In the virtually non-existent history of this game-- I doubt there has ever been a session provoking more screams of joy and despair than our go-round of this " ancient" game-show game. (Non-existent certainly by BGG standards since we are the only people ever registering plays of this game-- is anyone anywhere NOT on BGG perhaps even playing this game? Anyone? Bueller??)
We house rule the game to the "modern" technique of one round per person ( Unless someone's money count completely bankrupts to zero.) because this game ( as many ' OLD' games could do ) could indeed go in an infinite loop if you just play until SOMEONE is bankrupt. ( Someone gets to 1000$ almost out-- then wins -- repeat this ad infinitum and you could have what is a hoot of an old-press-your-luck type of game turn into some sort of Kafkaian/Monopoly with a million add-$-house-rules sort of nightmare!)
With the main goal to get your prize stash to be as CLOSE to $10,000 without going over-- the end choices once you are in range can get very tense and exciting--this playing proved that more than ever!!
Our many examples of this from the various rounds of this playing :
----Ben gets down to only $30 and declares " Say When" ( freezes) -- Everyone else is out-- Ana-Maria has $1400 left and has to hope for a number of the uber-dinky prizes in a row-- or the safety of one medium prize to hope to win the round. There are only ( predominantly) expensive boats and furs left except Living Room Furniture-- we know most of the boats and furs will bust her-- She turns the Furniture over-- It's $1390 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!- Ana Maria is at 9990$ to Ben's $9970 !! She wins the round as everyone screams OMG!!! SHE DID IT !!!
----I am one of the only 2 people left who aren't busted in another round-- I am at $4320 -- I get $4000 from 80 cases of 50$ perfume-- JUST barely estimating how many to purchase without busting. I am down to $320 -- Dave has declared " Say When"/frozen at $90 -- I have given up hope -- I get a $220 watch !! -- I am down to $100-- Dave is winning by 10 measly dollars-- however I decide to "Say When" and concede rather than have to pay another 10k bankruptcy penalty. ( My $1000 I will have to pay Dave for his win saves me $9k !) Ben destroys himself sadly getting not only the $6400 Swimming Pool but also the $8k race horse from the Pets category. A-M decides to still try to win and beat David's score and pull off another miracle-- she doesn't , but she's SO CLOSE !! She has $500 left and she pulls a $560 TV -- busted by JUST 60 little dollars! Dave wins this round !!
--A final set of heartbreaks for Kim ( who sadly busts nearly every time, getting $4k pieces of Jewelry when she has 2800 or so left), Dave and Me. The busts in this game ( with the example above being a rather drastic anomaly) are usually MASSIVE-- meaning you go over by thousands of dollars with the bad luck of getting one of the huge prizes at the wrong time during the mid-game. So when you only do bust by a bit ( say less than $750) -- it causes a LOT of OMGs and groaning.
While not quite as scream-inducing as Ana-Maria only busting by 60$ --these still-exciting busts happened to us three : I once had $2200 left and thought taking a Musical Instrument card would be safe-- it's a $2340 organ -- I am over by only $140 !!!!!!!!!!! Kim is finally in good shape in the early game with 5800 or so dollars-- OH NO!! a 6340$ Boat - she is only over by $540 !! Dave also is once at $2000 and takes some seemingly-safe furniture... Nope, it's fancy $2640 furniture-- he is over by $640 !! ( Ponder that for a moment--Furniture that costs $2640 in 1961 when this game was made/was showing on NBC is some HELLA fancy furniture !!)
Ana-Maria's one dramatic bust certainly didn't affect the rest of her rounds !! She takes the game by one of the largest margin's imaginable !!
Kim $6K ( ; ( )
Ana-Maria $95K ( BIG WIN !!!!)