The Price Is Right host Drew Carey once thought he’d be either fired, sent to jail, or both after a rigged game of Plinko won a contestant a whopping $30,000. The near-scandal took place shortly after Carey took over for longtime host Bob Barker on the historic game show and the now veteran host immediately thought he’d lose his job over the incident. Obviously, his job was safe in the end, but the taping in question is clearly still very vivid in Carey’s memory.
A Rough Start To Drew Carey’s ‘Price Is Right’ Hosting Gig
It was only Drew Carey’s second season hosting The Price Is Right after taking over the job from beloved former host Bob Barker, and for one terrifying moment, he thought he was about to lose his brand new gig. It was all thanks to a simple mistake that caused one contestant to walk away with $30,000 after winning an accidentally rigged game of Plinko.
Carey discussed the 2008 event during an interview on Sirius XM’s Jeff and Larry’s Comedy Roundup and admitted that it left him feeling very shaken up. The contestant, who Carey described as “a college girl,” began her turn at the Plinko board, the game where contestants drop a chip down the board hoping to hit the elusive $10,000 slot. Shockingly, Carey recalled, “she dropped her first three chips right down in the $10,000 spot.”
It was the most any contestant in the entire history of The Price Is Right had ever managed to score during the game, and the audience was obviously excited to be watching history take place before their very eyes. Carey described the chaos, “People were on their feet, jumping up and down and cheering. I mean, the crowd was going wild.” As the girl went to drop the fourth and final chip, the floor director came over to Carey and said four words that immediately sent chills down Carey’s spine, “The game is fixed.”
Carey Immediately Assumed The Worst
The Who’s Line Is It Anyway host quickly jumped to the worst conclusion possible, explaining, “‘I’m going to jail. I’m losing my job. There’s gonna be a scandal,’ all these emotions going through my head.” Thoughts of the infamous quiz show scandals of the 1950s must have been running through Carey’s mind. Despite Carey’s immediate concerns, it turned out that it wasn’t his fault, or the contestant’s either.
Right before the season began, the Plinko board had been used to shoot a commercial for The Price Is Right video game and a fishing line had been placed on the board to ensure a $10,000 win every time. The wire was so thin that it was nearly invisible, so the crew forgot to remove it before contestants took their turn at the game.
The contestant and the audience were probably disappointed at the turn of events, but at least the contestant didn’t walk away empty-handed. “Off-camera, we gave her the $30,000,” Carey said, explaining that the show wanted to honor her winnings, but couldn’t let them count towards her overall total since that would be unfair for other contestants. Luckily the story had a happy ending for everyone involved and no one got in trouble for the honest mistake.
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