DISCLAIMER: No official evidence of 'rigging' was used to create this node. The title is NOT an accusation, but merely a quote from my Land Lady.
"Watch this Miah," she says, pointing at the television. I already know what show she is talking about, because it is the only show she watches in the morning as she takes her coffee and cigarettes
"What does all that on his uniform mean? He has a stripe down his leg and a bunch of stripes on his sleeve."
"An officer?" No, I think, officers don't get on that show.
I back away from the monitor and take a peek at the tube. She is pointing to a Marine, buttons shining, haircut tight, uniform emaculate.
He looks very out of place amongst the screaming, toothless horde that makes up the audience of the game show.
"Ah, a he's a corporal in the Marine Corp."
"Watch this shit," she says crushing out one of her generic cigarettes and lighting another. "God bless Bob Barker for this, but The Price is Right is fucking rigged."
The show is at the point where the contestants spin a huge wheel with numbers on it, each number representing an amount of money. The object of spinning the wheel is to reach $1 without going over, the two contestants closest to $1 will proceed to a showdown where they have a chance to win thousands of dollars worth of prizes.
The first contestant, a chipper young college student spins the wheel and lands on $.85, she chooses to stick with the spin and stands to the side.
"Aw, he might not make it," she says slapping her knee as the second contestant, a coffee shop worker from Las Cruces spins the wheel and lands on $.90. "I have never ever seen a Serviceman get on this show and not make it to the showdown, but this might be it. He has to beat that girl's spin, but I don't know." She pauses, puffs, and then looks at me. "They'll probably rig the wheel."
The Marine steps up and spins that fucker like it was a Sailor's head, and the wheel barely moves. It nearly stops on the $1 spot, but goes over by one square.
"You have $.15 Chris," Bob Barker says into his funky microphone, "You get to spin again!"
The Marine spins that wheel hard enough to shake the bearings loose and send it careening off-stage into the audience, but again, it rotates suspiciously slow. I've seen 95 year old grannies spin it faster.
The tension mounts in the room, she leans forward on the couch, white-knuckled fists grinding against each other, fingers crushing her cigarette filter flat, for Christ's sake I start getting excited just looking at how excited she is.
The wheel stops on $.80. The Marine has beat the Coffee guy by five cents and I fully expect her to scream and kick her feet like a teenager that just got asked to the prom, but instead she smiles knowingly and just nods.
"Told ya, they rig this shit for those boys. If there is a group of them in the audience, one of them will make it to the very end and win." She points at the screen again and commands: "Watch."
The Coffee guy bids on his section a little low. A car, a trip to Jamaica, and a fancy sewing machine. I expect his actual price will be about a thousand, maybe fifteen hundred more than he has stated.
The Marine bids high, exceedingly high. A new bedroom set, mattresses, comforters, a fancy nightstand and chest of drawers, a home security system, and a pair of 150cc motorcycles. The Marine has bid $25,000.
"Ah, he's toast now," I say, getting up to head back to the PC. "He's bid way too much."
"Just sit down and watch this shit," she says, "Give them a second to change everything around. The Marine will win."
The commercial ends and Bob Barker is about to reveal the actual price of the items featured in the showcase showdown.
No tension this time, she just leans back and puffs her smoke through a smile.
The Marine's bid flashes on the lighted panel. $915 under the actual price. The Coffee guy's bid, $5948 under.
The Marine wins everything, the car, the bed, Jamaica, the motorcycles, everything- and his buddies run to the stage to pick him up and carry him around on their shoulders.
"Told ya, The Price is Right is fucking rigged."
I don't know if the show is actually rigged in favor of the military contestants. But if it isn't they are the luckiest people to ever participate.
If anyone deserves to have anything rigged in their favor, it is the guys who have everything on the line. It's good clean fun and nobody gets hurt, they get to be heroes in their unit and say 'hello' to their families on television.
I really hope that Marine gets to take his cruise to Jamaica and drive that new car around for a while.