Rather Play a Game of Luck or Skill?

The Price is Right, one famous television game show, is widely recognized for it’s crazy ways to get contestants to compete for cash and prizes through the characteristics of luck and skill or a little bit of both.

Lucky $even

Five Core Design Elements:

Rules: The chosen contestant is given (7) $1 bills to play the game. All he or she needs is $1 to buy (win) the car. The first digit of the prize is shown and it is the contestant’s job to guess the remaining four digits that make up the price of the car. He or she will lose $1 for the difference between the value they guess and the actual digit.

For example: if you guess 7 and the actual number is 4, you lose $3.

The contestant wins the car if they have $1 or more left in their possession after all digits of the price of the car is played.

Core Mechanics: LUCK! No, but seriously — having the first digit of the price of the car revealed acts as a way to aid the contestant in having a greater chance of winning. The $7 the contestant is initially given to play and guessing with audience help are the other mechanics that help the game run smoothly.

Goal: Every contestant wants to come onto the game show and win. The goal of this game is to win the car by correctly guessing the remaining digits of the car and having at least $1 to spare in the end.


The Lucky $even board pictured above is where the contestant views, digit by digit, the price of the car. In the YouTube video of the actual game being played, you can see the board sliding to the right to uncover the actual digit after the contestants guess.

Components: This particular The Price is Right game has roughly four pieces to it. The player, the game board, the $7 to play and the car are all needed and equally important in carrying out this game of luck.

My pencil/paper mockup of Lucky $even

You could win a new black 2013 Acura TL. It comes equipped with:

3.5 – liter V-6 engine, automatic climate control, blue-tooth hands free link.


To make the game board, I folded a piece of paper into six equal parts so that there would be space for each digit in the price of the car with one column left over. I taped the board onto another piece of paper so that the contestant couldn’t see through the board to the value of the car. I used a clamp and whenever I needed to reveal the next digit in the price of the car, I would remove the clamp and unfold one column. I made the $7 out of paper and even made a paper money clip to give it a real feel of actual money.

Creating the pencil/paper mock up of The Price is Right game was really fun and at first, I thought it would be impossible to make with just the materials hanging around the classroom. As I saw everyone making it work, I felt good about my assignment and the remake of my game.

Group Work

In my class group, we decided to modify the mockup of The Price is Right’s Credit Card game that our classmate created.

My suggestion for the modification of the game was to make the prizes that the contestants were eligible to win blind instead of visible. This way, even if he or she had a great sense of knowledge on the prices of items, it wouldn’t help them here. My rule made the game more based around luck, but I believed more challenging as well because I felt being able to see each item was a bit too easy. This modification created more tension in the game which, in turn, means more excitement for the crowd.


5 thoughts on “Rather Play a Game of Luck or Skill?

  1. looks like a fun game, it seems a game of chance but pretty simple to play and understand. You could probably design this game for the penny arcade real easily.

  2. Interesting game! It looks so easy but one would need a lot of luck to win this. Colby was very lucky. Great job on the explanation.

  3. Wow! I didn’t Colby was going to win that card. this a game of luck… unless you really know price of the car.

  4. Great modification idea to the credit card game, hiding the prizes does make it a bit more challenging to guess its price!
    I like your mockup of Lucky Seven, it sounds like a fun game. Your guesses would have to based on pure luck to win the car though.

  5. It looks like he had a lot of luck with him to win the car, and this game its luck over skill.

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