Super Ball!! was a pricing game based on Skeeball - an arcade game. It was played for three large prizes, each worth more than $1,000 and a cash prize of up to $3,000; this game also used small prizes.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

  • The contestant was shown three large prizes, each behind one of The Big Doors. The contestant was then shown three small prizes on the turntable, one at a time (originally); each prize had a ball with it that was associated with one of the large prizes. Each small prize also displayed two prices; the contestant had to choose the correct price for the prize. If they were correct, they won the small prize and the ball. Otherwise, they lost the prize and the ball.
  • After all, three prizes were played, assuming the contestant had won at least one ball, they were taken to a standard arcade skee ball lane. The center ring, marked "win," was surrounded by a "$100" ring and a "$50" outer area. $50 was the minimum a contestant could win for each ball earned.
  • After a practice roll, The contestant rolled each ball they had won on the lane. If they rolled the "win" ring, they won the large prize associated with the ball; otherwise, they won the amount of money associated with the cash ring they rolled into.
  • Once all of the earned balls were rolled, the contestant attempted to win the "Super Ball" by choosing between two prices for one more small prize. If the contestant won the Super Ball, they would roll it on the lane, with a "win" earning them all three large prizes (as the doors are opened to display them once again). If the contestant had already won all three prizes with the standard balls, a Super Ball "win" would earn them a $3,000 cash bonus. If the Super Ball landed in either cash ring, the contestant earned triple the value of that ring, making them worth $300 and $150, respectively.
  • Super Ball!! is one of only three pricing games, along with Hole in One (or Two) and On the Nose, in which a task of physical skill is required to win. Other games, such as Race Game and Bonkers, give the contestant more chances to win if they perform better physically, but they can still be obtained without the physical skill.

History[edit | edit source]

  • The $3,000 cash bonus came into play only twice, on September 23, 1992 (#8503D) and June 1, 1995 (#9614D), and was won only once, on September 23, 1992 (#8503D) (see below); in the latter playing on June 1, 1995 (#9614D), the contestant guessed the small prize of the Super Ball incorrectly and did not win the Super Ball.
  • In the beginning, only one small prize was shown on the turntable at a time. By January 26, 1987 (#6351D), it was changed to having the first three small prizes appearing all at once (w/ the "Super Ball" prize on the opposite end of the turntable).
  • On the episode that aired on November 14, 1991 (#8184D), a contestant named Mohini Khaled could not grasp the concept of skee ball; arguably because she was a native of the Fiji Islands, where that game is virtually unknown. Rather than rolling the balls, she tried to throw them into the rings, causing them to bounce off and roll back down the lane. Bob joked said that someone would get hurt the way she played. Bob did indeed get hurt when he later went to retrieve a ball that had stopped halfway down the lane and he hit his shin on a wire that was part of the prop. In the end, Mohini failed to win any prizes but did manage to win $250 in cash. The game normally takes 5-6 minutes (including the announcer describing the prizes), but this particular playing took over eight minutes, making it one of the longest pricing game playings in the show's history, which may have led to the game's retirement after its last playing on January 12, 1998 (#0601K).
  • Mohini wasn't the only contestant who had trouble with the game. On May 20, 1987 (#6513D), a contestant named Yvonne Hughes had similar struggles with the game, as she was trying to throw the balls into the rings, rather than roll them down the lane. She actually managed to get one of the balls caught on top of the rings where it was completely out of reach, to Bob's dismay. Ball #1 was put out of the machine and was treated as Ball #2. As such, Bob was so flustered by her playing that he forgot to ask Rod to describe the Super Ball!! small prize. She ended up winning $200 in cash, with Bob saying he'd need thousands for a psychiatrist after Yvonne's playing.
  • At least three other contestants also managed to get one of the balls stuck behind the $50 circle. On one playing from the 1980s, a contestant got a ball stuck behind the $50 circle and even had Bob use his Plinko stick to get the ball out, and kept holding on to it for the rest of the game. Another, from December 5, 1994 (#9381D), had contestant Rebecca Minarr get the Super Ball!! stuck, leading Bob to vamp about what happened and to see if he can manage to get the ball out, but couldn't, and then his next idea was to get an extra ball from one of the stage managers, Doug Quick. Doug thus gave an extra ball to Rebecca and managed to get it in the Win circle, making a comeback. One last playing, from November 17, 1997 (#0531K, the second last playing), contestant Rodrigo got ball #2 stuck, in which Bob declared to give him $54.78 for getting it stuck behind the $50 circle.
  • Super Ball!!'s set was not destroyed when it was retired; the skee ball prop currently resides in Bob Boden's garage.
  • The prize cue, strictly used for this game, was the theme from Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour, which is often used when giving away cars in other games. However, on January 14, 1997 (#212K), for this playing only, the MGHS theme was NOT used (it WAS used for that day's playing of Lucky Seven however) as an unknown cue from Doug Davidson's TNPIR was used. Prior to the usage of the MGHS theme on the show, "Starcrossed" was primarily used as the prize cue.
  • The dollar signs on the game's props were the same ones used on the Showcase Showdown wheel from 1988-2008.
  • On an episode of the Davidson TNPIR airing 11/8/1994, the show accidentally went to commercial after the contestant won the car with Ball #3, instead of allowing her to play for the Super Ball. This proved to be a very expensive mistake. It is not known if the show later allowed her a shot at the Super Ball, or if it did, how she did with it. She went on, however, to win her Showcase.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The most number of times this game was played in any season was 19.

International versions of Super Ball!![edit | edit source]

  • Despite its retirement in the US, the French version had this game translated to "La Superballe". A diamond-shaped skeeball area was featured into which the balls land; the middle diamond into which the ball lands to win the prize(s) are indicated by a star, with the two outer diamonds worth 500 F/76€ and 100 F/15€.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

To view the gallery, click here.

Retirement[edit | edit source]

  • Super Ball!! was among the longest pricing games to play. Bob Barker determined, based on the in-studio audience reaction, that the time it took to play Super Ball!! could be put to better use and the game was retired.

YouTube Videos[edit | edit source]

Premiere Playing (February 3, 1981, #3982D)
A Super Ball!! Blooper (May 20, 1987, #6513D)
Maureen's Perfect Super Ball!! Playing (September 23, 1992, #8503D)
Near-Wipeout in Super Ball!! (April 23, 1996, #9952D)
Loree's Spectacular Super Ball!! Comeback (February 6, 1997, #0244K)
Final Playing of Super Ball!! (January 12, 1998, #0601K)

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
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