Let’s Make a Deal Prize FAQs

Friday, March 13th, 2015
Aurora De Lucia giving a huge smile with Sharmine, the other contestant, on Let's Make a Deal

Credit: CBS/Freemantle

I have a page dedicated to The Price is Right FAQs, and I think almost all the answers are the same.

Also, I’m not an incredible resource, as the only thing I’ve been is zonked.

But, since some people have asked Let’s Make a Deal questions, I can give you some answers.

Can I take the cash value of a prize in lieu of the prize?

Nope. In our contestant information sheet, it states quite clearly, in all caps, “You may not request cash in lieu of your prize(s), or request substitutions.” However, since I’ve known seemingly a million people who’ve been on Let’s Make a Deal, I can tell you a couple of things I’ve heard secondhand.

Someone I know won a scooter. She went to the dealership, asking the dealership (not the show) if she could have money instead. My understanding is that they gave her half of what the scooter was worth. I’m led to believe this is not the norm, and usually you get your prize or nothing. But apparently, sometimes, maybe you can strike a deal with the vendor.

Also, word on the street is that often times you will end up getting cash in lieu of Apple products. I don’t know why that is – why it would be hard to get people Apple products. It might be something about not shipping them? We’d need to ask someone who’s won a suite of Apple products to know the real answer. (And if you have, please jump in!)

But those are the main stories I’ve heard when it comes to prize substitutions.

contestants and Wayne talking and laughing on Let's Make a Deal

Credit: CBS/Freemantle

(Sometimes something no longer exists by the time your show airs. Strange things can happen. But the point is, you don’t get to choose money. I guess sometimes money might choose you (in those various odd circumstances of Apple products, things not existing, etc.).

How do the taxes work?

The same way they did on Price. You pay federal and state taxes on the values of your prize(s), as they’ll be treated as income.

What I did not know until reading more of this paperwork, is that if you’re not a resident of California (and your prize is valued at over $1,500), Let’s Make a Deal will ask for advance payment of California state taxes. (If you like outside the U.S., they’ll do the same with federal.)

Does that mean if you don’t live in California that you not only pay your own state taxes, but California’s as well? I know I’m supposed to be here to answer questions, not ask them. But I live here, so I didn’t deal with that on The Price is Right (or here since I only won $100). And it doesn’t explicitly say in this paperwork. That would be rough! I hope if you pay California that’s good enough. You can’t get state taxed twice, can you? Does anyone know?

How do the trips work?

Way to rub in. Thanks.

I’m just kidding.

Aurora De Lucia with super big eyes looking at Wayne Brady on Let's Make a Deal

Credit: CBS/Freemantle

But as you all know, I missed out on the trip. However, it still talks about trips in this little packet we get from the show. It says the winner of the trip does indeed need to be one of the traveling parties. It says you have to book the trip within 90 days of your air date, and it must be taken within a year of the air date.

Yes there are blackout dates (but it doesn’t specify which ones). It sounds like you give 3 options of dates that would work for you, and the travel agent goes off that. If none of those work, you do a little back and forth. It also says you’re responsible for basically any random fees that comes up, and it lists many of them (e.g. baggage fees, meals, taxes, tips, trips to and from the airport, port charges, and more).

I wish I could tell you more. But as I said, I lost on the trip. So, this is all I got for ya! But if you have any other questions, let me know, and I’ll see if I can answer them. Thanks!

Want more on Let’s Make a Deal? Boom!

38 thoughts on “Let’s Make a Deal Prize FAQs

  1. Vicki

    I can answer the state tax question for Minnesota residents. Such a person would have to file a California tax return and a Minnesota tax return. The Minnesota tax return will give the taxpayer a credit for the taxes paid to California. It is possible (maybe even probable) that the California taxes withheld are too high, so the taxpayer would get a refund of the overpayment. The credit offered on the Minnesota tax return is for the net California taxes actually paid (after the refund), so the California tax return would be completed first.

  2. Leslie Rosenberg

    I am always looking at trips to take. I often wonder how much they might cost. When I see the cost of a trip I will now know it is for 2.


    1. Elizabeth

      Just curious whatever happened with your situation??? It took a year for our show to air and we also won a trip but I also cannot find the paperwork. Please let me know what happened.

    1. Aurora De Lucia Post author

      Hey Anonymous! I think you’re supposed to get it within 3 months after the air date if I remember correctly? But I’m not an official source, of course, so I don’t really super know πŸ˜›

  3. Suzanne

    Actually, they have to CONTACT you within 3 months of the airdate, Then you have to pay the California taxes. After that, they will arrange for you to get your prize. You can email them at prizedept@lmadtv.com or the Production Accountant, Erin [redacted], at [redacted]. She is super helpful! I’ve emailed her with questions several times since winning a new car on LMAD in 2014.

    1. Aurora De Lucia Post author

      Thanks for the info, Suzanne! That’s interesting. I guess it depends on the show and what you win and all that jazz. On Price is Right, they just gave me the car without me having to pay any taxes ahead of time (except I did have to pay sales tax on the car when I picked it up). On Let’s Make a Deal, they just sent me a check… but I did only win $100. haha

  4. AL

    We watch the show all the time and we notice that on some of the trip the description is “You’ll fly to……….”
    Not “You and a guest will fly……….” are those trips only for you (one person) and not a guest??

    1. Aurora De Lucia Post author

      Hmmm Interesting question, Brian… That’s probably nearly impossible… If for no other reason, because I think in most episodes there are certain games where people *have* to win something. (For instance, there might be a three-person game where Wayne says, “Do you want the envelope or the box? Whatever you don’t take, I’ll give to her.” Well, a zonk might be in one… But a prize is in there somewhere. And either the original person picked it, or it’s going to the second person.

      Also, in the scenario in which literally no one won anything and every person on the show got zonked… the chance to play the big deal would probably go to the first person picked – as when there’s a tie, they go based on who went first. πŸ™‚

    1. Aurora De Lucia Post author

      …I’m sorry that I don’t understand this comment… Eventually, you get real money, yes. But if Wayne hands you money during the show you don’t get to keep it right then and there… Does that answer the question? Sorry & thanks!

    1. Aurora De Lucia Post author

      If someone goes for the big deal and does not win it, then yes, they forfeit their prize… But, everyone who goes for the big deal gets *something*, because there are no zonks in the Big Deal round. So, you get the prize behind the door you choose.

  5. Michael B Effie

    I to was a winner on TPIR, and game show eligible again. Think I will try to get on LMAD. Been on some other game in the past (press your luck and family feud). So I kind of know what they look for. Like TPIR, you have a minute or less to impress Stan. Don’t know what I said but was the second one to ” come on down “.

    Waa really impressed with your take on the process. And hopefully I will get chance to make a deal.

    1. Michael B Effie

      Well I went to LMAD and from your infomation I was so well prepared. I was called down by Wayne, and had a great time. If there is a downside, it would be amount of time that has to go buy before you get your winnings. Oh well. Thank you for posting about LMAD.

  6. Clarisse Martinez

    These answers are all super helpful!! I recently won on LMAD and had questions that you’ve answered for me. Thanks so much for your informative blog πŸ™‚


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