Disclaimer: Obviously, I’m not an official Price is Right person. These answers are just based on my experience as a contestant.
1) Did you have to pay taxes on your prizes?
Yes I did. I had to pay sales tax to pick up the car ($2,067). And, though it has not happened yet, since my appearance was pretty recent – I hear they send you a 1099 at the end of the year for your taxes. So, the value of everything I won counts as income, and I’ll need to pay Uncle Sam accordingly. (For more on the taxes, read this post.)
2) Can you just take the cash value of your prize?
I get this question so often! “So, did you take the car or the cash value?” There is no cash value option. They make it super clear in all of the paperwork – you take exactly what you won, or you take nothing. (You don’t have to take every single thing you won – for instance, I could’ve accepted the car, but forfeited the camcorders. But, you can’t trade for a different car, or money, or anything like that.)
(Though, I have heard a rumor that if somehow a company goes out of business or something and between your tape date and air date, and it actually becomes impossible to get you your prizes, you may have the cash value. But who knows a) if that’s true, b) how often that situation actually happens.)
The Price is Right paperwork does say the show can give you something comparable. For instance, my camcorders are 2 slightly different versions of the same thing. One is bit newer (I think it came out after my show taped.) But, the paperwork protects them. As long as they give you basically the same thing of equal or greater value, it’s all good.)
3) How long does it take to get your prizes?
My camcorders got to my house before the show even aired! I picked up the car the very afternoon that my show aired. And the $96 should be coming sometime in the 3 months after the air date. (I hear that money always takes longer to receive than any other prize, for some reason.)
As far as how the car works, the dealership can call you anytime within 90 days of your show airing. You have 10 days from the day they call you to pick up the car, otherwise you forfeit it. (If they call you before your show airs – and happily/luckily that’s when they called me – my understanding is you get your 10 days starting from the date your show airs. (But I didn’t want to wait 10 days. I wanted that car in my possession as soon as humanly possible.)
Also, as far as cars go, they’re one of the few things not delivered to your house. The Price is Right picks a dealership, I believe within 150 miles of your home, and you figure out a way to get there and pick up that car. (And if you’re planning on driving it straight off the lot to Carmax – be aware – it took me probably at least 2 weeks to get the official title in the mail. I only had temporary paperwork before that. (And you’re gonna need that title to sell your car, if that’s what you plan on doing. Speaking of that…))
4) Are you allowed to sell/give away your prizes?
Once they’re in your possession, you can do basically whatever you want. The Price is Right will not deliver anything anywhere except your home address. So, if you win a bedroom set or something and decide you want to give it to your parents, you have to decide how to ship it from you to them.
You also have to have the car titled in your name. You can sell it if you want, but only after it’s gone through your hands.
(If it’s a trip, it’s in your name. So you gotta go. But trips are awesome. (I’ve never been on a trip from a game show, but I do love traveling.) So, I don’t know why you wouldn’t go (unless you just really could not afford the taxes).)
5) Do you get anything just for being in contestants’ row?
As far as I know, you get $300 (not that day – in the form of a check mailed to your home within 90 days of your air date).
6) What did you do with your prizes, Aurora?
I have an upcoming post about that.
As far as I know, that covers all the questions related to prizes. (Tomorrow, we’ll deal with a more philosophical type question of whether it’s okay to out-bid someone by $1. Spoiler alert: I say yes.)
If you have any other questions at all, please leave them in the comments, or email me!
(And again, if you’d like to read more about The Price is Right, I have oh so many posts talking all about it.) Thanks so much for stopping by!