Having debuted on Price's second episode from September 5, 1972 (#0012D, aired out of order on September 6), Grocery Game is one of the original five pricing games.
- The contestant is shown five grocery items. The goal of the game is to buy a total between $20 and $22. To do this, the contestant will choose an item, and how many of that item he/she wants to buy. The price is revealed, multiplied by the number of an item bought, and the product is rung up on a cash register. If the total is less than $20, they may choose another item and how much of it, which is added to their total. This continues until he/she has spent over $20 or used up all five grocery items. The player loses by spending over $22 or by spending less than $20 after using all five items. If the contestant succeeds in spending between $20-$22, he/she wins the prize.
- Grocery Game first premiered on September 5, 1972 (#0012D, the second show, which aired out of order on September 6) and was created by Goodson-Todman staffer Imie Lane Camelli. Its original winning range was $6.75 to $7.00. This was increased to $20-21 on January 26, 1989 (#7124D) due to inflation and was extended an extra dollar on October 6, 2016 (#7634K). In shows produced during the first week of tapings, the contestant was given $100 at the start of the game. If the player won the game or exhausted all five grocery items before reaching $6.75, he/she kept the $100.
- Grocery Game was the third pricing game to be won on the day it premiered and it was won for the very first time on its premiere date, September 5, 1972 (#0012D, aired out of order on September 6).
- Originally, the game was revealed first and the grocery items were described before the prize was described, which was similar to Hi Lo until 2008. On November 26, 1974 (#1172D), it was changed to have the prize description read before the game was revealed.
- From September 5, 1972 (#0012D, aired out of order on September 6) until November 28, 2000 (#1602K), Janice Pennington was traditionally the Grocery Game's cashier. On November 23, 1998 (#0911K), she started to wear reading glasses after she made a typographical error on the previous playing. Since December 21, 2000 (#1634K), while any one of the models appearing that day will run the cash register, it's usually Rachel Reynolds. Because of this, host Drew Carey will often joke that they "found the model at a grocery store working as a cashier."
- The first four times Grocery Game was played the contestant was awarded supplies of all five groceries regardless of the game's outcome. That was changed before the fifth game because the producers thought it was way too nice to do that. However, on October 27, 1972 (#0085D), Grocery Game was lost when contestant Marge Escarcega bought 24 Chunky bars on the first purchase, but surprisingly, Marge got to keep the 24 Chunky bars bought in the game.
- On April 5, 1991 (#7985D), the game mistakenly used the Shell Game sign. Additionally, the Grocery Game sign was absent on December 23, 1980 (#3922D), October 15, 1993 (#8925D), June 12, 2003 (#2854K), June 1, 2007 (#4015K) and September 21, 2015 (#7211K, the 44th season premiere); the former was because of an abundance of Christmas decorations on the turntable while the latter was a throwback 1972 theme.
- On May 1, 1996 (#9963D), the cash register rang up as $21.76; despite this, the "WIN!" light flashed and the winning bell sounded, but Bob apologized for losing for seeing that Katherine went over $21. At the start of the first Showcase Showdown, everyone realized there was an error and that her total was actually $20.76, and so she won the prize.
- On October 6, 1999 (#1203K), the cash register malfunctioned and it said $21.45 instead of $20.45. Bob and Janice sort of had a hard time figuring out whether Bonnie Waycaster won or not. But Bonnie was awarded the prize due to a technical win.
- During The Price is Right Salutes the U.S. Coast Guard Primetime special on May 21, 2002 (#003SP, aired out of order on July 12, originally rescheduled to air June 6), Grocery Game was played for three different rooms, but sadly it was lost.
- Grocery Game’s current cash register can only add up to twenty items per purchase. This was further tested on the April 24, 2004 (#016SP) Million Dollar Spectacular "Salute the Teachers" when contestant Patricia asked for twenty-five of an item. That amount was calculated offstage and, not surprisingly, was over the limit.
- For the first few years in the Carey era, the five products involved shared a common theme. Each theme was formerly concocted by Scott Robinson of the show's staff.
- The first and only perfect win on nighttime show came in the Dennis James Era when a contestant hit $7.00 on the nose with a few purchases, while the first (and only) perfect win ever on the daytime show came on Christmas Day 1979 (#3532D) when contestant Teri hit $7.00 on the nose with just one purchase.
- Dorothy Sye (then known as Dotty Sye), the first player and first winner of Grocery Game (lost her showcase), returned on November 11, 2008 (#4502K, aired out of order on November 3); she got up onstage and played Coming or Going where she lost and also lost in the Showcase Showdown.
- On April 13, 2015 (#7091K, aired out of order on April 27), the cash register as Rachel was ringing up the first total glitched out, when she got her teeth fixed.
- On March 24, 2017 (#7865K, aired out of order on March 31), the College Rivals episode, Peyton Dilweg (Duke) won a home theater system with sports package and a Papa John's $1,200 Gift Card, while Dayci Brookshire (North Carolina) was denied.
- The most number of times this game was played in any season was 99.
- The cash register model is somewhat similar to the National Cash Register Class 24, only with a mounted lighted display showing a green win and red over decal.
The game has been adapted for many other countries' versions, with the only major difference being the price ranges:
(Another small difference is the Australian version gets more into the theming of the game, with the cashier wearing a colorful smock like the ones worn at Australian supermarkets.)
|Australia (Ian Turpie era)||$6.75 ~ $7 (as in America at the time)|
|Australia (Larry Emdur era)||$10 ~ $10.50|
|Canada||$9 ~ $10|
|France||95₣ ~ 99₣|
|Germany||DM27 ~ DM30 (later DM12 ~ DM13)|
|Italy||₤45,000 ~ ₤48,000|
|Vietnam||VND200,000 ~ VND300,000|
Premiere Playing (September 5, 1972, #0012D, aired out of order on September 6)Edit
First-Ever Grocery Game Loss (September 8, 1972, #0015D, aired out of order on September 5)Edit
First Grocery Game Loss Under $6.75 (September 15, 1972, #0025D)Edit
Grocery Game for a Pair of Suzuki Rover Motorcycles (January 30, 1973, #0222D)Edit
Grocery Game for a Hammacher Schlemmer Hippo Boat and Scuba Gear (December 14, 1974, #091N)Edit
Grocery Game for Camp Trails Camping Equipment and a Fritz Kreyer Race Prep Sand Buggy (October 28, 1975, #1652D)Edit
Grocery Game for a Chevrolet Vega Sport Coupe (January 16, 1977, #186N)Edit
Perfect Grocery Game Playing (December 25, 1979, #3532D)Edit
A Cash Register Malfunction in Grocery Game (September 15, 1980, #3781D)Edit
First Playing with the Gray Metallic Table (November 11, 1985, #5881D)Edit
Grocery Game as a Play Along Game (January 5, 1987, #6321D)Edit
First Playing with the $20-$21 Range (January 26, 1989, #7124D)Edit
Grocery Game with the "Shell Game" Sign (April 5, 1991, #7985D)Edit
A Grocery Game Malfunction from Season 23 (May 3, 1995, #9573D)Edit
Benjamin's Super Heartbreaking Loss (April 4, 1996, #9924D)Edit
Michael's Super Heartbreaking Loss (May 14, 1997, #0383K)Edit
A Grocery Game Malfunction from Season 28 (October 6, 1999, #1203K)Edit
Grocery Game for 3 Rooms (Barker Era, May 31, 2002, #003SP, aired out of order on July 12, originally rescheduled to air on June 6)Edit
Patricia Buys 25 Items (April 24, 2004, #016SP)Edit
Grocery Game for a Chevrolet Astro Van (April 9, 2005, #019SP, aired out of order on April 16)Edit
Final Playing with Bob Barker (June 15, 2007, #4035K)Edit
First Playing with Drew Carey (October 15, 2007, #4041K, aired out of order on October 16)Edit
Grocery Game for a $15,267 Luxury Train Adventure (December 20, 2007, #4164K)Edit
Grocery Game for a Saturn Sky (March 14, 2008, #027SP, aired out of order on February 29)Edit
Grocery Game for a Mercury Milan I4 (April 17, 2008, #4294K)Edit
Grocery Game for 3 Rooms (Carey Era, May 7, 2008, #031SP, aired out of order on May 14)Edit
Deaf Contestant Plays Grocery Game (October 19, 2009, #4871K)Edit
Destiny Plays Grocery Game Barefoot & with Neil Patrick Harris (October 12, 2011, #5663K, aired out of order on January 4, 2012)Edit
From Halloween 2011 (#5691K)Edit
Carmen's Super Heartbreaking Loss (November 23, 2011, #5723K)Edit
Grocery Game for a Truck (May 10, 2012, #5964K)Edit
Grocery Game with Rob Wilson as a Cashier (January 8, 2013, #6172K, aired out of order on October 16, 2012)Edit
Anitra Plays Grocery Game with Nene Leakes (January 25, 2013, #6195K, aired out of order on February 19, originally rescheduled to air on February 22)Edit
Grocery Game for a Toyota Prius C One (October 27, 2014, #6861K)Edit
Last Win Under the $20-$21 Range (May 27, 2015, #7153K)Edit
From Decades Week (September 21, 2015, #7211K)Edit
Debut of the $20-$22 Range (October 6, 2016, #7634K)Edit
First Win Under the $20-$22 Range (October 10, 2016, #7641K)Edit
Grocery Game with Kristen Bell as a Cashier (January 24, 2018, #8183K, aired out of order on October 30, 2017)Edit
From February 7, 2018 (#8203K, aired out of order on January 17)Edit
A Grocery Game Blooper (January 2, 2019, #8563K)Edit
Tyrone's Grocery Game Heartbreaker (April 5, 2019, #8695K, aired out of order on March 29)Edit
Keshaun's Grocery Game Heartbreaker (June 5, 2019, #8783K)Edit
Grocery Game Premiere (September 5, 1972, #0012D, aired out of order on September 6)
An early perfect playing of Grocery Game (December 25, 1979, #3532D)
The most heartbreaking playing of Grocery Game ever!
The cash register malfunctions! (October 6, 1999, #1203K)
The worst playing of Grocery Game ever! (November 1, 2002, #2285K)
Grocery Game for a truck (May 10, 2012, #5964K)
Rob Wilson's Only Time as a Grocery Game Cashier (January 8, 2013, #6172K, aired out of order on October 16, 2012)
A Win from 2014 (April 16, 2014, #6703K)
Grocery Game for a Prius (October 27, 2014, #6861K)