½ Off is a pricing game played for a cash prize of $10,000 as well as an additional cash bonus and uses small prizes. On primetime specials, the prize is raised to $25,000, while on Big Money Weeks, the grand cash prize is often $100,000.
- The contestant is shown three pairs of small prizes, one pair at a time. One item in each pair is marked with the correct price, and the other is marked at half off its actual price. The contestant must choose which of the pair is marked half off; if they do, he or she wins both small prizes. Pricing all three pairs correctly awards the contestant a $1,000 cash bonus which is his or hers to keep, regardless of the outcome of the game.
- There are also 16 boxes displayed onstage, one of which contains the grand prize. For each correct guess with the small prizes, half of the empty boxes are removed from play (down to eight, four, and then two boxes, respectively, for each correct decision). Once the three pairs have been played, the contestant must choose one of the remaining boxes he or she believes contains the grand prize. If correct, the contestant wins the $10,000. If incorrect, the contestant doesn’t win anything and is then revealed where the $10,000 is.
History and behind the scenes
- ½ Off was created by former FremantleMedia employee Mandel Ilagan and premiered on May 28, 2004 (#2935K). It is the first pricing game to premiere since Rich Fields became a permanent announcer. Its set is the most expensive prop ever built for The Price is Right. The game was originally planned to be played for a car, with a set of keys in one of the boxes instead of money. The game's method of revealing the contents of the box is similar to that of the retired pricing game Fortune Hunter, for which 1/2 Off was created to replace. However, during Dream Car Week, this game WAS played for a car.
- Even though ½ Off wasn't played perfectly on the day it premiered, the $10,000 was won anyway. But on June 7, 2004 (#2951K), the game's second playing, contestant Ollie guessed all three pairs correctly and won the $10,000 by picking box #10.
- ½ Off received its first loss on September 21, 2004 (#2972K).
- Under Bob Barker's tenure, the game was played perfectly 14 times.
- Since September 28, 2010 (#5242K), contestants win a flat $1,000 bonus for correctly guessing all three prizes with the ½ Off-price. From October 19, 2007 (#4045K, aired out of order on November 20) to June 9, 2010 (#5203K), contestants won $500 for each pair of prizes priced correctly, for a $1,500 total cash bonus, which was theirs to keep regardless of the outcome, which was changed because the staff thought it was too nice. Until June 7, 2007 (#4024K), correct guesses only won the associated items.
- A notable playing from April 17, 2007 (#3952K) involved a confused contestant named Kyle picking box #4 at the very beginning of the game. After he eliminated 8 boxes, box #4 was still there. Unsurprisingly, he still chose #4. The box had the $10,000 and Bob was stunned.
- ½ Off was featured as the Million Dollar Game on The Price is Right $1,000,000 Spectacular episode on April 11, 2008 (#029SP, aired out of order on March 14). After winning the $25,000, contestant Phillip Ramos was given the option to risk the cash already won for a chance at $1,000,000 which had been hidden in one of the remaining fifteen empty boxes. Phillip decided to keep his $25,000 and not take the risk.
- On September 25, 2013 (#6423K, aired out of order on October 14, originally rescheduled to air on October 16), during Season 42's Big Money Week, Cassidy Schlitz won the game for $101,000, including the additional bonus for playing perfectly. Cassidy is also the second daytime contestant to win $100,000 in a pricing game (Ani Khojasarian, who won $100,000 playing Pay the Rent on April 22, 2013 (#6321K, aired out of order on April 24) during Season 41's "Big Money Week," was the first). It was offered again on October 24, 2016 (#7661K), and was also won.
- In the entire history of ½ Off, only twice has a contestant-- Pamela Claraty on April 15, 2010 (#5124K, aired out of order on April 16) and Rodger Landers on January 24, 2014 (#6585K, aired out of order on April 3, originally rescheduled to air on March 10)-- guessed all the small prizes incorrectly but still managed to find the $10,000 box.
- On February 12, 2010 (#5035K), the ½ Off doors were changed from black to purple with yellow stripes.
- Beginning on March 5, 2015 (#7034K, aired out of order on April 9), the opening spiel is changed to "You have a chance to win $10,000! You’re going to be playing ½ Off!”
- On the College Rivals Shows (March 23, 2017, #7865K, aired out of order March 31) and the Thanksgiving College Rivals (November 22, 2017, #8103K), Keegan Giles from the Army won $10,000 while Mark Costello from the Navy was denied, and Glenda Tamblyn of Auburn gets nothing, which means that Lauren Leddo (Alabama) gets $1,000.
- On January 16, 2018 (#8172K, aired out of order on February 6), the entire set received a new color scheme.
- ½ Off has received 95 wins, as of November 19, 2021 (#9595K, aired out of order on November 5).
- It has been lost 37 times when the contestant got it down to 2 boxes, most recently on January 22, 2021 (#9275K).
- On February 19, 2018 (#8221K, aired out of order on February 22), during Big Money Week, ½ Off was played for $20,000, and it was won.
- On March 8, 2018 (#8244K, aired out of order on January 11), contestant Jose Ruba won a $20,000 bonus for being the first contestant on stage to win their pricing game during PCH week, for a total of $30,000. It was played in the second slot.
- On May 2, 2018 (#8323K), the losing horns were not played. It was also the only game fully lost (save for winning $1,000) in that episode other than winning the 3-digit item on Any Number.
- On October 8, 2018, (#8441K, aired out of order on October 11), it was played for $50,000 and was won.
- On February 4, 2019 (#8611K, aired out of order on February 6), in honor of country music, ½ Off was called Hats Off, with each of the boxes wearing cowboy hats.
- On February 17, 2020 (#9031K), during Dream Car Week, in addition to the $10,000 prize, contestant Irene Mauter had a chance to win a car, as well. However, the game was lost.
- Three of the six items cannot end with an odd number if it was being selected as the one that is ½-off its actual retail price.
- The odds of winning this game going in blind are 27/128, or 21.09375%. The expected average amount of money won playing this game is $2,171.88.
- The most number of times this game was played in any season was 26.
- Under Bob Barker’s tenure, he would always have the audience count to three, then say “NOW!” whenever a contestant was about to open the chosen box. Since Drew Carey became the host, he just counted to three. Until the end of 2009, he would tell the contestant to say “Alakazam” as he/she opened the box.
- The money was never hidden in box #13 until December 13, 2010 (#5351K).
- ½ Off was one of seven pricing games seen on the fifth taping session of Season 36, which was seen on October 19, 2007 (#4045K, aired out of order on November 20), October 26, 2007 (#4055K, aired out of order on October 18), October 31, 2007 (#4063K), November 5, 2007 (#4071K, aired out of order on November 28), November 12, 2007 (#4081K, aired out of order on November 14), and November 20, 2007 (#4092K, aired out of order on October 25).
To view the gallery, click here.
½ Off Premiere (May 28, 2004, #2935K)
An ecstatic ½ Off victory (December 14, 2005, #3453K)
The Final Playing With Bob Barker (June 7, 2007, #4024K)
½ Off Primetime $1,000,000 Playing (April 7, 2008, #029SP, aired out of order on March 14)
$10,000 ½ Off Win from 2013 (May 21, 2013, #6362K)
A ½ Off payoff of $100,000, from Big Money Week II(September 25, 2013, #6423K, aired out of order on October 14, originally rescheduled to air on October 16)
Rodger's Unbelievable ½ Off Win (January 24, 2014, #6585K, aired out of order on April 3, originally rescheduled to air on March 10)
Another $100,000 win from ½ Off (October 24, 2016, #7661K)
Jose wins $10,000 with the new color scheme + $20,000 from Publisher's Clearing House (March 8, 2018, #8244K, aired out of order on January 11 as the first playing with the new color scheme)
A $50,000 ½ Off Win (October 8, 2018, #8441K, aired out of order on October 11)
|2000s Pricing Games|
|Flip Flop | Triple Play | That's Too Much! | Bonkers | Pass the Buck | Step Up | On the Spot | Time is Money (1) | Coming or Going | ½ Off | Pocket ¢hange | Balance Game (2) | Stack the Deck | More or Less | Gas Money|