Pass the Buck is a game in which the name comes from the fact that the contestant has to "pass the buck" to make the price of one of two products one dollar higher.


  • The contestant is shown two pairs of grocery items, one pair at time. One item in each pair displays the correct price, while the other is discounted $1. The contestant must "pass the buck" to the item which is discounted by sliding a dollar bill marker so that both items display the correct prices.
  • For each correct decision, the contestant earns a choice from six numbers on a game board, which is added to one free choice they are given to start the game (so they can earn up to two more choices). Concealed behind the six numbers are a picture of a car, cash awards of $1,000, $3,000, $5,000 and two spaces marked "Lose Everything." The contestant chooses numbers one at a time and accumulates whatever prizes they reveal. If they reveal "Lose Everything," they lose their accumulated prizes, but may start again if they still have choices remaining (similar to a Whammy from Press Your Luck). The contestant may also quit after each number selection instead of risking their winnings.
  • If the contestant wins the car, and still has choices remaining, they do have the option to keep going to try to get more cash, but few contestants are willing to take that chance. On occasion, the contestant's celebration over winning a car has had to be temporarily interrupted to ask them if they want to quit.
  • The highest cash amount a contestant can win is $9,000 (by revealing all three cash awards) or $8,000 (the higher two cash awards) and the car.


  • On the first 11 playings when the game premiered, it was played with an eight-number game board. There was no free pick and all three choices needed to be earned with three pairs of grocery items. Besides the current six, the two additional spaces concealed a $2,000 cash award and a third "Lose Everything."
  • The current format was first used on January 10, 2002 (#2024K), with the extra spaces replaced by dollar bill graphics.
  • Under the game's original format, the most a contestant could win without finding the car was $10,000; now it's $9,000. Three contestants did manage to win the maximum $9,000 in cash on May 3, 2002 (#2155K), January 6, 2006 (#3475K), and December 4, 2006 (#3791K). The contestants in the respective episodes are Farrah, Kara, and Keishawna.
  • Beginning on March 17, 2014 (#6661K, just like with Gas Money), the car is parked in the reverse direction.
  • The game was officially won for the very first time on November 2, 2001 (#1925K), the game's sixth playing.
  • Pass the Buck has officially received 63 wins, the most recent happening on November 12, 2018.
  • Pass the Buck has never been the first game to be played in the game slotting list.
  • Pass the Buck has officially received several wipeouts, the most recent happening was on January 16, 2019 (#8583K).
  • On May 16, 2017 (#7942K, aired out of order on May 18), during that show's "Dream Car Week", Pass the Buck was played for a $72,850 Maserati Ghibli. In addition, the cash awards changed to $10,000, $15,000, and $20,000 instead of $1,000, $3,000 and $5,000; so the most that could be won was $45,000 without the car, or $35,000 with. Contestant Danielle Byers-Anderson got the maximum three choices, and got a "CAR" on the first choice.


It was also the name of a short-lived game show hosted by Bill Cullen that ran from April 3 until June 30, 1978.


Set PicsEdit

Premiere Playing (October 4, 2001, #1884K)Edit

First Car Winner (November 2, 2001, #1925K)Edit

First Playing with the Current Rules (January 10, 2002, #2024K)Edit

Vishnu's Painful Bailout (October 19, 2004, #3012K)Edit

Final Playing with Bob Barker (June 6, 2007, #4023K)Edit

Pass the Buck for a 1965 Mustang (May 21, 2009, #4764K)Edit

Pass the Buck for a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air (September 24, 2010, #5235K)Edit

Pass the Buck for a Hyundai Elantra GT (December 27, 2013, #6545K, aired out of order on February 3, 2014)Edit

Pass the Buck for a Mini Cooper Roadster M6 (October 14, 2014, #6842K, aired out of order on October 13)Edit

Pass the Buck for a Maserati (May 16, 2017, #7942K, aired out of order on May 18)Edit

Rhonda's Epic Pass the Buck Win (January 18, 2018, #8174K, aired out of order on February 8)Edit

Pass the Buck for $50,000 (October 12, 2018, #8445K)Edit

Sheila's Painful Bailout (November 8, 2018, #8484K)Edit

Card ImagesEdit

Custom picturesEdit


  • As with Money Game and Gas Money, when a vehicle other than a car is offered (such as a truck or Jeep), the image of the vehicle hidden on the board is changed appropriately.
  • The contestant only needs to win the car (not necessarily all Cash amount) for the game to be officially counted as won.
  • This game is not to be confused with the short-lived CBS game show called Pass the Buck hosted by Bill Cullen.
  • The most number of times this game was played in any season was 25.
  • If Pass the Buck is to be a Million Dollar Game on The Price is Right $1,000,000 Spectacular, the contestant would need to win the two highest cash awards and the car to win the $1 million bonus.

YouTube VideosEdit

Pass the Buck premiere (October 4, 2001, #1884K)
First Ever Pass the Buck Car Winner! (November 2, 2001, #1925K)
A Heartbreaking Loss on Pass The Buck (October 22, 2008, #4473K)
Pass the Mighty Buck (April 7, 2015, #7082K, aired out of order on March 3)
Dismal Playing from 2016 (February 19, 2016, #7415K, aired out of order on February 16)
Epic win from dream car week(May 18, 2017, #7942K, aired out of order on May 18)
A Disastrous Playing from 2019 {January 16, 2019, #8583K)