The Biggest Game Show Scandals In TV History

Who doesn’t love watching a good game show? We all play along and shout at the screen when someone has no clue what the answer is. But, sometimes, the game shows have a dark side.

Whether someone is trying to beat the system or the game show is desperate for viewers, you’ll be surprised to see which of our favorite game shows faced controversy. Some are still on the air, while others got the boot after one season.

Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? Featured Fake People

In 2000, Fox released a new show about 50 women competing to marry an unseen multi-millionaire. Darva Conger won and was married to mystery man Rick Rockwell. The controversy was revealed when Rick turned out to be poor and living in a run-down house.

Chris Weeks/Getty Images
Chris Weeks/Getty Images

That would be enough for Darva to file for divorce.

Terry Kniess & The Price Is Right

Terry had guessed the exact price of a showcase item. Drew Carey was shocked to see that. It was the first time in 38 years that anybody had guessed it correctly.

Valerie Macon/Getty Images
Valerie Macon/Getty Images

Following the show, conspiracy theories unfolded, but it was much ado about nothing. It turns out that Terry was a good guesser.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Was Awarded $270 Million

In 2010, Celdaor won in federal court. The company that created Who Wants To Be A Millionaire earned $270 million. It’s only because Disney was hiding the fact that they were making good coin off the show.

Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images
Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images

That reason is due to them not wanting to pay any royalties.

The Dating Game Had A Serial Killer On The Show

Shockingly, Rodney Alcala was a contestant on the show. However, his darker side proved that he was a serial killer, and even worse, he appeared while in the middle of his killing spree.

Despite winning, Cheryl Bradshaw, the “bachelorette,” refused to go out with him because she found him very creepy.

Renee Durette Lost Money For Saying “Seven Swans A Swimmin'” On Wheel of Fortune

She was supposed to say “Seven Swans A Swimming.” Apparently, she didn’t pronounce the final “g” at the end. That would soon cause a major uproar online. People accused the show for discriminating against souther accents.

Gerardo Mora/Getty Images
Gerardo Mora/Getty Images

Yup, I don’t think anyone saw that kind of hate coming.

Chuck Barris Was Not Happy With The Cancelation Of The Gong Show

The amateur game show was canceled by NBC because the executives didn’t understand the humor. Chuck Barris, the shows creator, was pretty upset with the cut.

Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

One the last episode, he showed up as a contestant instead of a host. Barris would sing “Take This Job and Shove It”.

Michael Larson Recorded Press Your Luck On His VHS Before Being A Contestant

In 1984, Larson walked away with more than $100,000. He figured out that there was a pattern on the show. He discovered a pattern to how the game board functioned.

By simply recording the show on his VCR and memorizing the patterns, he managed to beat the system and become a wealthy man.

Michael And Michele Hardin Brought A Court Case Against Deal or No Deal

In 2008, the Hardin’s took the case to the Georgia Supreme Court. They claimed that since the show violated anti-gambling laws, they should get back the money.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

You could send texts to the show for a chance to win a prize too, but the thing I’ll remember the most is how Meghan Markle was actually one of the briefcase holders.

Wimbledon & Jeopardy!

The game show and the tournament was a fail for Reid Rogers. In 2012, Rogers answered a question correctly about Wimbledon. At first, his answer was accepted, but he lost money for mispronouncing the name. He said Wimble-TON rather than Wimble-DON.

GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images

That act of pettiness upset plenty of viewers too.

On The First Episode Of The Million Dollar Drop Gabe Okoye And Brittany Mayti Lost Out On $80,000

They lost their fortune after incorrectly saying that Post-It notes were sold before Sony Walkmans. Afterward, fans were quick to point out that the notes launched in 1977. Additionally, Walkmans were first sold in Japan in 1979 and the US in 1980.

The show’s producers decided to give the couple another shot.

Are You Hot?: The Search for America’s Sexiest People Was Extremely Stupid

ABC’s show was supposed to a version of the website Judges would rate contestants based on how hot they are. Not surprisingly, the show was found to be rather tasteless by viewers and audience members alike.

Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then with apps like Tinder and Bumble.

Jeopardy! Fans Backed Up Contestant Thomas Hurley

It’s not every day you see controversy behind the kids playing Jeopardy! In 2013, Alex Trebek took heat from the fans. Contestant Thomas Hurley lost points for misspelling Emancipation Proclamation; he added an extra “t” in Emancipation.

Amanda Edwards/Getty Images
Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Points aren’t usually docked for spelling errors, and if they are, they have to be bigger than that.

Millionaire Hot-Seat

Khaled El-Katateny was a contestant on Millionaire Hot-Seat. The Aussie show proved that Khaled managed to guess all the answers correctly. He noticed that when he watched the reactions of the host and the crowd.

That was his explanation for what went on, but it’s not clear if game show producers believed him or not.

Bob Eubanks Got In Trouble On The Newlywed Game

Know for its innuendo and dirty jokes, Eubanks found himself in some hot water. He tended to blurt out tasteless jokes that were aired on the show. Nevertheless, humor changes over time.

Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

It was unacceptable back then, but it might have drawn a much different response in our world today.

The Spelling Bee Flopped In Its First Year

May 14, 1938, was the day when the game show was the first broadcast on BBC. As it turns out, it was a very big flop. Despite the hype surrounding the event, one columnist wrote,

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

“One of the few happy consequences of the Second World War was that it took Spelling Bee off the air, making the world safe for more sophisticated entertainment.”

Patrick Quinn Had A Different Alias On Super Password

Patrick Quinn was a contestant on Super Password. He won $58,000, but his name wasn’t actually Patrick. His name was Kerry Dee Ketchum, and he was wanted in three states. Apparently, he had faked his wife’s death for insurance money.

Going on national television was definitely not the right move for Patrick, or Kerry, or whatever his name is.

Our Little Genius Went Too Far With Its Contestants

In what some people referred to as a flashback to the scandal of the fifties, the FCC was onto something. In 2010, they began to investigate whether or not contestants on the Fox game were receiving answers beforehand.

The show’s creator, Mark Burnett, said that issues with how information was relayed to contestants went too far.

Adriana Abenia Cheated On Pasapalabra

It’s the Spanish game show that has a segment where contestants must name a song. Spanish television presenter, Adriana Abenia, was on the show. She held her phone between her legs with Shazam running with answers coming off the app.

Samuel de Roman/Getty Images
Samuel de Roman/Getty Images

Her tactic was quickly noticeable, with the host commended her ingenuity.

The Match Game Host Went Too Far

Gene Rayburn was the host of the highly suggestive seventies game show. One night, the host was attempting to compliment one of the contestants. He intended to tell her she had “pretty dimples,” but Rayburn let out a Freudian reference.

Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair

Still, it was hard to mistake such a compliment.

Andrew And Patricia Murray Sued Fox For The False Answer “Password”

Andrew and Patricia Murray sued Fox for asking trick questions. Back in 2010, host Kevin Pollack asked the couple what the most common password is. They responded with “password,” but the answer was “123456.”

After doing some research, the Murray’s found out the game show’s source was questionable. They sued the network for half of a million dollars.