I’ve never been on a game show but I watch a lot of them on TV. I grew up on them because that’s all my grandfather watched well, that and In the Heat of the Night (even though that show ended in 1994 somehow he managed to find reruns of it up until his death only a few years ago). Whether we were in Florida visiting him or he was up north visiting us we always had to defer the television to him so he could watch all the game shows he could find. When the Game Show Network made it to our cable provider he was in his ultimate glory, then we could watch game shows 24/7, old and new, in color or black and white! So suffice it to say, I’ve seen them all especially since my stepfather ended up following in his footsteps by heading straight to GSN when nothing else is on (I don’t have room to talk though, I’m watching Family Feud as I write this). So nostalgia aside, I can’t help but wonder what happens when you don’t want/can’t afford the taxes on/can’t find a use for the stuff you’ve won.
I always wondered this while watching The Price is Right. How many people actually have room for a sauna/jacuzzi or a sailboat/pop-up trailer? I live in Manhattan, in a studio. Where am I going to put a jacuzzi when I don’t even have room for a 20lb container of cat litter? Or where would I put a sailboat? In the East River? I could build my own dock off the area built along the river for public space/runners and pay a bum to keep an eye on it for me even though I could never afford the upkeep. I imagine a majority of us, all across the country, are in the same boat (whont whont pun intended). So I suspect, or at least hope, that you can refuse the prize and opt for the monetary equivalent.
But what happens when you win a car? It’s a car! Awesome! That’s totally killer! Oh, what? I have to pay the taxes, then pay to register it in my state AND figure out how to get it home? Shit. That blows. I wonder how many people get that ‘oh crap’ feeling as soon as they walk off stage and realize what they’re in for. What if you don’t need/want or can afford all that a car entails? While trying to answer my own questions on the interwebs I found a couple sites that say you can try to sell it back to the dealership or, of course, sell it yourself. But that seems like a lot of work for something that is touted as being a dream opportunity. If you did want to try and keep the car it appears this person has thought about it a lot: After You Win a New Car: The Top 8 Ways to Afford Car Taxes (because everywhere I turn people are just winning new cars!)
Here’s where the new car thing takes a whole new turn. Family Feud offers a chance to win a new car if your family wins 5 games in a row. Cool! Now I have to share a Toyota Corolla with crazy cousin Ed, my brother three states away, mom, dad AND half-deaf grandpa? WTF? How does that work? Wouldn’t Family Feud do better giving away five Schwinns? At least then you don’t have to make a list of who can use it and when! No family is cohesive enough to share an automobile like that so when are we going to get the reality show ‘We Won a Car on Family Feud and Now Our Life is Ruined!’? Probably won’t happen since I think I’ve seen only a couple families get that far. Boo. Well, one can hope!
(While doing some ‘research’ for this post I ran across this article that happens to have a similar thought process, so in an attempt to quell any plagiarizing cries I will link to it as a sort of credit Six Worst Prizes You Can Win on The Price is Right. I know I’m not the first and I won’t be the last who ponders these issues. But I promise that all of my words come straight from my very own kooky brain.)