Plinko is the most popular pricing game ever on The Price is Right. Debuting on January 3, 1983 and created by the late executive producer Frank Wayne, it is played for a cash prize of up to $50,000 and also awards prizes valued under $100. It is frequently said to be the most famous of all the pricing games.
How the Game is played
- The contestant is given one round flat disc, called a Plinko chip, and can earn up to four more chips using small prizes, for a total of five chips. The small prizes are presented one at a time, each bearing a two-digit price with one of the digits incorrect. The contestant must decide which digit is correct to win another Plinko chip as well as the small prize.
- The contestant then takes the chips they have earned up to a set of stairs to the top of the Plinko board. The board is made up of a field of pegs, with each row offset from the previous row. At the bottom of the board are nine slots marked symmetrically with the values (from outside to the single-center slot) $100, $500, $1,000, $0, $10,000.
- One at a time, the contestant lays each Plinko chip flat against the top of the board and releases it. As the chip falls, it is deflected by pegs, making it virtually impossible to predict where the chips will land. Also, the sides of the board are in a zigzag pattern which allow the chips to ricochet back toward the center. The contestant wins whatever money corresponds with the slot the chip lands in, with a running total displayed on a scoreboard next to the Plinko board.
- If a chip becomes stuck on the board, it is knocked free; the drop does not count and the chip is returned to the contestant to drop again. When a chip is stuck above arm's length, the host will usually use a long stick to dislodge the chip. Former host Bob Barker referred to the stick as his "Trusty Plinko Stick," while the current host Drew Carey has referred to it as just the "Plinko stick" or "Plinko wand." On Doug Davidson's version, he would whack the stick against the board in a futile effort to get the chip down instead of simply dislodging it. Since October 15, 2007 (#4041K, aired out-of-order on October 16), if the chip gets stuck on one of the pegs on the top row, Drew would count this drop anyway and ask the contestant to knock it down free.
- Contestants cannot stop and quit with any money after dropping any Plinko chips; they must drop each Plinko chip and the total amount accumulates after each drop as stated above. This is due to the game having no risk.
- Plinko made its debut on January 3, 1983 (#4741D). When Bob asks, "Now, What can Judy (Rainhour) win?" to which a spinning disco ball with "$25,000" labeled is lowered and then-announcer Johnny Olson responds by saying "A chance to win up to $25,000 in cash!" At the time of its 1983 debut, Plinko's $25,000 top prize was the largest ever offered on The Price Is Right at the time, as Barker noted on the game's much-promoted debut and the largest allowed under CBS regulations, as the network upped the winnings limit in $25,000 increments, first to $50,000 in 1984, then $75,000 in 1986, then $100,000 in 1990 and finally $125,000 in 1992 (before CBS permanently abolished the limit on daytime game show winnings altogether by 2006).
- On January 20, 1983 (#4764D), the game's third playing, the "Plinko" sign was introduced. The sign was originally placed in the back of the audience (a practice that would be resurrected in the short-lived 1994 syndicated version). On January 5, 1984 (#5145D), the sign was permanently moved to the Turntable, where it remained until December 5, 2002 (#2334K), when it was permanently replaced with a "$50,000" graphic ("$100,000" primetime) on screen; although the Plinko sign was absent from November 11, 1992 (#8573D) to June 18, 1993 (#8875D) and instead also using either a "$25,000" graphic or no graphic at all. On September 22, 2015 (#7212K), the disco ball introduction was revived.
- When the game debuted, the cue music they played to introduce it was the same one that is normally heard in Grand Game. From January 11, 1983 (#4752D, the game's second playing) until April 25, 1995 (#9562D), the first regular music sting combined the harps from Golden Road and Punch-A-Bunch with a famous prize cue titled "The Cats"; two subsequent harp stingers (introduced on May 3, 1995, #9573D and November 26, 1997, #0543K, respectively) were also used to precede "The Cats." Since January 7, 2003 (#2382K), only the harps have been used to introduce the game.
- For Plinko's first playing only, different "WIN!" cards were used for its small prizes. When a digit in the price of a prize was guessed correctly, the panels on the front of its corresponding podium were flipped over twice, first to reveal the word "WIN!" (which was written diagonally on a white card) along with a Plinko chip, and then again to reveal the actual price. Currently, the panels are flipped over only once, to reveal either a "WIN!" card and the actual price with a Plinko chip for a correct guess or the actual price on two red cards if the guess is wrong.
- When first introduced, the front of the Plinko board was open, meaning that the chips were occasionally able to bounce off the board and out onto the stage and had to be played again. To remedy this problem, a Plexiglass cover was placed over the board in the fall of 1991 (around the time the Plinko board was redone). That, too, became a problem when chips got stuck and had to be retrieved. One notable incident involving a stuck Plinko chip, as well as having trouble retrieving it, occurred on January 16, 1992 (#8264D) when contestant Jennifer Hardy dropped her last Plinko chip as it got stuck on the right-hand side of the board and it landed where neither Bob Barker nor Janice Pennington (who tried to reach for the chip underneath the Plexiglass) could retrieve it, then Jennifer, who can't contain her excitement and enthusiasm, begins jumping up and down, rattling the Plinko board to which Bob shouts "Jennifer, you're gonna break- Jennifer, stop! Jennifer, you're gonna break my Plinko game!" Janice (after taking off her bracelet & handing it over to Bob) again tries to reach for the stuck Plinko chip and this time around she's successful (the contestant won $6,600). The board's Plexiglass cover, used since 1994, features triangular grid-shaped holes that prevent chips from flying out and still allow stuck chips to be knocked loose through the grid.
- The only value on the board which has changed since the game was introduced is the center slot, except when the top prize is greater than $50,000. It began at $5,000, with a top prize of $25,000 and remained as such until October 5, 1998 (#0841K). The slot was increased to $10,000 for the first time during the show's 25th Anniversary Special on August 23, 1996 (#0001S) and was subsequently made permanent on October 15, 1998 (#0854K).
- 1994's syndicated The New Price is Right did not use the board layout described above. Most episodes featured a layout (from outside to center): $2,500, $500, $1,000, $0, $5,000. In the first episode that featured Plinko, the game had a layout of $2,500, $1,000, $0, $5,000, $0. The top prize was still $25,000, as on the daytime show. The 1994 syndicated version also used the "higher/lower" format for the small prizes instead of the regular CBS format, since it used three-digit prizes. The highest amount won in this version was $16,500.
- For the live stage show of The Price is Right, the layout on either side is $50, $100, $200, $0, $500, making for a top prize of $2,500.
- On May 17, 2002 (#001SP), the center slot has doubled to $20,000 on primetime specials, with a top prize of $100,000 (a practice that would be included on both the Million Dollar Spectaculars and 2006's Game Show Marathon).
- On April 4, 2008 (#028SP, aired out-of-order on March 7) and May 14, 2008 (#032SP, aired out-of-order on May 7), both The Price is Right $1,000,000 Spectacular since Drew Carey became host, a $1,000,000 bonus was offered if a contestant could get a bonus golden chip in the $20,000 slot. The golden chip was won if a contestant could first get at least $60,000 (three regular chips in the $20,000 slot) during the normal gameplay. Sadly, neither playing featured such a win condition.
- The Plinko board is often used by RTL Group-licensed lottery promotions, CBS affiliates, and Ubisoft to promote the show. For the promotions, two fishing lines (one on each side of the board, hanging from the side down towards the center slot) are used to "rig" the game, so the dropped chip would always land in the $10,000 slot. After a promotional advertisement for the video game was taped, the wires were mistakenly left in place for the July 22, 2008 1:00 p.m. taping of The Price is Right. As contestant Nichole Runge was playing the game, three consecutive chips she dropped all landed in the $10,000 slot. As the fourth chip was being dropped, co-producer Adam Sandler (not to be confused with the actor) realized that the wires were still in place and stopped the chip as it bounced down the board, informing Carey, the show's new host, of the situation. The wires were removed and the entire segment was re-shot for the show from the point where Nichole began dropping chips. CBS Standards and Practices allowed Nichole to keep the $30,000 before the removal of the wires as well as the money won with the five chips she dropped after the mistake had been corrected. However, the segment that aired (when the show was originally scheduled to air on October 6, 2008-- #4451K-- and aired out-of-order on December 5) did not reference the mistake or the amount of money won before the removal of the wires.
- Plinko’s first $10,000 slot had a large “10” with three compressed zeroes underneath both numbers. On January 14, 2003 (#2392K), a different $10,000 graphic was introduced with a smaller “10” and three zeroes similar in size to the previous $5,000-slot. The original bigger “10” graphic was brought back on May 13, 2010 (#5164K).
- On April 23-27, 2012 (#592xK, aired out of order on April 9-13), for Price’s "Publisher's Clearing House Week," Plinko was played for $50,000, but with a twist: the final chip would be worth $20,000 instead of the usual $10,000 if it is hit, it would start at $20,000 and roll over each day it is not hit. If no one hit the $20,000 by Friday's show, the winner of Friday's Showcase would win a $25,000 bonus in addition to whatever prizes they won in the Showcase. Summer Johnson, who appeared as a contestant on Monday's show, was the only contestant to win the $20,000 bonus.
- On April 26, 2013 (#6325K) and September 23, 2013 (#6421K, aired out-of-order on October 18, originally rescheduled to air on October 14), for Price’s "Big Money Week," Plinko was played for $500,000, with a $100,000 slot replacing the normal $10,000 center slot. Both Samantha Hawley and Clora Hicks won four chips total (three for each pricing item they won, plus the one chip they started with). Samantha only won $1,600 (hitting $500, $0, $100 and $1,000, respectively), while Clora won only $2,000 (hitting $0, $500, $1,000 and $500, respectively).
- On October 4, 2013 (#6435K, aired out-of-order on September 27), The Price is Right aired a very special episode in which Plinko was the only game played all show. In addition to cash prizes up to $50,000, regular prizes were also up for grabs. For pictures from the 30th anniversary special, click here.
- On November 20, 2014 (#6894K, aired out-of-order on November 13), October 12, 2015 (#7241K, aired out-of-order on October 15, originally rescheduled to air on October 13), October 25, 2016 (##7662K), February 20, 2018 (#8222K), October 10, 2018 (#8443K), October 14, 2019 (#8851K), and February 15, 2021 (#9311K, aired out of order on February 16), during Price’s "Big Money Week," Plinko was played once again, this time for $1,000,000, with a $200,000 slot replacing the normal $10,000 center slot (this marked only the fourth time in Price history that Plinko was played for $1,000,000; the first time it was played that wasn't a "Big Money Week" episode was during a $1,000,000 Spectacular in 2008). Eric Cardenas won three chips total (two for each item he won, plus the one chip he started with), but only won $600 (hitting $0, $500 and $100, respectively), while Mary Eklund won five chips total (four for each item she won, plus the one chip she started with), but only won $2,100 (hitting $1,000, $1,000, $0, $100 and $0, respectively), Vanessa Hunt won four chips total (three for each item she won, plus the one chip she started with), but only won $1,000 (hitting $0, $1,000 and $0), Shannon McCarthy won three chips total (two for each item she won, plus the one chip she started with), but only won $5,000 (hitting $2,500, $2,500 and $0, respectively), Galen Osborne won three chips (two for each item he won plus the one chip he started with), but only won $2,000 (hitting $0, $1,000 and $1,000, respectively), Michael Stouber won four chips (three for each item he won, plus the one chip he started with) and won $202,000 (hitting $200,000, $0, $1,000 and $1,000, respectively), and Lisa Warren won three chips (two for each item she won plus the one chip she started with), but won $4,500 (hitting $1,000, $1,000 and $2,500, respectively).
- On February 19, 2015 (#7014K), during #UDecide week, Plinko replaced the $100 slots with two additional $10,000 slots. On that playing, $13,000 was won in five chips, with one chip landing in the center slot.
- On April 1, 2015, Plinko was featured on Let's Make a Deal as part of an April Fools' joke. The contestant who played earned $1,600. It returned on November 18, 2019 (#8901K, aired out of order on March 23, 2020), as part of the Mash-Up Week Shows where a contestant won $10,600.
- On May 24, 2016 (#035SP), as part of the episode's Big Brother theme, Plinko replaced the $100 slot; it became the $500 slot from the $100 slot; the $500 slot became the $1,000 slot and the $1,000 slot became the $2,500 slot. On the February 3, 2017 (#7795K) episode of the daytime show, that same layout was used. It is believed that this will become permanent for the daytime show.
- On October 10, 2016 (#7641K), as part of CBS 30 Years at #1 special, Plinko was played for $150,000, with the $10,000 slot tripled to $30,000 (the $0 slots were left as-is).
- On February 3, 2017 (#7795K), the values first seen on May 24, 2016 (#035SP) were used.
- On May 24, 2017 (#7953K, aired out-of-order on May 25), Ryan Belz made a Plinko record of $31,500 (hitting $10,000, $1,000, $10,000, $500 and $10,000, respectively).
- On September 18, 2017 (#8011K), on the Season 46 premiere which was also Drew's 10th Anniversary, a bonus of $10,000 was up for grabs. To win the $10,000 bonus, the contestant had to land at least one chip in the $10,000 slot. Roderick Hickman did that on his last chip and won $21,000 in total.
- On October 2, 2017 (#8031K), the center slot was doubled to $20,000 on Breast Cancer Awareness Special, with a top prize of $100,000 and the values the same from February 3, with the $100 slots changed to $500, the $500 slots changed to $1,000 and the $1,000 slots changed to $2,500.
- On January 3, 2018 (#8153K), to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the first playing of Plinko, the center slot was changed to $35,000, making the potential top prize $175,000. Additionally, the $1,000 and $100 slots were changed to $3,500, while the $500 slots were changed to $350 (the $0 slots were left as-is). Ryan Glass won four chips total (three for each item he won, plus the one chip he started with) and won $39,200 (hitting $3,500, $35,000, $350, and $350, respectively).
- On April 20, 2018 (#8305K), contestant Rapunzel Ware played with a young Price is Right super-fan, Jackson Woodworth, live via video with his mother Brianna. Whatever Rapunzel won, Jackson won the same equivalent as her. Rapunzel won $2,600, so Jackson won $2,600 as well.
- On December 21, 2018 (#8545K), the center slot is five times to $50,000 with a top prize of $250,000 and the values the same from October 2, 2017, with the $100 slots changed to $500, the $500 slots changed to $1,000 and the $1,000 slots changed to $2,500.
- On February 22, 2019 (#8635K, aired out of order on May 31), during Dream Car Week, Plinko was played for an $18,300 Hyundai Accent SEL, plus $40,000. Unfortunately, contestant Nancy Morrison only won $1,100.
- If Plinko is played for more than $50,000, every time a chip drops in the middle slot, the Dig We Must cue from the Showcase Showdown is used. This happened twice, on October 14, 2019 (#8851K) and September 30, 2021 (#047SP).
- On November 2, 2020 (#041SP), a change was made to the game starting with The Price Is Right at Night with the Cast of The Neighborhood, due to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. There was a stand containing five Plinko chips to be grabbed by a contestant if they guessed correctly. The daytime debut of the stand was on November 17, 2020 (#9182K, aired out of order on November 19). The chips from the podiums continued to be used, though just for display. As usual, after a chip is dropped, it's placed in the same tray the free chip was placed in prior to the pandemic.
- Barker Era ($5,000 slot): The most anyone has ever won in Plinko in the Barker Era with the $5,000 slot on the daytime show is $21,000 on November 30, 1990 (#7815D), with the $5,000 slot being hit four times. This also happened to be the closest possible playing to a full win in the game's history (which would be $41,000 with the current slot values or $81,000 in primetime).
- Barker Era ($10,000 slot): The most anyone has ever won in Plinko in the Barker Era with the $10,000 slot is Kelly, who won $23,000 on September 17, 2001 (#1861K, aired out-of-order on September 24), with the $10,000 slot being hit twice.
- Barker Era ($20,000 slot, primetime): The most anyone has ever won in Plinko on the primetime show in the Barker era is Ryan, who won $40,000 on June 14, 2002 (#004SP, aired out-of-order on June 13), The Price Is Right Salutes U.S. Army special, with the $20,000 slot being hit twice.
- Carey Era ($10,000 slot, daytime): The most anyone has ever won in Plinko on the daytime show in the Carey Era is Ryan Belz who won $31,500 on May 24, 2017 (#7953K, aired out-of-order on May 25), with the $10,000 slot being hit three times.
- Carey Era (middle slot greater than $10,000, daytime): The most anyone has ever won in Plinko when the middle slot was more than $10,000 is Michael Stouber, who won $202,000 on October 14, 2019 (#8851K), with the $200,000 slot being hit once (the middle slot was changed to $200,000 and other slots changed to either $500, $1000 and $2,500, as this was the Million Dollar Plinko).
- Carey Era ($20,000 slot, primetime): The most anyone has ever won in Plinko on the primetime show in the Carey Era is Lindsay Dykstra who won $41,000 on the May 14, 2008 (#032SP, aired out-of-order on May 7) Million Dollar Spectacular, with the $20,000 slot being hit twice.
- In the entire history of Plinko, there have been 14 Plinko wipeouts, 10 of which occurred in the Carey Era: October 18, 1990 (#7754D), March 14, 1995 (#9502D), March 26, 1996 (#9912D, the contestant in this instance named Margie Meter won all five chips and all five dropped in the $0 slot), December 10, 2003 (#2713K), March 18, 2008 (#4252K), February 15, 2010 (#5041K), June 10, 2011 (#5605K), February 1, 2012 (#5823K), April 27, 2012 (#5945K, aired out-of-order on April 13), May 9, 2012 (#5963K), October 22, 2012 (#6081K, aired out-of-order on October 1), October 4, 2013 (#6435K, aired out-of-order on September 27) (as part of the episode's all-Plinko show), November 22, 2013 (#6505K, aired out-of-order on November 19) and January 29, 2020 (#9003K, aired out-of-order on December 30, 2019; the contestant in this instance named Gabriel Berman won three chips and all three dropped into the $0 slot).
- Plinko remains the only game in Price is Right history to have never been officially won; a "win" technically means winning the highest announced prize. Most fans consider hitting the middle slot once a win, but Bob/Drew won't call it a perfect show if all five other games are won and Plinko is played and the middle slot isn't hit all five times. In the event that a contestant does actually win the top Plinko announced prize completely, however, the "clang/whoop" noises for big wins will be played.
To view the gallery, click here.
- Plinko is one of the pricing games to appear in the Season 41 logo.
- Plinko was played the most number of times on The Price is Right primetime special and had the highest cash prize until September 20, 2010 (#5231K), when Pay the Rent debuted.
- The most number of times this game was played in any season was 39 (not counting primetime specials).
- Plinko was one of seven pricing games seen in the first taping session of Season 36, which was seen on October 15, 2007 (#4041K, aired out-of-order on October 16), October 23, 2007 (#4052K, aired out-of-order on November 1), November 1, 2007 (#4064K, aired out-of-order on October 24), November 9, 2007 (#4075K, aired out-of-order on November 6), November 14, 2007 (#4083K, aired out-of-order on November 27) and November 19, 2007 (#4091K, aired out-of-order on December 11). It was also one of two "old" pricing games seen in the ninth/tenth taping session of the season, which was seen on November 29, 2007 (#4104K), December 5, 2007 (#4113K), December 10, 2007 (#4121K, aired out-of-order on November 19), January 8, 2008 (#4132K), January 14, 2008 (#4141K, aired out-of-order on January 17) and January 25, 2008 (#4155K).
- In the Barker era, when Plinko is the first pricing game of the day, Bob entered through the audience due to the setup blocking his regular entrance.
- On December 1, 2020, the Pluto TV channel The Price is Right: The Barker Era has a Plinko chip being shown on screen during each episode in about the same position the CBS Eye graphic would be displayed during the 1990s and 2000s.
- Assuming that the contestant guesses the small prizes randomly, and that each slot has an equal chance of being landed in, the odds of winning the $50,000 are 24 times 95, or a whopping 1 in 944784 (around 0.0001%). However, assuming the same odds, on average, the contestant will win $4,400.
Plinko has become an all-time favorite pricing game on The Price is Right, arguably the most popular of all pricing games portrayed on the show. Many carnival supplies and family game companies have manufactured Plinko boards of their own, with some selling for as much as $400. The Wall is an example of a game show that contains elements from Plinko, like slots that contain certain money values. However, the rules of that show differ greatly from the rules of Plinko and the cash prizes are much higher. Also, money can be dropped from the player's total. This is one of the few games in which the announcer gives the name of the game ("You're going to play Plinko..."). Two other games in which the name of the game is announced are Pay the Rent and ½ Off, but in every other game, even other games played for a cash prize, the announcer announces the prize, not the name of the game.
To date, several officially-released versions of Plinko have been made for home play; most as part of home versions of The Price is Right, and one as a stand-alone version of the pricing game. Endless Games produced the first two such home versions; the first was as part of their Second Edition Home Game of The Price is Right. This version used a deck of nine Plinko cards (2 cards each with $100, $500, $1,000, and 0 and one $10,000 card) instead of a Plinko board. For each "chip" earned, the deck was shuffled and spread out face down, with the player choosing a card and earning the value on the card. The second version was as one of the pricing games on both editions of their The Price is Right DVD Game. In both versions, the player "drops" chips from one of five possible positions on the top of the simulated Plinko board. The standard "$100-$500-$100-0-$10,000" layout is used in both cases. An electronic version of Price was released by Irwin Toy (aka "IT") in 2006. This self-contained console had a miniature Plinko board on its back, complete with miniature Plinko chips and a plastic cover over the pegboard to keep the chips on the board. Again, the standard value layout was used, for a top prize of $50,000. (This home version is also notable for having a miniature Showcase Showdown Wheel on the side of the console.) Plinko has also been a pricing game in many of the various video game versions of Price (both console and online), and several arcade and gambling game versions of Plinko have been produced. In 2020, Buffalo Games released a stand-alone version of Plinko for exclusive sale at US Target stores. This version contained a partially-assembled wooden and plastic Plinko board (with the standard prize layout) standing about 3 feet tall. It came with pre-installed plastic pegs attached and plastic "zig-zag" sides. (No front cover was included to hold the chips in on the peg section of the board, so chips COULD bounce off the board before landing in a prize slot.) Electronic sensors were located in each slot, and metal-and-plastic Plinko chips were included which would hit the sensor in a slot, lighting up the slot and playing either a fanfare (for the $100, $500 or $1000 slots), the "losing horns" (for the 0 slots) or the "winning bells" for the $10,000 slot). Like on the show, players could only drop one chip at a time, to activate the trademark chip-dropping sound. This version was meant to be played as a party game rather than a stand-alone in itself. Instead of playing the standard opening pricing game to earn chips, a deck of 50 double-sided cards depicting different pricing games was used. Some would have a single Plinko prize and price to guess, while others used altered versions of More or Less, Pick-A-Number (here called "A Digit Missing" for some reason), Now....or Then, Hi Lo and Vend-O-Price. These games were played by a single player to earn a Plinko chip. Still, others used a version of Contestant's Row, where all players made the usual One Bid to earn a chip. Yet others used a game called "Back in the Day" (essentially, a version of "The Price WAS Right" from The Price is Right (1994 – 1995, U.S. Version)), where players play a One Bid guessing the price of an older item from a specific time period (example: How much was a portable cassette player when they were first released in 1979? Answer: $150).
Appearances Outside of The Price is Right
In the Family Guy episode from May 13, 2007 (#5ACX12) called "It Takes a Village Idiot and I Married One" (which in turn was a parody of the 1995 book title by Hillary Clinton "It Takes a Village"), Cleveland Brown (formerly voiced by Mike Henry) briefly takes a ride inside a Plinko chip from Plinkoland but only to land on a zero.
On an April 28, 2019 (#1887) episode of the CBS daytime talk show The Talk, a segment of Plinko hosted by Carrie Ann Inaba with Drew Carey as her co-host was played with a studio audience member if the chip was landed on the word prize instead of cash and it was played with only three small prizes instead of four which basically the studio audience member (or in this case "contestant") can manage to earn only up to four chips instead of five.
United Kingdom, Portugal, Netherlands
On The Price Is Right (UK game show), as well as O Preço Certo (The Right Price in Portugal) and the Netherlands versions, Plinko is played differently. Instead of playing for cash, they play for a bonus prize (usually a car in the UK, while the Netherlands and Portugal may offer cheaper prizes like trips). In 1995, the pricing portion was played like the CBS version. From 1996-2001, the player must guess which of the two prices was correct. On those shows, once all the chips are used, a model replaces the cash amounts with "Win/Lose/Win/Lose/Win/Lose," although contestants on the UK show had the choice of keeping the money and not going for this gamble. If "Win" is hit, the player keeps the cash and wins the prize. If "Lose" is hit, the player doesn't get the prize and loses the money. On the UK show's final season in 2001, there were also two spaces with pound (£) signs. If either one of those was hit, the player didn't win the prize, but they won double the money they had already earned. In the UK, to earn discs, the player had to determine which of two prices was correct for one particular item, similar to Double Prices. He/she could add up to three more in addition to the one disc given at the start. In the early days of The Price Is Right (UK game show), the American method of pricing was used. In Portugal, the player has to determine if the price of the given product is true or false and he or she can earn up to four discs. Three different slot sequences were used:
£100 | £0 | £500 | £100 | £250 | £500 | £0 | £250 during the first series (1995)
£0 | £500 | £250 | £100 | £250 | £500 | £100 | £0 from 1996 to 1998
£0 | £500 | £250 | £500 | £250 | £500 | £250 | £0 from 1999 to 2001
For a maximum prize of £2,000 (£4,000 in 2001), though in earlier series (1995-1998), five discs instead of four could be earned, meaning the max was £2,500. Portugal's version has amounts of €100 and €200 (meaning the max is €1,000). It's unknown what Holland's version uses at the moment. Only one UK contestant, Emon, managed to win the max of £2,000 in 1999. He quit with the money instead of playing for a motorcycle; Bruce had him drop the chip anyway and it turned out that he would have lost. The Pasquale version had this board:
£0 | £50 | £150 | £100 | £50 | £150 | £100 | £0
For a total of £600. Aside from this difference, its rules are the same as those from the first six series of Bruce's Price Is Right. There has also been one case where a chip got stuck-- and it still counted after being dislodged (on this version, there was no Plinko Stick; Joe simply shakes the board). The game had an Asian theme, although no rationale has been determined for this design choice. In the December 2017 episode, the slots consisted of two "0" slots, two £500 slots and each of the five remaining slots representing a different prize, each of which could only be won once. Finally, in the Epic Gameshow, this Plinko board was used:
£50 | £250 | £500 | £1,000 | £0 | £1,000 | £500 | £250 | £50
In Series 1, contestants could win up to five chips as in America (for a top prize of £5,000); this was recuded to four chips in Series 2 (for a £4,000 maximum).
The game offered no cash and was instead played for three prizes. The contestant was given one chip and could earn up to three more by winning small prizes. The board had seven slots, numbered 3-2-0-1-0-2-3. Hitting a 3 with a chip meant the contestant won the least expensive prize, 2 meant he won the middle-priced prize and 1 meant he won the most expensive prize. Landing in 0, of course, won nothing with that chip. Still, other countries' versions of the show, including Mexico's Atínale al Precio, Italy's OK, Il Prezzo è Giusto!, France's Le Juste Prix and Vietnam's Hãy Chọn Giá Đúng, have done their best to emulate the American format of Plinko, with differences in the cash prizes offered to be the only significant changes.
Originally, Mexico started with the American 1983-1998 board, for a top prize of MX$25,000. When the show was revived in 2010, it had this board, with a maximum of MX$100,000
MX$1,000 | MX$3,000 | MX$5,000 | MX$0 | MX$20,000 | MX$0 | MX$10,000 | MX$4,000 | MX$2,000
Italy started with a top prize of ₤10,000,000 (~€5,000), before decreasing by half to ₤5,000,000 (~€2,500):
₤100,000 (~€50) | ₤200,000 (~€100) | ₤500,000 (~€250) | ₤0 | ₤2,000,000 (~€1,000) | ₤0 | ₤500,000 | ₤200,000 | ₤100,000
₤100,000 | ₤200,000 | ₤300,000 (~€150) | ₤0 | ₤1,000,000 (~€500) | ₤0 | ₤300,000 | ₤200,000 | ₤100,000.
Towards the end of the run, the ₤0 & ₤1M spaces were swapped, producing this board and also, a chance to win a car. If the player earned ₤2M, they could surrender the money to open the ₤1M space, revealing either the word "AUTO" or a space that loses all earned.
On the 2016 Indonesian version, Plinko was played for Rp. 50,000,000 ($3,412) and the rules were the same as the American version. The Plinko board had this slot sequence:
Rp. 500,000 | Rp. 1,000,000 | Rp. 2,000,000 | Rp. 0 | Rp. 10,000,000 | Rp. 0 | Rp. 2,000,000 | Rp. 1,000,000 | Rp. 500,000
When the version revived in 2020, the game is played for four motorcycles or up to Rp. 12,000,000 in cash. Also, contestants can now only add up to three more chips, for a total of four. Landing in the middle slot (which is indicated by a star) win the contestant a motorcycle on his/her own choice. The Plinko board now has the following slot sequence:
Rp. 1,000,000 | Rp. 2,000,000 | Rp. 3,000,000 | Rp. 0 | Motorcycle | Rp. 0 | Rp. 3,000,000 | Rp. 2,000,000 | Rp. 1,000,000
France's original version (Le Fakir) had this board:
500F (~€75) | 1,000F (~€150) | 2,000F (~€300) | 0₣ | 20,000F (~€3,000) | 0₣ | 2,000₣ | 1,000₣ | 500₣
For a top prize of 100,000F (~€15,000). When France revived their version in 2009, they used the US board layout, but with a €2,000 space, for a top prize of €10,000. Eventually, the game was renamed Le Flipper as it is now played similarly to pinball.
When this game was introduced in 2004 as Zíc Zắc (ZigZag), it had this board:
500 (VND500,000) | 250 (VND250,000) | 1000 (VND1,000,000) | 250 (VND250,000) | 2000 (VND2,000,000) | 250 (VND250,000) | 1000 (VND1,000,000) | 250 (VND250,000) | 500 (VND500,000) .
For a top prize of VND10,000,000 (around $500). As this version of Plinko is impossible to walk away from the game empty-handed, the game was taken out of the rotation (probably due to a new set is being built) around 2010 and wasn't revived until at least April 2011. The Zíc Zắc (ZigZag) game was revived in 2011 with a board that resembled that of America's 1983-1998 board value layout and was played for VND25,000,000. From 2011-2016, the Plinko chips are called "the golden soybeans", because of the game being sponsored by Vinasoy, a soymilk company in Vietnam. Although Vinasoy now no longer sponsors the show, the game is still in rotation. As of Tuấn Tú-Hoàng Linh era, the game's top prize is the biggest of any game in the lineup.
In 2017, the UK did a Christmas revival which involved Plinko. The same rules applied but the revolving prize displays were not present and neither was the US Plinko board; instead, the UK had their board.
Plinko Premiere Part 1, Part 2
A $15,100 Plinko Win! A Plinko playing from the 30th Season Premiere
Plinko Daytime's Biggest Winner
Bob Barker's and Drew Carey's Biggest Primetime Plinko Winner
Plinko Total Wipeout
Another Plinko Total Wipeout
$500,000 Plinko from Season 41
All Plinko Day in Honor of its 30th Anniversary
$500,000 Plinko from Season 42
A Monster win from Season 42
|1980s Pricing Games|
|Bargain Game | Trader Bob | Grand Game | Now....or Then | Hit Me | Super Ball!! | Check Game | Check-Out | Pick-A-Pair | Plinko | Master Key | Phone Home Game | Walk of Fame | Balance Game (1) | On the Nose | One Away | Bump | Add 'Em Up | Pathfinder | Credit Card | Spelling Bee | $uper $aver | Make Your Move | 2 for the Price of 1|