When you think of game show prizes what is the first thing that comes into your mind? One million pounds, a holiday, a sports car? Most game shows provide the best that their budget can afford but sometimes that budget doesn’t stretch as far as the contestants would like.
Here are ten of the worst prizes in game show history.
1 A weekend in Reykjavik
In the mid 1980’s, the BBC’s budget must have been so bare that they even made a joke about their terrible prizes and on Blankety Blank, the star reward was the infamous weekend in Reykjavik.
These days, a trip to Iceland’s capital might seem alluring with its fascinating landscape and friendly locals but back in 1985, the BBC might as well have been sending you to Siberia. As for the unlucky losers – they got to take home the iconic Blankety Blank Chequebook and Pen trophy.
2 The ten thousand dollar fish bowl
Back in the 1970’s the US quiz show ‘High Rollers’ had a reputation for offering unusual prizes but they surpassed themselves by giving contestants a fish bowl worth $10,000.
Once again, this would have more value in the present day where, thanks to the internet, there are more outlets to sell such an item but forty years ago there wouldn’t have been such a ready market.
3 A dustbin
The Quiz Show 3-2-1 is another programme that had a booby prize alongside a much more tempting array of rewards for the winning contestants. However, the prize in question – a shiny new dustbin – must surely be up there as one of the worst ever.
4 And Bully’s Special Prize…
The UK, darts based game show Bullseye is one of those programmes that is synonymous with awful prizes. On Bully’s prize board, there were nine rewards on offer and the star item was often a speedboat which was great unless you lived in landlocked Leeds for example.
However, the other prizes around the board were less appealing and included such items as a magazine rack and outdated VCR equipment.
5 The Price is Right
A show that was popular on both sides of the Atlantic, The Price is right is another programme that offered cars and other star items.
However, at the other end of the reward scale, there were odd prizes on offer such as a chandelier. Once again, in the days preceding eBay, there wasn’t a ready market with which to dispose of it.
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6 The Fondue Set
Synonymous with the worst excesses of 1970’s food, fondue was right up there with prawn cocktail and black forest gateau. However, the winners of BBC’s The Generation Game always took a fondue set back with them because it became a standing joke as one of the prizes on the conveyor belt finale.
Even in the 1970’s when a fondue set was more sought after than it is now, chances are it was left in the darkest recesses of a back cupboard when it became apparent that it was impossible to get rid of dried cheese in pre-dishwasher times.
7 The Worst Booby Prize Ever?
While a shiny new dustbin is scant reward for a TV appearance, 3-2-1’s contestants were probably thankful that they weren’t competing in the New Zealand based show, ‘It’s in the Bag’.
Prizes here included mystery bags which contained such items as rubber ducks or boxes of washing powder.
8 The World’s worst library book
The growth of the internet has led to a whole host of competitions, run by many organisations. In some cases, the prizes on offer are simply fabulous while others are geared up to disappoint.
A library in Orkney can arguably claim to have offered the worst reward ever – a packet of instant food together with a copy of ‘Ten years of Telly Addicts’ – a book that hadn’t been borrowed from their shelves for several years.
9 Some more (terrible) internet prizes
If you were happy with the irony of winning a library book then how about some of these prizes from other internet competitions? A choice of outdated videos from Amazon, Lottery tickets and free social media accounts could all be yours.
10 You’ve won – a goat
The TV quiz show ‘Zonks’ offered some of the most unusual booby prizes in history, Usually these would be animals – typically, a goat or a cow would be offered.
Although the show continued, the practise of giving these prizes was stopped when the organisation PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) understandably intervened.
About the author: This post was written by Ben Skinner of MyOffers. Play competitions online at MyOffers
Featured image rubber duck by Felix63