A game show is a television program in which contestants selected from a public pool, celebrities, or television personalities, play a game individually or in groups. Their objective is to win prizes in cash, trips, goods, services, or in some other forms. The game shows started originally on radio and became a popular TV genre later on. Spelling Bee was the first game show, broadcast in 1938. Daytime game shows targeted stay-at-home housewives; therefore, they were low stake programs. The prime time shows, on the other hand, targeted the general public, which was involved actively in different fields of commercial importance, therefore they were high stake game shows. There are many types of game shows, including Quiz Shows, Puzzles, Card and Board Games, Musicals, and Stunt Shows. In 2000s a new TV genre, reality TV, emerged and became very popular. A game show is however distinguished from a reality show in that in a game show each episode is a fresh start with new contestants whereas in reality shows the contestants remain unchanged throughout the season.
Who Wants to be a Millionaire? is one of the most famous and popular game shows. Contestants from a public pool are selected by a trivia question on the basis of the fastest finger first. The selected candidate on the hot seat is then asked questions and has three lifelines: ask the audience, phone a friend, and fifty-fifty. While playing this game, John Carpenter, when facing the million dollar question, made history. All his life lines were intact at that time. He utilized his first life line, phone a friend, calling his father to tell him something really awesome. He said to his father, ‘Don’t really need your help. I just wanted to let you know that I’m gonna win the million dollars.’ He won, because before calling his father he was so sure of the answer to the million dollar question.
2. Sushil turns Crore Pati
In South Asia, a Crore stands for ten million (10,000,000) and Crore Pati stands for the one who owns it. ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati? is a literal Urdu translation of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Hosted by the Indian superstar Ametabh Buchan, it is the most famous and the most popular game show in India and Pakistan. Starting initially from one Crore, the show is now designates a prize of five Crores. It was a real awesome moment when the 27 year old Sushil Kumar, belonging to Champaran, Bihar in India, became the first contestant to win five crore rupees on ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati 5’. After winning the prize money, Kumar said, ‘The fact that I met Amitabh Bachchan is a very big deal in itself. I used to always watch him on TV. The moment I met him, I touched his feet and hugged him. Even if I didn’t win anything, I at least got to hug him and that is something I will never forget’.
3. The Amazing tenth time!
Kenneth Wayne Jennings III, commonly known as Ken Jennings, is best known for his amazing consecutive win on the U.S. syndicated game show Jeopardy. In 2004 Jennings won 74 Jeopardy games. His total earnings on Jeopardy are $3,172,700, including $2,520,700 from 74 wins. He is the all-time leading money winner on American game shows. During the very first run of the Jeopardy game show, he became the highest American game show winner and it was a great moment in the history of game shows. After his retirement, Jennings wrote about his experience in his book Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, and Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs. The book was published in 2006.
4. But Wheel of Fortune, I can do
Wheel of Fortune is an American game show and its syndicated version premiered on September 19, 1983. It was originally hosted by Chuck Woolery, Susan Stafford, and Chalie O’Donnell. With more than 5,000 episodes aired, it is the longest-running American syndicated game show. The show has an international following on account of its sixty international versions. In 2010, the 26 year old fashion designer Caitlin Burke solved a word puzzle using just an apostrophe and the letter L. She said ‘I’ve got a good feeling about this’. Reflecting upon the awesome moment, during an interview, she said, ‘There are a million things I’m not good at, but Wheel of Fortune, I can do.”
5. Jessica Robinson’s Big Deal
Deal or No Deal is an American version of the Dutch show game of the same name. The show premiered on December 19, 2005 and was hosted by Howie Mandel. It was an hour long bi-weekly show. The game required the contestant to choose one out of 26 briefcases, containing cash from $.01 to $1,000,000. The banker offered to quit the game in exchange for a certain amount of money, but mostly the contestants opted to carry on playing and mostly they lost what could have been quite rewarding for them. It was No Deal for others, but for Jessica Robinson it was a big deal and an awesome moment, because the briefcase she did not give up contained $1,000,000 prize.
6. It was Chocolate
On Fox’s Greed hot seat a team comprising of Dan Avuila, Melissa Skirboll and Curtis Warren had finally reached a position where they were facing a $1,000,000 question. A team of five had answered eight questions to achieve this position at the risk of losing all that they had won, in case of a wrong answer to each question. At this stage Skirboll and Warren were content with the $210,000 they had each earned and quit the game. Rejecting an offer of $75,000, Avuila proceeded to have the correct answer, winning 1,000,000. Avila proceeded for the $200,000 stake and chose coffee, Vicks VapoRub, tuna and peanut butter as the most recognizable smells out of the given list. While coffee, Vicks VapoRub and peanut butter were correct, tuna was not. According to the host Chuck Woolery, instead of tuna, it was chocolate. Avuila lost all what he had earned.
7. Alcala’s Dating Game
Alcala was an infamous serial killer. In spite of his status as a convicted rapist and registered sex offender, he was allowed to contest on The Dating Game. The host Jim Lange introduced him as a successful photographer. Actor Jed Mills, who contested against him, remarked that Alcala was a very strange guy with bizarre opinions. Alcala won a date with Cheryl Bradshaw, but she refused to go out with him, because she found him creepy. After his appearance on The Dating Game, he killed two women.
8. The price of Winning
Terry Kniess is a Las Vegas casino service technician. He was the first person to win $23,743 on the game show The Price Is Right. He never used any unfair means to win, but he did pay the price for winning. He studied the body language of the participants, their patterns of playing, and even the tables they chose. He exploited the weaknesses of others. On winning, he remarked ‘winning those was probably the biggest moment of my life.”
Based on the traditional paper and pencil game of tic-tac-toe, Tic-Tac-Dough is an American game show. The first syndicated show was run on CBS in 1990-1991 and was hosted by Jack Barry. In 1980, Thomas McKee defeated his 43 opponents during nine weeks of the show. He won eight cars and $312,700 in prize money, including over $200,000 in cash. After four tied games, he defeated his challenger Pete Cooper and won $36,800.
10. Teddy Nadler, the encyclopedic Contestant
Teddy Nadler was raised in a Jewish shelter home and demonstrated his photographic memory by winning a total $264,000 on ‘The $64,000 Challenge’ in 1957 and 1958. He had been a service clerk with the U.S.Army Support Center. A TV producer testified under oath to the congressional committee that Nadler was not fed any answers. Nadler was able to name all the emperors of Rome from 753 to 1453 in sequence. He could name all the Maccabean Kings, the Kings and Queens of England, and could recite word by word the U.S. Constitution, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and lot more.
Games shows are colorful and vibrant almanacs of all sorts of emotions, including awesome moments of thrilling victories. Their intrinsic unpredictability keeps the curious viewers charged and absorbed. They offer a great opportunity to see the common people perform uncommon feats. CBS is a major network in U.S. which broadcast national game shows on daily basis. Among many others a few popular game shows are The Price Is Right, Lets Make a Deal and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? The main objective of game shows is to entertain. Along with the thrilling moments of victories, there are also some moments of great falls.