aisle, and after greeting fans and the host, he stood in disbelief while catching his breath. Carey then revealed to Belz that he would be playing the fan-favorite Plinko. Belz started off the round hot by correctly guessing the priced items and went to the board with five chips, the maximum number. With each of the five drops, Belz won substantial cash prizes. The first one was $10,000, then $1,000, then $10,000 again, then $500, and another $10,000 to close out the game. With each cash prize, the audience erupted with cheers and began chanting his name. By round’s end, Ryan Belz set the record for most winnings earned during a Plinko game in the daytime slot with the maximum slot set at $10,000.

Plinko: Other Record-Breaking Contestants

While The Price is Right has attracted many personalities and show-altering contestants, some contestants have won large cash prizes playing Plinko. Over the years, Plinko’s top slot value has changed. It fluctuated from $5,000 to $10,000 and even to $20,000 during both the Bob Barker and Drew Carey eras. These changes affect the record books and need to be considered when discussing all-time contestants. During Belz’s incredible round, the maximum slot was $10,000. Belz hit the top slot three times, so his winnings would’ve skyrocketed had the maximum slot been $20,000. However, here are a few other notable record-breaking contestants in the history of The Price is Right.

  • During the Million Dollar Plinko game, Michael Stouber won $202,000 on October 14, 2019. He hit the $200,000 slot once.
  • Lindsay Dykstra won $41,000 on May 14, 2008 after hitting the $20,000 slot twice.
  • On June 14th, 2002, a contestant named Ryan won $40,000 after the $20,000 slot was hit twice. This performance occurred during The Price is Right Salutes U.S. Army Special.
  • A contestant named Kelly won $23,000 on September 17, 2001, which is the most earned during the Bob Barker era when the maximum slot was $10,000.
  • On November 30, 1990, one contestant won $21,000. This feat is incredibly impressive when considering the maximum slot was only $5,000, and they hit it a whopping four times during this round.