Since I have never been on a game show--and consequently have never WON anything on a game show--I can only guess how certain, shall we say, PREDICAMENTS play out.

GAME SHOWS --  A SLICE OF AMERICANA

In the 2020s, many game shows have been reinvented as opportunities for fans to see their favorite celebrities vie for charity money. Nighttime celebrity versions of Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud, and Pyramid, among others, have been big hits.

But back in the 1970s, they didn't need famous contestants for ratings success. MuseumofPlay.org tells us that during that decade--the heyday for the genre, arguably--the three major networks--ABC, CBS, NBC--had 19 game shows on the air at one point. That's a LOT of prizes and prize money.

GAME SHOW PRIZES

But what prizes are the best ones to win and which ones aren't? I would think it would be obvious. At least, it seemed to be to me. ANYTHING you win is going to be taxed. So cash would be the way to go. Sure, a new car looks good onstage and generates a great deal of excitement. And trip giveaways are always accompanied by elaborately produced video descriptions. But you'd better save if you win one.

My vote for the least attractive prize, despite how tempting, would be a trip. I've often wondered how many contestants forgo vacations they win or if they even CAN. I mean, when you get home, you can trade in a new car you've just won and get cash for it, but a trip?

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CAN I TURN DOWN A VACATION I WON ON A GAME SHOW?

I checked a couple of sources, but that didn't seem like much help. They contradicted one another, but not about whether or not you have to keep the prize. MoneyNing.com says it's all or nothing--you can turn down a vacation you've won, but you can't receive the cash equivalent for it. But that website was speaking broadly about all game shows Looper.com gets more specific by pointing out trip wins on The Price Is Right. On that legendary game show, you can actually take the cash option.

WOULD I HAVE TO FLY OUT OF LOS ANGELES TO MY VACATION DESTINATION?

But I couldn't find what I was MOST interested in finding...if I were to win a trip to Nashville (I've seen those vacations given away on Wheel of Fortune), would I have to haul my cookies all the way to Los Angeles JUST to fly back to Music City? You've heard the descriptions..."You and a guest will fly round trip from Los Angeles to..." And don't get me wrong; I would LOVE to win that trip. I would just rather drive.

'CONGRATULATIONS, YOU'VE JUST WON A TRIP...NEXT DOOR'

I mention it because a lady on a recent episode of The Price Is Right won a trip to New Hampshire that was worth nearly $8,000. The thing is, she's from MASSACHUSETTS. She says she's been to the Granite State a gazillion times. That would be like if I won a trip to Nashville, or even Chicago or St. Louis for that matter.

I was trying to see if I could pass on the flight and drive myself and then take advantage of everything else to which I was entitled within the prize.

I haven't found that answer yet, but I'm going to keep digging. I mean, that would be a pain in the butt, wouldn't it?

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