Game show news update #5

newsreader - 'sup y'allHello and welcome to another quick round-up of recent game show news from around the world…

First up today, even more Price Is Right winning tips. Following on from our previous posts on 14th November and 20th November, here’s an article by Carla Day, with even more tips on how to win the games on The Price Is Right. This time, the tips come straight from the show’s Executive Producer Mike Richards and host Drew Carey, and I particularly like Drew’s tip about the prices of the cars on the show. The article’s URL is

Who Wants To Be A Crorepati? The Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – Kaun Banega Crorepati – has celebrated its first female champion for this year. 26-year-old Firoz Fatma has taken home a cheque for the show’s ultimate prize – Rs. 1 crore. A Crore is a unit in the South Asian numbering system equal to 10 million. So that’s 10 million rupees (equivalent to around $US 162,000).

Although we haven’t spent much time discussing Big Brother here – and when I say “much time”, I mean “any time” – the fact remains that it’s an extremely successful game show, in many territories all over the world. And just like all other game shows, it appears that there are tactics and strategies that contestants can use to give them the edge. Well, at least according to Tim Dormer, the most recent winner of Australian Big Brother. He discusses his Big Brother … wait for it…    journey here, including the mindgames he reckons he played. And hey, he’s just become $250 000 richer, so who are we to argue?

In Hong Kong, a brother and sister have been jailed, after being caught cheating on a live TV game show. After bribing a worker at the TV station to phone them with the correct answers, Fung Kin-fung, 29, and Fung Kwan-wai, 28, won cash and prizes totalling $HK 348,830. But then it all started to unravel… the full story is here. For the record, $HK 348,830 is worth about $US 44,990 at the time of writing.

And finally, a distinctly Hollywood approach to getting on game shows and reality shows, from Dingo over at Hollywood Oracle. Entitled 10 Hollywood Secrets On How To Get On A  Game Show / Reality how, it assumes:

1) that you’re in Los Angeles,

2) That you’re really interested in getting your big break in showbiz, and

3) that getting your head on TV is more important to you than cash and fabulous prizes.

So, if all three of these criteria apply to you… then go for it, you vainglorious bugger!

And that’s all for this news update. See yez!


More fantastic ‘Price is Right’ tips, from someone who lived the dream!

ku-xlargeHello! Following on from my recent post on mathematical strategies for winning on The Price is Right, comes this first hand account by Ben Robinson over at

In this very entertainingly written article, Ben outlines his entire TPIR adventure… from boyhood fandom to the fateful day when he was in the running to be one of those chosen few to “come on down”.

It’s a great article, full of practical tips for being chosen as a Price Is Right contestant, and very enjoyable – Ben could never be accused of taking himself too seriously.

So head on over to and check it out. And don’t forget to browse through the comments, underneath the post – some really good nuggets of advice are hiding in there too!


An INCREDIBLY HANDY list of tips for winning ‘The Price Is Right’

price is right logoThis came to my attention today, and I had to share it with you immediately – Mathematician Ben Blatt’s application of Game Theory to some of the most popular games on The Price Is Right… which would seem to ensure a mathematically proven greater chance of success!

Fascinating (if not compulsory) reading, if you’re thinking of being a contestant on the show. Here’s the full URL:

You can download Ben’s handy ‘Cheat Sheet’ for the games there, OR, to save you that valuable 1.8 seconds, it’s right here for you, too (below). Just right-click on the image, and then click “Save image as”…..




Game show news update #4

newsreader - CopyHello and welcome to a quick Game Show News Update, for Thursday October 3rd, 2013…

If you’re in the States, and keen to try your luck on the long-running (42 seasons and counting!) game show The Price Is Right, you’ll know that you’re not alone. Thousands of people try to get on the show each year. Surely there must be some tips or hints that can tip the scales in your favour? Well, there just might be… Here’s a fantastic article by Carla Day that popped up online last Thursday. It contains some really great tips from host Drew Carey and Executive Producer Mike Richards. 

And from Australia, neatly following on from the first part of our interview with Who Wants To Be A Millionaire million dollar winner Martin Flood, comes this great article from Brisbane’s Courier Mail. It’s an interview with Millionaire Hot Seat Executive Producer Steve Gilbert, who outlines his 5 top tips for getting on the show. They do tend to echo the tips we’ve heard elsewhere on this site, but it’s nice to have them confirmed and reiterated by the show’s current head honcho. In brief, they are:

1. Develop an entertaining 60-second description of your life

2. Practice talking in front of a video camera

3. Scrub up on your general knowledge

4. Make sure your schedule is flexible

5. Be entertaining on the show, or else

You can read the full interview, and these points in more detail, here.

And finally, from our ‘what-will-they-think-of-next’ department…. British TV network ITV2 has just commissioned a new horror-based game show entitled Release The Hounds ! This new idea from Sony Pictures Television sees three contestants entering a forest at dusk, and searching for chests full of prize money. What they don’t know is that to retrieve the keys needed to unlock the chests, they must endure a night of horror-filled challenges, including outrunning a pack of hounds trained to guard the cash. And good luck to them. Sounds like they’ll earn every cent of that prize money. The full article’s here.

And that’s it from the news desk for now. Until next time…

Keep it real, y’all.


MORE ‘Price Is Right’ winning tips, straight from the Producer!

price is right logo

This week, my interview with Michael Pope – in his capacity as producer of The Price Is Right – continues, as I ask him for more any more tips he might have…


MP: What I was going to say is the tip to win at Price Is Right is look at the audience. “Here’s a TV, and it’s one thousand eight hundred and what?” You, as a player, might have an opinion. And that’s really good. But the show has been built for you to have 100 people’s opinions! Look at that audience and you get a vibe that everybody is saying “99”, not “78”… so if you want to win at Price Is Right, it is not a solo game. It is very much you and the audience are trying to win. And that’s the biggest tip. And we say that during the recording; that’s no secret. Also people need to remember that the makers of the TV show want people to win. People come along and say “it’s too hard, it’s too hard”. No, the producers have budgeted the show in the way that they have so that they get winners, because what we haven’t talked about all morning is luck. There is still a hell of a lot of luck in all of these shows we’ve talked about. Millionaire – the one that stands out is that a woman won – 100 000, I think? – on a question “this man’s name is famous for which of these 4 areas of endeavour?” The night before, her daughter went to primary school and they named a hall in their school after this man. But what’s the chance? It was an obscure name. But just by chance, her daughter lived at the school that named it just the day before. So it’s that kind of luck… On Price Is Right, the luck comes in… maybe you were shopping at ‘Freedom’ two weeks before, and you saw that particular couch, so you know that it’s a $2000 and not a $1000 couch. It’s those sort of bits of luck. Deal Or No Deal obviously has a hell of a lot of luck about it.

SH: Yeah, perhaps more than any other show.

MP:  Indeed, indeed. And Bert’s Family Feud; less luck… it‘s more in tune with the population. But again – talking about that guy who had a very narrow life – if you were a person who was really into dogs, and you got the “give me the most popular dog name” – Bang! You’re a shoo-in. Luck is an important thing to impress on people. So when people get miffy and say “oh no one ever wins on that show” or “we weren’t able to win”, you’ll probably find that luck’s against them.  Because the producers want people to win, they work out a ratio of “we expect to give away so many cars over so many episodes” and it’s luck that is really driving that thing.

SH: Basically in The Price Is Right, it’s like the Millionaire lifeline of ‘Ask The Audience’; the whole show is ‘Ask The Audience’!

MP: The whole show. Even the showcase at the end where you put 7 things in order; you’re a mad person who doesn’t look to the audience and see that most of them are holding up the figure “3”… and you can see – if you watch old episodes – you can see where the people’s focus is. And also they look to their friend – their partner in the crowd – too much. And that’s about guilt. That’s about “it’s you and I are gonna win this. But if I don’t win it, then I can blame you, because you said ‘4’.” I would ignore the friend I came with, and just treat them like one of a hundred people, and take in the whole room, not just your partner.

SH: Does that come into play in Family Feud at all?

MP: No. Absolute silence. Because they are the 100 people. And if you listen to them, they would be yelling out the answers.

SH: But are their surveys used in that particular show?

MP: No, it probably takes 2 months to turn around between an audience member being asked a question, and then doing it. And so some people would say “But what if I turn up on the show and you use my question?” Well, you don’t know the answers; you just have heard of a question before and you gave your one answer. That’s not the same as knowing the top answer to the question.

SH: No, because you’re one of a hundred people.

MP: That’s right.


… and that’s where we’ll leave it for this week. The next stop on our journey through Michael’s multi-faceted career is his long involvement with How To Be A Millionaire.

What will he have to say on that subject? Check back in next week to find out!



‘The Price Is Right’ winning tips, straight from the Producer!


price is right logoToday, the first part of the section of my interview with Michael Pope in his capacity as Producer – and then Consulting Producer – on The Price Is Right. So if you’ve ever wanted to be a contestant on The Price Is Right, you can’t afford to miss this…


SH: Well, that brings us to The Price is Right, which you produced in a couple of incarnations, didn’t you?

MP: I was Producer of 2003 – 2006, when Channel 9 had it last, and then I was a Consulting Producer on the 2012 channel 7 re-branding.

SH: So what would be the 3 most important things for someone to know if they wanted to be a contestant on The Price Is Right?

MP: Be up, be positive, be articulate, be happy. Don’t be complaining about how long you’ve waited, or how far you’ve had to travel to get in here, and don’t look hungry. And I mean for prizes. We want people who are here for a fun time, not to win prizes. It’s a turn-off to see someone whose focus is just on the prize, on the prize, on the prize, rather than playing the game.

SH: Do you remember the biggest winner, or the most joyous moment of the show, while you were there?

MP: In its dying days, Deal Or No Deal came along and were consistently beating us, so Channel 9 pulled out all the stops, including giving away half million dollar apartments on the Gold Coast. And I believe they should be completed in 2 years’ time…

SH: (LAUGHS) Fantastic.

MP: So we had available every night, half a million dollars to be won. And when they were won – and we did give away a few – that was a great night, because you had these people who were just so excited. Oh, just on the interview thing – a quick way to turn off the producers is to be discovered you’re lying. I mentioned before “if you’re a fireman, tell us”.

Well, this woman was lining up… and she said she swims with the sharks; “I’m at the Melbourne Aquarium and I swim with the sharks every day.” “Oh great!”

And sure enough, she gets up and Larry says “So, what do you do for a job?” and she says “Oh, I swim with the sharks”.

“Oh what? What do you mean?” and so she did this nice little conversation and we went to the commercial break, and he said something like “Oh cool, how long have you been doing that?”

And she said “I don’t. I just said that.”

“Oooooh, right.” And not that you could tell on air, but the word went around everyone on headphones that that naughty girl just played us a good one. She didn’t end up winning.

SH: Were there any other negative or bad moments from the show that were really spectacular?

Continue reading

Interview update!

Hello! I just wanted to let you know that I’ve now interviewed the first of my special guests. He’s been a warm-up man for game shows, hosted game shows, produced game shows, executive produced game shows, and created game shows, the list goes on and on… it’s the one and only Michael Pope.

It was really great to chat to Michael. We had a very broad-ranging discussion, packed with loads of interesting facts, stories, tips and hints, and he gave very generously of his time and experience.

I’ll be transcribing our chat and getting all the highlights up here on the blog very soon, but before that, I just wanted to publicly thank Michael, and let you know that I’m on the case.

In the meantime, if you’re interested to learn more about Michael and his amazing career, his website’s at

My next scheduled interview is with a member of that very exclusive club… a Who Wants To Be A Millionaire contestant who actually won the millionSo if you have any questions you’d like to ask him, it’s not too late. Just let me know what they are, via the comments section, and I’ll slot them right in to our chat!

In the meantime, I look forward to bringing you the results of my ‘audience with the Pope’. So watch this space…


Announcing 2 EXCLUSIVE interviews with high-calibre game show insiders!

Hello, I just wanted to interrupt the usual flow of posts to let you know about 2 exciting interviews I’ve managed to secure. I’m very happy to announce I’ve scored exclusive interviews with 2 very important figures in Australian game shows. And although they made their mark on game shows here, I know that their stories, principles and even techniques will have relevance the world over.

Australia_millionaire logoFirstly, a member of an extremely exclusive club. One of the very few Who Wants To Be A Millionaire contestants to go all the way, and win $1,000,000! He was the second person to achieve this incredible goal on Australia’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, back in November 2005. I’ll be speaking to him about his experience, his preparation process, his technique, and the unexpected controversy that followed his win ….

And my second interview will be a real Quadruple Whammy (to use ‘Press Your Luck‘ terminology). I’ll be speaking to a man who:

– has hosted 2 game shows on Australian television.

– produced the Australian version of The Price Is Right in 2003.

–  was also the producer of the Australian version of Family Feud from 2006 to 2007.

– And among many other endeavours  he’s currently involved in the recording of Millionaire Hot Seat – Australia’s current, 5-night-a-week version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire! When it comes to Australian game shows, he really has been there and done that…. on both sides of the camera!

I’ll be speaking to both of them very soon, and although my range of questions will hopefully be very comprehensive…

Are there any questions YOU’D like to ask a Who Wants To Be A Millionaire ACTUAL millionaire?

Are there any questions YOU’D like to ask a real live game show host?

And are there any questions YOU’D like to ask the former producer of The Price Is Right?

Of Family Feud?

If so, please let me know via the comments form below, and I’ll endeavour to add your questions into the interviews. Really looking forward to hearing what these two very admirable gentlemen have to say!