‘The Price Is Right’: Remember When One Contestant Won $1 Million in a Stroke of Luck?

by Taylor Cunningham

Only three contestants in the 50-year history of The Price is Right have ever earned $1 million dollars. And the last person to do it made it look so easy that the series hasn’t offered the jackpot again.

The massive cash prize came during a $1,000,000 Spectacular primetime TV special that occasionally ran from 2003 to 2008. During the episodes, rule changes allowed players to earn higher amounts while playing the game. Those rules, however, changed often during the time span.

While Bob Barker was hosting the series, no one managed to come close to hitting the top prize. And the previously mentioned three struck gold all during the same year, including Cynthia Azevedo, who earned the prize on April 4, 2008, while trying her hand at the Clock Game.

The Price is Right classic pits players against a 30-second countdown. While racing the time, they have the chance to take home two prizes and a bonus. As they guess, the host yells “higher” or “lower.” And if they can do it all within 10 seconds, they stand to take home even more money.

The Million Dollar Winner Beat ‘The Price is Right’ Clock Game in 8 Seconds

During the $1,000,000 Spectacular, the show laid a few ways to make The Clock Game more exciting. As Carey shared, getting both prizes in the allotted time would give the player an extra $5,000. And if she could do it in 10 seconds, the coveted and rare million would be hers.

The host also shared that while no one had ever nailed the prices that quickly with a million up for grabs, they had done so during regular episodes. So it would be “difficult to do” but it was still “doable.”

Azevedo managed to guess the price of the first prize, an $899 couch, right as the clock began ticking. And because she nailed the exact number immediately, she gained an extra nine seconds.

The second prize, an elliptical machine, took a few more guesses than the first. But she was able to figure out the price with two seconds to spare—which, thanks to those temporary rules, gave her the massive cashout.

In total, Cynthia Azevedo actually scored $1,089,017 in cash and prizes. And the feat earned some fanfare from Paramount for doing it.

In a press release, the network shared that a player named Adam Rose, of Los Osos, Calif., was the first-ever Price is Right Millionaire, and he earned that title on Feb. 22. The second was Michael Haynes from Las Vegas, who cashed in on March 7th.

Mysteriously, the $1,000,000 Spectacular ceased to exist shortly after Azevedo took home her winnings. And while we can’t say that she ruined it for the rest of us, we can guess that having to pay out $3 million within two months may have been a sticker shock for the series after no one took the prize during the five years that the series ran the special.