The Price Is Right first aired on CBS in 1972, making it one of the longest-running shows in television history. The game stayed pretty much the same throughout the years until 2010, when contestant Terry Kniess was called to “come on down." Because of him, the game was never the same again.
Terry Kniess and his wife Linda were huge fans of the show and decided to attend a taping, hoping they would be lucky enough to even be picked to play. What the producers didn’t know was that if one of them did get picked, they had a plan. A plan that could result in some serious cash.
The plan was nothing special, but it was smart. Terry and Linda noticed that throughout the years, the games would use the same products when they had contestants guess the prices. So, they knew that the products would stay the same and the prices would also stay in a predictable range making it easy to “guess” the right price. You would think that the producers would switch things up a little each season.
Terry and Linda really went for it. They watched every single episode of the show and memorized all the prices. They even made notecards and tested each other to make sure that they had the prices down. I guess they had a lot of time on their hands.
When Terry was called down to Contestant’s Row, it was time to see if his plan would work. The product that he was asked to bid on was a Big Green Egg Smoker. He had a perfect bid and moved on to the next round.
He knew that he would have to rely on a little bit of luck when he made it to the Showcase Showdown. The prizes in the showcase were not the same every episode, therefore, there was no real way to memorize how much the packages were worth. But Terry was able to see a pattern and knew that he could ballpark it.
When it came time to bid, he chose the price $23,743 for a few different reasons. First of all, he knew that the packages were usually worth around $24,000 and he wanted to make sure he didn’t go over the number. Therefore, $23,000 seemed safe. Then he chose $743, a combination of numbers that were important to him. His wedding anniversary, the 7th of April and his wife's birth month, March.
He hoped that this would get him close. Not only did he get close, he got the bid exactly correct. Like the exact numbers. Exactly. He was the first contestant in Price Is Right history to get the bid right on the nose.
And as if winning so accurately wasn’t amazing enough. Because Terry was within $250 of the actual price, he won both showcases. If you watch him win, Drew Carey barely acknowledges his win and even looks angry. It’s clear there is already suspicion. But really, it was a combination of luck, skill and preparation.
Terry was born to win The Price Is Right. He was a former meteorologist where he was able to predict future weather patterns. Because of this job, he developed the skill to be able to see patterns everywhere he looked.
His wife Linda was also meant to play the game. Linda’s day job was scheduling for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. She had to be sharp when it came to numbers and organization. It was almost as if Terry and Linda were training for The Price Is Right for years.
There was also another family member that was responsible for them signing onto the show. The couple had a Maltese named Krystal that they adored. When she passed in 2008, Terry and Linda were devastated. They knew that they needed something to focus on and that is when they found their new obsession, The Price Is Right.
Even though there was suspicion of cheating, there is nothing in the rules of The Price Is Right that says you can’t be extremely prepared. In the end, Terry took home a package of prizes worth $56,437.41. That included four luxury vacations to South Africa, Scotland, Chicago and Canada.
Since their appearance on the show, producers had to change the game to prevent this from happening again. The prices are much more random now and the prizes are more upscale and less predictable. So, sorry to any one else, who wanted to try the same approach. It looks like Terry and Linda ruined it for you.