Bonus Game is a game where a contestant plays for five prizes; four of which are small prizes and the fifth is a bonus prize, hence the name.
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
- The Bonus Game is played on a board with four windows, each of which is associated with one small prize and one of which conceals the word "BONUS." While the game uses small prizes, which the contestant can win, the real goal of the game is to win the "bonus prize," a prize which is of much greater value.
- The contestant is shown each of four small prizes, one at a time, each with the wrong price. He or she must determine whether the right price is higher or lower than the wrong one shown. A correct decision wins that prize and the window on the board is kept on the other side to mark the corresponding window. If the contestant is wrong, the small prize is lost and the window goes back inside the board.
- If one of the windows that say BONUS is on a green background, that means the contestant has won a prize next to that window, and he/she wins the game and a bonus prize. If one of the windows that say BONUS is on a red background, that means the contestant did not win the prize for that window and he/she loses the game and does not win the bonus prize.
- Contestants who correctly price all four smaller prizes automatically win the bonus prize, since they mark all four windows. If contestants price all four prizes incorrectly, he/she loses the game immediately because none of the prizes are won.
History[edit | edit source]
- Bonus Game was one of the first three pricing games to be played on the show has premiered on September 4, 1972 (#0011D), the other two beings Any Number and Double Prices. Like Any Number, Bonus Game was won on its first playing.
- For the first three taped episodes, the windows that would read "NO" and "BONUS" were yellow; beginning on September 11, 1972 (#0021D, the sixth aired episode), they became blue, as the yellow made the words too hard to read. Recently, the windows were replaced with a TV monitor, which only shows "BONUS!" when it is time for the bonus to reveal, while the others remain the same.
- On June 17, 1974 (#0941D), the show's staff decided to retire Bonus Game, which was last played on June 13 (#0934D) and created Shell Game to replace it; after the newer game's debut, Bonus Game was not played on the daytime show for over a year, although it continued to appear on the nighttime show. For reasons unknown, it was returned to the active daytime rotation on July 24, 1975 (#1514D) and removed again on July 28 (#1521D), and was permanently back in the rotation on September 5 (#1575D), and has remained there ever since.
- On May 28, 1974 (#0912D), this game along with Any Number got their title names on the same day. When the game returned to the daytime rotation on September 5, 1975 (#1575D), the color scheme got an update to better mesh with the show's set. On November 5, 1981 (#4254D, aired out of order on November 19), the game took on its gold color scheme. On March 18, 2013 (#6271K, aired out of order on March 19), the navy blue windows were replaced by a large monitor divided into four gold windows with a tall star. The word "NO" gets dropped out but the word "BONUS!" appeared in animation. In a win, the background is green; in a loss, it is red, and without the exclamation point.
- Due to Barker's fur ban, all the times that Bonus Game had been played from the first two weeks of shows have not been rerun since their first broadcast; despite this, an episode in which a fur coat was the bonus prize (November 16, 1972, #0114D) was mistakenly rerun on Game Show Network.
- A contestant named Paul Levine played Bonus Game perfectly not once but twice. He played it perfectly on the day it premiered and got invited back for a special 40th anniversary special on September 5, 2012 (#6023K, aired out of order on September 4) and played it perfectly again, the latter of which for a restored 1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo worth $16,995.
- Bonus Game's most famous loss occurred on October 28, 2006, when a contestant Ashley played for a Chevrolet Malibu LS Sedan worth $18,195. By very bad luck, Ashley guessed all four small prizes wrong, which Bob claimed had not happened since around 1979. Ashley said in response in a sad voice "I'm the biggest loser!" to which Bob corrected her, saying that she wasn't the biggest loser, but certainly was in the top five.
- A handful of contestants guessed all four small prizes wrong in the US version, but in the international version, only one in Vietnam have done worse.
- On May 17, 2017 (#7943K), like Shell Game, if the contestant won all the SPs, the contestant would have a free chance to win the other prize on top of everything else by trying to find the BONUS. (this prize, Mitsubishi Lancer - $19,405) In this playing, contestant Kristi Brinkerhoff won all four windows but picked the third window instead of window #1.
- On March 23, 2018, (#8265K), during a special week of shows entitled: "Youth Week," Bonus Game was played by for $15,000, and was won.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The most number of times this game was played in any season was 91.
- It was the 2nd of 3 pricing games to premiere on the first show (September 4, 1972, #0011D). The other 2 were Any Number and Double Prices.
- With the exception of Season 40, Bonus Game has not been played more than 10 times a season since Season 17.
Nighttime appearances[edit | edit source]
- On the Dennis James version, Bonus Game was played alongside Shell Game during the third season, although Bonus Game had been removed from rotation on the daytime show. Episodes featuring Bonus Game while Dennis James was hosting have not been rerun due to Barker's fur ban (the nighttime version's higher budget allowed fur coats to be offered regularly), although a monochrome promotional picture from some point after the name was added to the board (showing Dennis next to playing in progress without a contestant visible in the shot) was shown during the A&E Biography TV Game Shows.
Foreign versions[edit | edit source]
- In Australia, during the Ian Turpie era, when a contestant got all four decisions correct, he or she won the bonus prize as well as a chance to win $50 by finding the "bonus" window in one guess. A similar bonus format is used in Shell Game on the American version of Price.
- In Vietnamese Hãy chọn giá đúng, the game is called "Điểm thưởng" (Jackpot) and also offers bonus cash of VND 1,000,000 for a perfect game in a similar mechanic to the Australian version. Like the American version, a similar bonus format is used in the pricing game "Sò Biển" (Shell Game).
Appearances outside of The Price is Right[edit | edit source]
Bob Barker was a guest several times on The Rosie O'Donnell Show and his appearances almost always featured a pricing game from The Price is Right in which Rosie would play the game on behalf of an audience member (or played with the audience member as a team), with the audience member winning the prizes. The episode in which Bonus Game was played was featured in a 1999 episode. In it, the audience player admitted that she lived in the city and didn't have a patio, so she had no possible use for the bonus prize, a barbecue grill, and patio furniture. When she asked to trade the prize in, Bob remarked, "No; here we do it just the way we do it on The Price is Right. That's the prize; take it or leave it!". Just like the current Carey version, it featured a male model posing for the grill instead of a female model.
Rosie and the audience player won 3 of the 4 smaller prizes on offer and won the bonus as well (the word "BONUS" was in the bottom window).
Gallery[edit | edit source]
To view the gallery, click here.
YouTube Videos[edit | edit source]
Bonus Game Wipeout from 2006 (October 18, 2006, #3723K)
Bonus Game Wipeout from 2011 (October 31, 2011, #5691K)
Bonus Game from the 40th Anniversary Special (September 5, 2012, #6023K, aired out of order September 4)
Bonus Game's New Look (March 18, 2013, #6271K, aired out of order March 19)
Painful Bonus Game Loss from Season 42 (March 18, 2014, #6662K, aired out of order on June 23, originally rescheduled for June 26)
Painful Bonus Game Loss from Season 43 (November 4, 2014, #6872K)
Bonus Game Wipeout from 2016 (January 26, 2016, #7382K, aired out of order on January 19)
Bonus[edit | edit source]
1999: Playing the game on The Rosie O'Donnell Show
|1970s Pricing Games|
|Any Number | Bonus Game | Double Prices | Grocery Game | Bullseye (1) | Clock Game | Double Bullseye | Five Price Tags | Most Expensive | Money Game | Give or Keep | Range Game | Hi Lo | Double Digits | Lucky Seven | Temptation | Mystery Price | Shell Game | Card Game | Race Game | Ten Chances | Golden Road | Poker Game | One Right Price | Danger Price | 3 Strikes | Hurdles | Cliff Hangers | Safe Crackers | Dice Game | Bullseye (2) | Switcheroo | Hole in One (or Two) | Squeeze Play | Secret 'X' | Professor Price | Finish Line | Take Two | Shower Game | It's Optional | Punch-A-Bunch | Telephone Game | Penny Ante|