I’m off work this week and this afternoon I found myself at a loose end so I was looking through my Youtube recommendations. And something came up I had been meaning to look at for a long time – it’s The Price is Right.
Ah readers, but no. Not The Price Is Right that you are familiar with, the original Price is Right which eventually became The New Price is Right which is the TPiR that everyone knows. It ran variously in daytime and primetime from 1956 to 1965.
It’s fairly simple. Four contestants bid items shown to them. On their turn they must either increase their bid to be higher than the current leading bid or freeze. Sometimes there are is a minimum increment, and sometimes there are one-bids (like you get now). Whoever is nearest without going over wins the prize and occasionally a bonus prize. Sometimes these are a bit outlandish, sometimes there’s a mini-game attached. But it’s really neatly done with some neat ideas. And it all shifts along under the auspices of Bill Cullen, as someone who mainly knows him for his later work he’s really sharp here. You may find the first bonus prize in this surprising.
Doing some research it looks like $1 in 1960 is worth about $8.20 today. There’s actually quite a lot of this on Youtube – the daytime version has smaller prizes as you can probably imagine, but still.