Game shows have brought us hours of entertainment over the years. There have been electrifying wins, and frustrating failures. None more so than on June 8, 2008. On Wheel of Fortune, Becki Burrell had spun for over $30,000. The puzzle read as so, “Glea_ing white sand beach.” With a Carribean vacation, and over $30,000 dollars on the line, Becki, in a moment of anxiousness, declared, “I would like to solve the puzzle.” Only to guess, “Gleaming white sandy beaches.” An upsetting moment in gameshow history at its best.
On April 10, 2001, Dr.Kevin Olmstead was asked, “Who is credited with inventing the first mass-produced helicopter?” One of the more difficult questions on the hit television game show, “Who wants to be a millionaire.” Dr.Olmstead answered, “A. Igor Sikorsky,” A correct answer worth $2,180,000. This was the record for the most money won on a game show. It would be three years and seven months until broken in November 2004, by Ken Jennings on
Jeaopardy!. Not only does Jennings currently hold the record for the most money won on a game show, he holds the record for longest winning streak in Jeopardy! history, a total 74 consecutive wins! During his time on the show, Jennings banked in over $3.2 million. A 31 year old John Carpenter, a collection agent, from Hamden,
Connecticut, made it to the fifteenth question on the show Who Wants to be a Millionaire, without the use of a single lifeline. When John arrived at the last question, “Which of these U.S. Presidents appeared on the
television series, “Laugh-In?,” he used one lifeline to call his father. Regis Philbin: “…John your thirty seconds, start right now.” John: “Uh…Hi, Dad.” Tom: “Hi!” John: “Um…I don’t really need your help, I just wanted to let you
know that I’m gonna win the million dollars...” John: “...because the U.S. President that appeared on ‘Laugh-In’ is Richard Nixon. That’s my final answer.” Regis: “Well, my gosh. What can I say except: Debbie (Carpenter’s wife),
you’re going to Paris, and this is the final answer heard all around the world, he’s won a million dollars!”
On November 19, 1999 John Carpenter became the first winner on the United States version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. John later made a statement about the game saying, “I thought I’d look so cocky if I didn’t use any lifelines, so I faked it.“
There have been great highs and lows for gameshow contestants over the years, but none more so than the Press Your Luck pro, Michael Larson. After memorizing the show’s gameboard patterns, Larson avoided the
“Whammy” boxes, and made over $110,000 in 47 spins, including vacations to the Bahamas, and other prizes. After withdrawing all of his winnings in $1 bills, in hopes of finding a single bill featuring a serial number
that could win him a sweepstakes. Before Michael Larson had a chance to spend his prize money, a thief broke in to his home and stole the bags containing all of Michael’s winnings.
After 38 years, on the hit show, The Price is Right, no contestant has ever guessed the final Showcase price correctly, that is until 60 year old Terry Kniess came along. To start off the game, Terry guessed $1,175 from the Contestant’s Row, a perfect guess. Placing him on stage for a chance to win great prizes, a place we all wish to
stand. When it came down to the final showcase, Terry was up against a woman who was less than $500 away from the actual price, a very good guess. But not against Kniess’ spot on estimation of $23,743. It was reported that it took 45-minutes for producers to ensure there had not been any cheating involved, at which time host, Drew Carey revealed Terry had guessed the showcase price exact, down to the dollar.