25 Secret Facts About Television Game Shows Few People Know

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1Arthur Chu

Arthur Chu, a Jeopardy! contestant won 11 games by picking a new category after every correct answer to throw off his opponents.


2. “Moment of Truth” was a show that required contestants to truthfully answer personal questions with a polygraph attached. A contestant named Melanie Williams won the $500,000 grand prize with the final question asking if she felt her polygamist father had sexual relations as an adult with a minor. She believed he had. The episode never aired.


3. There is BBC game show called Pointless which is similar to Family Feud, but with a twist: contestants have to guess the least common answers to often obscure questions, in surveys of 100 people. Points are awarded according to survey numbers, and contestants with the lowest number of points win.


4. There was a fake French reality show named Game of Death in the style of the Milgram experiment, which made real and unwitting contestants shock someone on TV. 80% of them kept shocking the person (who was just an actor), even after he cried out for them to stop. 60% shocked him until he appeared to die.


5. There is a Japanese game show where something in a room is made out of candy and the contestants have to guess which item is candy.


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6Idiot Quest

There was a pilot filmed for a show called Idiot Quest, where you won points by giving the wrong answer to general-knowledge questions - but the contestants were hooked up to lie detectors to make sure they really didn't know the answer. It never aired.


7. On the Thai version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?", a contestant's screen (Lertlak Panchanawaporn) was fed the presenter's information, with every correct answer. The contestant won the million, however it was later revoked and she was able to play again, winning only 25,000 baht. (approx. US$800) 


8. A 1984 contestant (Michael Larson) on the game show "Press My Luck" used his stop-motion VCR to memorize the patterns used on the game board. He won $110,237 in cash and prizes, at the time the largest one-day total ever won on a game show.


9. "The Price Is Right" television show once gave a treadmill to a contestant in a wheelchair.


10. There is a German tv show (Schlag den Raab) where you compete against the show’s host in all kinds of games (everything from sports, quiz, fun stuff, etc.). The price is 500,000 euros for every show but if the host wins it goes into the jackpot which is at 3.5 million euro.


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11Beat the Crusher

There was a British game show called 'Beat the Crusher', in which couples competed to win a new car. The losing team had their own car crushed right before their very eyes.


12. In an episode of a trivia game show: 1 vs 100, there was a chimpanzee named Jake in the 100. In the first round, one person got the question wrong and it wasn't Jake, the chimpanzee.


13. There was a reality show named Shattered in 2004 that had contestants stay awake for a week, and were punished if they closed their eyes for more than 10 seconds.


14. In 1988, a contestant named Kerry Ketchem on the game show "Super Password" won the highest jackpot in the history of the show at the time ($55,000), only to be arrested shortly after due to a viewer of the show revealing that the contestant was a wanted fraudster in Alaska, Indiana, and California.


15. The contestants on the popular TV show 'The Great British Bake Off' have to pay for their own ingredients. They are only provided ingredients if they make it to the final rounds of the competition.


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16Wheel of Fortune

In 2017, a "Wheel of Fortune" contestant lost because he had to solve "A STREETCAR NA_ED DESIRE" and he guessed "K" thinking that the missing word was "NAKED."


17. A contestant named Pim on the Dutch TV show "Who is the worst driver of the Netherlands?" ran down the TV presenter during the filming of the final episode.


18. There was a game show in 2001 called Touch the Truck, in which the person who could touch a stationary truck for the longest without falling asleep won the truck. The winner lasted over 81 hours and sold the truck to fund a political party.


19. There was a game-show in England called "Heads or Tails" in which the host flips a coin and you literally guess heads or tails to win 1 million euro.


20. On Queen for a Day, a 1950s TV game show, women competed by weeping and telling their sob stories, which were then rated by an applause-o-meter. Many were destitute single mothers; popular prizes included medical care for a very sick child or a replacement icebox because their food had gone bad.


21Great Reality TV Swindle

A book shop employee auditioned people for a fake reality TV show and made 30 of them to quit their jobs for the “show.” Shortly after giving the challenge, he revealed that the show was fake, making the contestants capture him for press interviews. The con is now known as the “Great Reality TV Swindle.”


22. A 25-year-old contestant named Gérald Babin on the French version of Survivor died during the first competition on the first day. A week later, the staff doctor(Thierry Costa) of the show killed himself. His suicide note claimed the media was making unjust accusations and assumptions about him.


23. There is a game show in Japan about how much food you can stack on an animal before they can't handle it


24. In a game show called “Silent Library” contestants win cash by completing painful challenges and staying quiet.


25. France has a national competition in which contestants compete to make the most realistic pig sounds.

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