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We love watching a good old game show, playing along and shouting at the screen when someone has no idea what Citizen Kane is and thought it was called Calvin Klein instead that actually happened on Pointless once, we're still not over it. But sometimes game shows go dark. Contestants try and find a way of cheating the system, or something dodgy goes on behind the scenes. Here are seven times when apparently simple quiz shows felt more like true-crime documentaries:. All the coughing on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
The ultimate, the classic: the peak of UK game show cheating.
And host Chris Tarrant was not happy. This was the most money ever stolen from a game show. But it wasn't long before people on set queried the whole affair. Especially as it was weird that his wife and this other guy kept coughing when he stated certain answer options. To make matters worse, the investigation into proving his guilt cost nearly twice as much as the actual jackpot. A multiple murderer casually appears on Bullseye. You'd think if someone killed two people in cold blood that they wouldn't draw attention to themselves by playing darts on telly a few years later, but that's how twisted John Cooper was.
Unknown to anyone at the time, Cooper had got amazing game show cheaters with murdering brother and sister Richard and Helen Thomas in Four years later he appeared as a contestant on Bullseye. Just one month after that, he murdered couple Peter and Gwenda Dixon. Footage from the game show was later used in evidence against him, as detectives compared his image with a sketch of a suspect in the Dixons' murder.
It wasn't until that DNA evidence was strong enough to convict him of his crimes. See also: serial killer Rodney Alcala, a man who appeared on The Dating Game in America in the middle of his killing spree. He is thought to have murdered between 8 and women. A kid on Jeopardy gets the answer right but is penalised on his spelling. Unless the game show hangs on contestant's spelling skills like The Wheel of Fortunewe didn't think the quizmasters would be too strict as long as the answer was obviously correct. In a kids' version of popular US game show Jeopardy!
Come on, man. Let him have it. Later, the 12 year old said he felt "cheated" by the show.
Host Alex Trebek got most of the criticism, even though it wasn't his decision. And producers didn't exactly help him out when it came to a statement regarding the issue. I must be getting thin-skinned in my old age. A criminal genius used his VCR to legally cheat.
This was the largest one-day total ever won on a game show at the time. To do this, he "simply" memorized the patterns that came up on the show's game board. Before appearing on the show, he recorded episodes and noticed that the randomizer that moved the light indicator around the eighteen-square "Big Board" followed five patterns. As he got the patterns down, he began playing along at home by pausing the tape at various intervals with his VCR's remote control.
Pretty smart for tech. He also realised that the fourth and eighth squares always contained cash and never had a "Whammy" all money would be lost in them. Also, square amazing game show cheaters always had the top-dollar values in it and in the second round, both squares rewarded contestants with an additional spin if they were hit. This meant he could keep control of the board for as long as he liked. He used most of his savings to buy a plane ticket to California for an audition, and although suspicions were raised, he was allowed to participate.
Suffice to say, he did pretty well for himself. And as technically he wasn't cheating, he was allowed to keep his winnings. However, karma came after him. He ended up investing all his money into another get-rich-quick-scheme. By the mids, he was involved in an illegal scheme to sell part of a foreign lottery, and went on the run. His whereabouts weren't known until his death from throat cancer in Most s game shows were as real as Made in Chelsea or wrestling.
America's innocence was lost forever in the '50s, when it transpired that a load of their favourite quiz shows were essentially a scripted comedy-drama. Stempel competed in various game shows before appearing on Twenty One in Here, his incredible geeky brain saw him unbeaten for six weeks in a row. However, as ratings dipped and producers stopped liking his attitude, they told him to intentionally miss a question so that a more attractive and appealing challenger could win the show instead.
The new contender was Charles Van Doren.
Over the next three months he defeated everyone in sight as he knew exactly what questions were coming up. Because they told him all the answers. Herb had enough of this shit, but no-one believed his story when he tried to expose Charles.
No-one understood why anyone, let alone someone as well-connected and apparently successful as the blue-blooded Van Doren, would bother cheating on a trivia game show. But, Twenty One had been doing it for years. And it wasn't just them. A contestant on another show titled Dotto was caught with a notebook with all the answers.
Once the curtain came crashing down, it caused a huge scandal in the game show industry, and forced Congress to amend the Communications Act to make it illegal amazing game show cheaters fix quiz shows. A couple lose all their money on Million Dollar Money Drop despite having the right answer. Gabe plonked most of the money on "Post-it notes". But the correct answer was apparently "Sony Walkman". It wasn't long until viewers questioned the answer, because Post-It Notes were launched under the name Press 'n Peel inbefore "Post-It Notes" debuted on April 6, So, all in all, no obvious answer from the question given.
Eventually, the show's executive producer released a statement saying it was only fair to give the contestants another shot. Too bad it got cancelled before they could. A man guesses the exact answer on The Price is Right. If you've ever watched The Price is Rightyou know that the most fun part is trying to guess the total of several items added together at the end of the show.
But you know full well no-one's going to get it completely right. That's just witchcraft.
Or cheating. That was until Terry Kniess appeared on the US version and guessed the price of a showcase correctly. This had never happened in the 38 years the show had been on air. And you can tell that host Drew Carey thought: "Nah, no chance you just happened to know that, son," and conspiracy theories arose. So how the hell did he do it?
It turns out that Kniess loved patterns almost as much as Michael Larson. He and his wife Linda studied the show for four months, and they realised that nearly every prize on the show had been repeated over and over. So, they just memorized the values.
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Amazing Game Show Cheaters