Saturday, December 31, 2016

December 2016 Game Show Highlights

Rather than attempting to cram all of the late-arriving December moments into my annual quasi-reader-selected top 10 countdown list, today’s article is dedicated to listing the top December highlights (as well as some honorable mentions) that will not be featured in the aforementioned end-of-the-year list. Some of the top December moments include yesterday’s incredibly quick $100,000 win on The Price Is Right, Channel 4’s Deal or No Deal crowning its ninth £250,000 winner, Timothy Howe winning the first (and more than likely last) season of GSN’s Window Warriors and the latest Countdown champion.

#5 - Cassandra Wins $100,000 Playing “Hole In One” 
The Price Is Right - CBS
December 30
The final 2016 episode of The Price Is Right aired yesterday with its “Best of 2016” special. The episode gave contestants to win prizes featured on previous shows throughout the year such as luxury sports cars from “Dream Car Week” and massive cash prizes from “Big Money Week”. Much like last year’s special, yesterday’s show featured a contestant winning an incredible non-Showcase grand prize. Cassandra Boettcher had a chance to play “Hole In One” for $100,000 as previously seen on one of the “Big Money Week” episodes – if she could putt the ball through a windmill prop. Before you could say “inspirational putt”, Boettcher putted her way to the big money and won $102,164 for the day. 

#4 - Mark Labbett Storms Off Set After £60,000 Team Win
The Chase - ITV
December 8
Any avid fan of The Chase knows and would tell you that these prominent quizzers take their role as the show’s resident Chasers seriously because of how they put their reputation (and the network’s money) on the line with each game they play. But to see the visceral reaction of when a Chaser loses, such as Labbett angrily punching the set as he abruptly exits the stage after a rocky performance, which resulted in a team of three winning £60,000, is incredibly rare. Check out The Final Chase and the brief fallout in the clips below.

#3 - The Wall Premieres Early With Million-Dollar Winners
The Wall - NBC
December 19
A couple of weeks ago, NBC presented viewers with an early Christmas gift of  a special sneak preview of its newest mega money primetime game show, The Wall. The sole purpose of the existence of the gigantic, multimillion-dollar “Plinko” board is go give away mounds of cash to deserving couples. The series’ first contestants, John and Angel, won $1.3 million during their appearance. Check out the first episode below and stay tuned for the “official” premiere January 2 at 10:00pm on NBC.

#2 - Deal Or No Deal Finds Ninth £250,000 Winner
Deal Or No Deal - Channel 4 
December 23
I cannot think of a better way to end a nationwide tour during the show’s final series than for a contestant to walk away with the top prize. That is exactly what happened to Vikki Heenan from Arbroath, Scotland as she became the most recent contestant to win the £250,000 jackpot on the last day of the show’s tour through the UK. All this month, Deal or No Deal has been hosting its episodes from iconic UK landmarks including aboard The Flying Scotsman train and the Banker’s private Boeing 737 jet. Friday’s episode was filmed in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Gallery and Museum. After bravely turning down several substantial five-figure offers, Heenan made the bold and gutsy decision to stick with Box #1 with £750 and £250,000 still in play. Check out her incredible win in the clip below. 

#1 - Cindy Stowell’s Inspiring Run
Jeopardy! - Syndication
December 13-21
Whenever Jeopardy! appears in game show news, it is usually pertains to a tournament or a contestant’s impressive winning streak. This contestant’s Jeopardy! experience was quite unique and inspirational. Afflicted with Stage 4 colon cancer, Cindy Stowell came to compete on Jeopardy! to not only fulfill her dream of playing on the show, but to also donate her winnings to cancer-related organizations. Upon passing the online test and receiving an invitation to the in-person audition in Oklahoma City, Stowell contacted contestant producer Maggie Speak about the tragic news she had received from her doctor. The Jeopardy! cast was able to expedite her taping appearance for August 31.  Only about a handful of people at Jeopardy!, including Trebek, knew about her illness. Not even the contestants were aware that she had cancer. On the show, Stowell went on a six-game winning streak and racked up an incredible $103,801 in the process. Stowell died about a week before her series of episodes aired. She had a chance to watch the first three episodes with her family – courtesy of Jeopardy! sending advance copies. You can read more about Stowell’s experience on J! Buzz. Much like Eddie Timanus becoming the first blind contestant to compete on the show, This is one special contestant Jeopardy! and game show fans will not soon forget.

Other Noteworthy December Moments:

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