Bonkers (pricing game)

Bonkers (pricing game)

Bonkers is a pricing game on the American television game show "The Price Is Right". It is played for a four-digit prize, usually valued between $2,000 and $10,000. Bonkers debuted on the September 24, 2001 episode (aired on October 1). The staff had originally planned to introduce it on the September 18 show (aired on September 25), but the game would not work at that day's taping and was eventually replaced by Range Game.


The contestant is shown an incorrect price and is given a 30-second time limit to correctly decide whether each digit in the price is higher or lower than the one shown. To do this, the contestant is given four discs to be placed appropriately on the gameboard above or below the digit. Once all four discs are placed, the contestant presses a button, and a sound effect indicates whether or not the discs are correctly placed.

If all four discs are placed correctly, the contestant wins the prize. If even one disc is in the wrong place, a buzzer sounds, and the contestant must make changes without being told how many of the digits are wrong. They must continue until the time runs out or until getting the correct placement. If the discs are not correctly placed when time expires, the contestant loses. If time expires while the contestant is making a change, the contestant is usually permitted to finish the change and confirm the final guess.


Bonkers was created by then-host and executive producer Bob Barker.citation|last1=Sly|first=John|title=The Best of "The Price Is Right" – Liner Notes|publisher=BCI] On the first playing of the game, the actual price was revealed with a price tag held by Heather Kozar. The price tag was replaced by a downward reveal revealed under the disc shelf base on its second playing, where a button is pushed.

On at least two occasions, the game has had malfunctions resulting in confusion. On October 17, 2002, the contestant made a last second change from the correct placement to an incorrect placement, but the production staff had already signalled a win with the "winning" bells and the correct placement lighting up. The contestant subsequently returned the markers to the correct placement and was signalled with a buzzer. The prize was ultimately awarded to the contestant after some additional confusion.

In June 2008, the progressing sequence of lighting up which the board does during the introduction of the game continued while a contestant was playing the game (the board normally stops illuminating during the game). The producers decided to award the contestant the prize despite her failure in the game, with host Drew Carey stating the decision was based on the potential of the lights confusing a contestant, which violated CBS Standards and Practices since the game's lights were not to operate during regular game play.

Other uses

As part of a promotion by CBS (which is partners with Warner Brothers on another venture, the CW network) to promote Drew Carey as the show's new host, the Bonkers set was brought to "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" for a promotional event during Degeneres' interview with Carey. [ Ellen Goes Bonkers for Bonkers] ]


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