Contestant who thought he could cheat his way to £1 million gets caught red-handed
For many people, game shows are the ultimate "get rich quick" fix. Unlike with lotteries, if you're given a coveted chance to play, unless you're, well, a total idiot, the odds of you walking away with some serious cash are high. And let's face it, for the people watching, there's nothing better than seeing someone suffer a devastating loss or an awe-inspiring win.
But people being people, whenever money is on the line, the green-eyed monster often comes out to play, and instead of leaving things to chance, crafty contestants have spent a considerable amount of time working out how they can cheat the system. But when your every move is recorded on camera, there's a lot of truth to the saying that cheats never win!
Case in point, these clips of the most unbelievable game show cheating incidents in history...
1. The man whose friends coughed his way to a million
Ah, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? It really is a game where it pays to know a lot. But reaching that coveted prize is no mean feat unless you're a genius, and most contestants have to use 50/50 or phone a friend to get anywhere near the big money. However, one man totally cheated the system by having his family and friends cough his way to the right answer. And while he won a million, once he was found out, he had to give it back and even got a suspended prison sentence. Yikes.
2. This guy was either a cheat or just really stupid
Game show hosts have the fun job of revealing the answers to contestants, but while playing a game called Flip Flop on The Price Is Right, this contestant, either to blatantly cheat or out of total stupidity, pressed the button meant for the host to reveal the answer. Incredibly, he got to keep the prize.
"I am going home," the host said afterward. "I am not going to stay on the stage with this troublemaker. Now, there's only one solution to this almost insolvable problem, I'm going to give you the prize."
3. The body language cheat
Okay, this guy didn't cheat in the traditional sense of the word on Australia's answer toWho Wants to Be a Millionaire?, but after the show was over, he admitted that he didn't win over $100,000 because he was knowledgeable, but because he was able to read the audience and host's body language. Needless to say, he wasn't breaking any rules and got to keep every cent. Fair play.
4. The viewer who cracked the system
While there's no doubt that cheating, if you can call it that, by reading body language is impressive, what's just - if not more - mind-blowing is the man who watched so many episodes of Press Your Luck that he was able to record the random patterns being used to govern who wins what in the show. When he finally got his chance, he walked away with over $100,000 worth of prizes.
5. The honest contestant who got cheated by the game show itself
What makes game shows so popular is their unpredictability, but back in the 1950s, one contestant on Twenty-One was simply too good and audiences soon grew tired of the smarty pants. So what did producers do? They rigged the show so he'd lose. Still, he ultimately walked away with $129,000 (the equivalent of $1,125,846 today) and caused a scandal to boot. Not a bad run I'd say!
6. The family whose fortunes were changed in less than a second
Eagle-eyed viewers of gameshows will often claim that there's been a fix when something seems off about the results, but for one unfortunate family on Family Feud, this fix was visible to the most eagle-eyed of viewers - a fix that saw them lose $20,000. At least the super skilled contestant on Twenty-One managed to pocket a fortune before he was cheated!
So there you have it - six of the most unbelievable game show cheating incidents ever. Would you be willing to follow in the footsteps of any of these contestants? One thing's for sure, if you're smart enough to read the host and audience's body language, you can win the game without really being a good player - so I guess that smart cheating does, to an extent, pay!