Winning big on game shows comes with big consequences

The price is LIES, Drew Carey! via Facebook

The price is LIES, Drew Carey! via Facebook

Are you sitting in your sad office cubicle counting down the minutes until you can leave work? And are you only interrupting the monotony with the fantasy that you could change everything by going a game show like The Price is Right and winning big? It’s a common fantasy, but the AV Club just burst your balloon with an interview with a big winner on the show. The truth? All you really win are taxes out the whazzoo and the headache of selling prizes you don’t need for less than they’re worth.

The AV Club spoke to Andrea Schwartz, who won big on the show in 2012. Schwartz got herself a brand new Mazda, $1200, a pool table and a shuffleboard table. Did she get to drive the car off the lot after winning? Uh, no, she had to deal with the car dealer. And also pay taxes, including the California state income tax before she could even get the prizes. Schwartz said she paid $14,000 worth of taxes on the game tables and ended up selling them for $4500, which is one hell of a loss. Schwartz’ dream-destroying truth in a nutshell:

AVC: Exactly. What was the guy from New Orleans going to do with a trip to New Orleans?

AS: He’s going to have to pay all the taxes to get it, and he can’t sell it. But he didn’t win it anyway. I think a lot of people don’t understand what they’re getting themselves into. They’re just like, “Oh my God, I’m going to win a bunch of stuff,” and then they’re going to have to forfeit their prizes because they can’t afford to pay the taxes on them.

All the hoping, all the jumping up and down and all the sweaty hugs with Drew Carey, all so your prizes can be cruelly taken from you. The American Dream really is dead.

3 Comment

  • Not that this makes it any better, but I don’t think she paid $14,000 in taxes for the tables. She paid taxes as if the tables’ valued $14,000. So still probably a loss when all is said and done, but she didn’t lose $10,000+ on a shuffleboard table. That would have been ridiculous.

    • Ohhhhhh. Well, that still sounds bad though. And it still destroys my faith in the average American game show to turn your life around.

  • That’s why Jeopardy is the way to go. Straight cash, homey.