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It's his world.. you're just living in it...

Today is

Thanks, Bob - November 17
Jason Block

Most people wanted to do one of two things when they found out about the news about Barker's retirement this coming June. They wanted to a) feel sad about the American Game Show Icon leaving, or B) try to see who is going to replace him.

But what I want to do is to do something that a lot of people are going to do over the next eight months or so...and that is say two words.

Thank you.

Thank you for making my sick days at home from school lessons in math, and excitement. I first honed my "game show craft" as a kid writing the showcases down.

Thank you for being a man for sticking up for the rights of animals worldwide.

Thank you for allowing almost 13,000 people the chance to "come on down".

Thank you for introducing us to the talents of Johnny Olson, Rod Roddy, and Rich Fields.

Thank you for giving us the Barker's Beauties. Many women have become famous through your show.

Thank you for doing what the best game show hosts do--make the contestants the star.

Thank you for letting me meet my friends through you. Without you, I wouldn't have become as much as a passionate game show fan as I am.

Thank you for beating the hell out of Adam Sandler.

Thank you for serving your country in the Navy during WWII.

And thank you for 50 years of entertainment. Not many people in this industry last this long. People throw the word icon and legend too easily these days. Not with you. Every accolade you get over the next few months you will deserve. There is a reason why the Game Show Congress called going to see your show "The Pilgrimage".

And as for me, I probably will never be on that stage playing a game with you. But I have seen you do your thing four times in the audience. And the energy level in the building of just 350 people can light up Los Angeles. I watched the show with my grandmother through her last days of her 103-year life. She loved you, I love you, and America loves you too.

Bob, you are going out on top. Thank you.

Speaking of The Price is Right, here are three more strategies to beat the games.

Barker’s Markers - There is a very easy way to win the game - as long as you don't mind parting with your $500 in order to do so. Find one item that you know is right and DON'T put a marker on it. When Bob asks you if you want to spend the $500 to move your marker, say yes, because it will automatically move the marker with the one wrong price and put it on a prize that you know is correct. Voila! Simple win.

Check Game - There is no one magic price to put here, but usually, the prize is between $2,500 to $3,500, which means that $2,000 to $2,500 is a fairly safe bet, It won't happen ALL of the time, but if you are clueless on an item, that's the range you should be at.

Bonkers - This is another simple game that should be won more often if people used any sense. First of all, ignore the audience completely and just focus on this very simple pattern. There are 16 possible combinations to win a prize. If you know if the first number is higher or lower (and you should, because that one is usually a gimme), then there are only 8 possible combinations, and you should be able to hit all of them in 30 seconds if you just go back and forth and ignore the audience. Here is the pattern you should do it in...

lower, lower, lower
lower, lower, higher (3)
lower, higher, higher (2)
higher, higher, higher (1)
higher, lower, higher (2)
higher, lower, lower (3)
higher, higher, lower (2)
lower, higher, lower (1)

As you can see, by doing it this way, you are only moving one block at any time to make a change. In addition, the pattern is fairly easy to memorize (3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1). By only moving one block (instead of two or three), you should easily be able to make each change in less than 3 seconds (it took me 20 seconds to do them all when I demoed it), and the prize should be yours - as long as you can get the first number right.

Gordon Pepper says Thank You to Jason Block for this week's column. E-mail Jason at E-mail Gordon at


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