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Michael, Entertainment Industry Analyst
Category: Entertainment
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Experience:  Entertainment Industry Professional
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Does "The Price Is Right" (TPIR) game show offer prize winners

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Does "The Price Is Right" (TPIR) game show offer prize winners a cash option in lieu of the merchandise won? For example, if you win a $4,000 hot tub and don't have a place to install it in your apartment, will TPIR give you the option of taking the value of the hot tub in cash instead? If so, do they give full value for the merchandise traded for cash? Or is cash given at a discount to the actual value? If you live across country, who pays for delivery of the larger merchandise items? And what happens if you can't take physical delivery of the merchandise due to space limitations? Of if winners have to pay delivery charges -- which could be considerable if the item is large and the winners live far away -- what happens if the winners can't afford to pay or refuse to pay those delivery charges? How are winners compensated in these situations? And are the procedures followed by TPIR when it comes to awarding merchandise or the cash value of same and how delivery charges are paid for -- the same with other major televised game shows, e.g. "Let's Make a Deal"...?
Quite often The Price is Right may not necessary be so.

Cash equilavent is offered since the tax on the prices are quite large. ABC News covered this very issue last year:

As for what happens in terms of shipping prices, look at the prize winners section of this informative site:
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Conflicting information: In your answer, you wrote, "Cash equivalent is offered since the tax on the prizes are quite large." Yet in the "Exchanging or Swapping a Prize" section of the website you cite as an information source, the last sentence says, "One final note that addresses a common thought for many contestants – cash will not be substituted by the production company for a prize that was promoted on their show and awarded to you, period."


Do some shows offer a cash equvalent but others do not? If so, what's the typical arrangement -- i.e. must take prize as promoted or one has the option to take prize or cash equivalent?

My research overall offers no clear explanation of cash payout for prizes won. It seems that each show in its legal paperwork that a contestant goes over that rules for cash payouts are spelled out.

There are though reading from the link offered above some bending of the prize payouts as mentioned in the ABC article:

If winners had the option of taking cash, rather than the fridge or car, it would simplify paying Uncle Sam. But that’s possible only under certain circumstances, the “Price Is Right” winner said.
“We won an Apple computer, and Apple doesn’t ship their items, so we got the money,” he said.
He used the cash to pay taxes on his other items.

While I would think that the expert in the industry from GameShowPrizes may be correct, it may also be that each game show has its own set of rules and the tax law is considered when wining such as prize of any value.
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