In 1967 a man appeared on Jeopardy! intending to win just enough money to buy an engagement ring. He won that amount halfway through and kept his mouth shut from there on. To prevent a recurrence, the rules were changed shortly thereafter, allowing only the winner to keep all his/her winnings.
Wheel of Fortune’s Vanna White sued Samsung Electronics in 1993 over its use of a humorous ad featuring a robot turning letters on a game show, alleging a violation of her personality rights. White was ultimately awarded $403,000 in damages.
The first guy to win “Who Wants to be Millionaire?” John Carpenter, used none of his lifelines until the final question, where he called his Dad and told him that he didn’t need any help on the final question and just wanted to let him know that he is about to win $1,000,000.
Two people have won the 1 million dollar prize on “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” — a superintendent from Georgia and the winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics.
The original Price Is Right gave a contestant a real elephant as a gag prize, and planned later to give the winner $4,000 instead. The winner complained and demanded an elephant as promised. The show finally conceded and delivered it to the contestant’s home in Texas.