Was the price too right?
Anyone who religiously watches The Price Is Right knows how exciting it is when someone actually gets a price right. It happens on the rare occasion in contestants row when four bidders guess what the actual retail price of the arm chair, barbecue or lawnmower is. But no one, until Terry Kniess that is, had ever perfectly guessed the price of a showcase in the 38 years the show has been on air.
As Chris Jones writes in Esquire, Kniess, who formerly worked as both a weatherman and in casino surveillance, was a silver haired 60-year-old with an affinity for patterns. It helped him accurately predict weather changes and catch card counters — and win on the longest running game show in history.
Kniess and his wife Linda, who has a knack for math, dutifully watched and studied The Price Is Right for four months before making their debut. In that time they noticed something. “In The Price Is Right‘s greatest strength, he and Linda also found its greatest weakness: It had survived all those years because it seemed never to change,” Jones writes. “Terry Kniess studied prices. He saw that virtually every prize on The Price Is Right, from a pack of gum to the flashiest car, repeated. He and Linda memorized their values…”
As luck would have it, Kniess made it out of contestants row (where he won a Big Green Egg smoker/grill with a perfect bid), past the big wheel to the Showcase Showdown. There he used his studies to predict that the retail price of his showcase would be around $23,000 — for the last three digits he used his wedding date (the seventh of April) and his wife’s birth month (March). It was the perfect combination for the perfect bid of $23,743.
The bid was so perfect that it raised conspiracy theories and accusations of cheating that Jones details here, including why Drew Carey looks so pissed off in the video of Kniess’ win (below).