Bonkers is a game that combines elements of Race Game, Split Decision and One Away, played with a single prize.


  • The contestant is shown an incorrect price (with only digits 3-8) and is given a 30-second time limit to correctly decide whether each digit in the correct price is higher or lower than the one shown. To do this, the contestant is given four discs, each of which is to be placed appropriately on the game board above or below one digit. Once all four discs are placed, the contestant presses a button on a separate platform and a sound effect indicates whether or not the discs are correctly placed.
  • If all four discs are placed correctly, the contestant wins the prize. If even one disc is in the wrong place, a buzzer sounds and the contestant must make changes without being told how many digits are wrong or which ones are wrong. They must continue until the time runs out or until they have correctly placed the discs. If the discs are not correctly placed when time expires, the contestant loses. If time expires while the contestant is making a change, he or she is usually permitted to finish the change and confirm the final guess. Likewise, if one of the disks falls out after it is placed, the contestant is usually told not to go back and replace it, and just go ahead and hit the button.
  • The best strategy in playing this game is to not look to the audience for help, since the key to winning it is simply getting as many guesses in in the allotted time due to not having feedback on incorrect digits (again, neither how 'many, nor which ones). Carey usually advises contestants this information. In addition, there is a best way to make guesses. Using a swapping order inspired by Gray code, the contestant can try all 16 possibilities using only 15 total swaps.


  • Bonkers debuted on September 24, 2001 (#1871K, aired out of order on October 1), and was created by then-host and executive producer Bob Barker. It was originally scheduled to premiere on September 18, 2001 (#1862K, aired out of order on September 25), but instead was replaced with Range Game.
  • On the first playing of the game, the actual price was revealed with a price tag held by one of the models (that of Heather Kozar). It was also the game's first win. From the game's second playing on (October 9, 2001, #1892K), the correct price now flips downward from under the game's prop after a button is pressed.
  • On at least two occasions, the game has malfunctioned resulting in confusion. On October 17, 2002 (#2264K), contestant Ron made a last second change from the correct placement to an incorrect placement, but the production staff had already signaled a win with the "winning" bells and the correct placement lighting up. Ron subsequently returned the markers to the correct placement and was signaled with a buzzer. The prize was ultimately awarded to Ron after some additional confusion.
  • On June 2, 2008 (#4361K), the light sequence used at the start of the game, which normally stops as a contestant places discs, continued to flash. The producers awarded contestant Katie Hurst the prize, despite her failure in the game, with host Drew Carey stating the decision was based on the potential of the lights confusing a contestant (which also violated CBS Standards & Practices since the game's lights were not to operate during regular game play).
  • On February 12, 2015 (#7004K), contestant David Rowe moved the board while playing the game. After losing, the lights still did not turn on that showed the proper placement (which was the exact opposite of what he had on his last instance) while revealing the price and they thought the machine was unplugged before the lights finally turned on.
  • On April 19, 2016 (#7502K), the second disc fell while putting it on the lower part, but this still helped contestant Charley Casper manage to win anyway.
  • Bonkers was played twice in the Primetime edition. Both at the time were won. The first was to Salute the U.S. Marines on June 7, 2002 (#004SP, aired out of order on June 20) and the second was on March 27, 2004 (#015SP), the 9th Million Dollar Spectacular, Saluting Colleges & Universities.
  • The game was won 110 times and 31 of them occurred when a contestant got it right on the first try.
  • Although never used on air, the losing horns were used on June 23, 2015 (#7192K, aired out of order on May 20) and December 28, 2017 (#8144K).
  • On October 26, 2016 (#7663K), during Big Money Week, a special cash bonus was added to Bonkers, where a contestant would receive $1,000 for every second remaining on the clock. However, contestant Janet Smith won neither the Prize or the bonus.
  • On March 7, 2018 (#8243K, aired out of order on January 10) during Publishers Clearing House week, contestant Desmond Jamison won a $20,000 bonus for being the first contestant to win a pricing game. It was played in the first slot.
  • On December 28, 2018 (#8555K, aired out of order on December 27), Carla Mirabelli got confused by how to play this game, and with only two attempts made while playing slowly, she managed to win a kitchen package worth $6,804.


  • The most number of times this game was played in any season was 22.
  • Bonkers has never been played for a car.

Other usesEdit

  • As part of a promotion by CBS (which is partners with Warner Bros. on another venture, the CW network) to promote Drew Carey as the show's new host, the Bonkers prop was brought to The Ellen DeGeneres Show for a promotional event during DeGeneres' interview with Carey.

International versionsEdit

  • On the Netherlands Cash & Carlo, it was played under the title "Hurry Up" (no translation).
  • Vietnam: The contestant has 60 seconds (instead of just 30) to put the chips in the board, however the distance between the board and the button is further. Sometimes the game has five-digit-price, in this case the first digit is given correct. They revealed price like the former reveal that was only used during the first Bonkers playing.


Premiere Playing (September 24, 2001, #1871K, aired out of order on October 1)Edit

Bonkers for a Coca-Cola Vending Machine Replica (November 30, 2001, #1965K)Edit

Bonkers Goes Bonkers (October 17, 2002, #2264K)Edit

Final Playing with Bob Barker (June 12, 2007, #4032K)Edit

First Bonkers Winner & Perfection with Drew Carey (March 24, 2008, #4261K)Edit

A Bonkers Prop Blooper (November 12, 2008, #4503K, aired out of order on November 5)Edit

Michael's Down To The Wire Bonkers (April 22, 2009)Edit

Vickie Plays Bonkers Barefoot (December 10, 2013, #6532K, aired out of order on December 13)Edit

Bonkers for an SSR Motorsports SRU170 RS UTV and a Honda CRF-125F Motorcycle (February 12, 2015, #7004K)Edit

Desmond's $20,000 PCH Win (March 7, 2018, #8243K, aired out of order on January 10)Edit

Carla's Dumb & Lucky Playing (December 28, 2018, #8555K, aired out of order on December 27)Edit

A Shirtless James Does a Workout Routine During Bonkers (October 7, 2019, #8841K)Edit

YouTube LinksEdit

Bonkers went Bonkers (October 17, 2002, #2264K)
A Perfect Bonkers Win from 2005!
A Bonkers Win in Two Tries and Five Seconds Left!
A Perfect Bonkers Win from 2008!
A Last Second Bonkers Win from 2013!
Another Perfect Bonkers Win! (January 31, 2014, #6595K)
A Last Second Bonkers Win! (October 14, 2014, #6842K, aired out of order on October 13)
Another Perfect Bonkers Win! (November 7, 2014, #6875K)

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