Master Key

Master Key

:"This article is about the game from "The Price Is Right". For the security key, see master key."

Master Key is a pricing game on the American television game show "The Price Is Right". Debuting on March 25, 1983, it is played for three prizes – a car, and two other prizes (worth at least $500). This game also uses two small prizes (worth less than $100).


The contestant is shown two small prizes, one at a time, each with a three-digit number displayed. The contestant must decide whether the first two digits or the last two digits (eg: $46 or $68 if 468 was displayed) are the correct price. A correct choice wins the prize and a choice of one of five keys. If the contestant fails to win any keys, the game immediately ends.

Each of the five keys has a different effect on the three locks which represent the car and two other prizes in the game. There is one key for each of the three locks, one key that opens nothing, and one "master key" that opens all three locks.

The contestant inserts their chosen key into each of the locks, one at a time, to see which lock it opens, if any. The contestant wins the prizes represented by any locks that are opened. If the contestant has won two keys, the process is repeated with the second key, unless the first was the master key and all three locks are already open.

The only way to win all three prizes in Master Key is to choose the master key. If a contestant has the master key, it will be obvious after it opens more than one lock. If a key opens the first lock, the contestant will usually be told to skip right to the third lock for the car to add to the excitement if the lock opens.

Behind the scenes

The "unlocking" mechanism for the prizes is controlled by the position of magnets in the keys. The three single-prize keys have one magnet each, all in different spots; the master key has magnets in all three spots; and the "dud" key has no magnets.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Master key — Master Mas ter (m[.a]s t[ e]r), n. [OE. maistre, maister, OF. maistre, mestre, F. ma[^i]tre, fr. L. magister, orig. a double comparative from the root of magnus great, akin to Gr. me gas. Cf. {Maestro}, {Magister}, {Magistrate}, {Magnitude},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Master key — may refer to: a type of key, see Key (lock) a skeleton key Master Key, a game on the gameshow The Price is Right, see List of The Price Is Right pricing games See also The Master Key (disambiguation) This disambiguation page lists articl …   Wikipedia

  • master key — master keys N COUNT A master key is a key which will open all the locks in a set, even though each lock has its own different key …   English dictionary

  • master key — ► NOUN ▪ a key that opens several locks, each of which also has its own key …   English terms dictionary

  • master key — n a key that will open all the door locks in a building …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • master key — master ,key noun count a key that will open all the doors in a building …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • master key — n. a key that will open every one of a set of locks …   English World dictionary

  • Master Key —   [dt. »Hauptschlüssel«], Schlüssel …   Universal-Lexikon

  • master key — noun key that secures entrance everywhere • Syn: ↑passkey, ↑passe partout, ↑master • Hypernyms: ↑key • Hyponyms: ↑skeleton key * * * noun, pl ⋯ keys [count] …   Useful english dictionary

  • master key —   n.    1. a key which operates all the master keyed locks or cylinders in a group, each lock or cylinder usually operated by its own change key    2. v. to combinate a group of locks or cylinders such that each is operated by its own change key… …   Locksmith dictionary

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