Sale of the Century (1980-2001)

"The World's Richest Quiz" - this show is one of the most successful and longest continuously running game show formats anywhere in the world.

Based on the earlier game show "Temptation", it was devised by game show entrepreneur Reg Grundy - and first appeared in Australia in mid 1980. Since then, the show has been played in 8 countries worldwide, and became the first non-American format to be shown in the USA.

Tony Barber (1980-1989)
Glenn Ridge (1990-2001)


Victoria Nicholls
Delvene Delaney
Alyce Platt
Jo Bailey
Nicky Buckley
Karina Brown (2000-2001)


The concept of the show is simple - earn as much money as possible by answering the questions correctly - and use the money earned to purchase goods at bargain-basement prices.

The Australian version of the show comprises of three rounds. Each player starts with $20 starting money. The host asks a series of questions - and the first player to buzzer in is allowed to answer the question. A correct answer increases the player's score by 5 dollars - an incorrect answer decreases their score by 5 dollars.

Gift Shop / Cashcard:
At a point in each of the rounds - the player with the highest amount of money at the time is given the opportunity to purchase goods or win prizes. In the earlier years of the show - every round had a gift shop which allowed the player to purchase goods at a bargain basement price. If players chose to buy the product - that value was taken off their score. These days, only the first two rounds have gift shops, with the third round offering a cash card game where for a sum of money - the eligible player(s) can take a 1 in 4 chance of winning cold hard cash by selecting the correct suit (hearts, diamonds, clubs or spades). In the case where two or more players are equal-highest scorers - the prizes are auctioned off by the host to the highest bidder (the host bargains down the price of the goods until someone buys it). Any prizes purchased/won in these gift shop & cashcard rounds can be kept by the contestant irrespective of whether they win the game or not.

Famous Faces:
This game - offered near the end of each round - hasn't changed significantly over the entire history of the show. The contestants are asked a "Who Am I?" question. The host reads out a series of clues as to the identity of the person. The first contestant to buzzer in with the correct answer is given the opportunity to pick a famous face from the game board - however no money is added to the player's score. If an incorrect answer is provided - the remainder of the clues are offered to any remaining players to answer. The game board itself has photos of (Nine Network) celebrities. From the mid 1980's - the middle slot was reserved for a "home viewer" photo to be placed. Behind each of the faces is either a prize (kept by the player irrespective of the result of the game), a wildcard (allowing the player to pick another face or take a cash prize), or a money value (which is added to the player's score). In the first round, only a $15 value is on the board - duirng the second and third rounds respectively, $20 and $25 are added.

Fast Money:
The Fast Money questions occur at the end of the second and third rounds. A timer counts down from 30 seconds (2nd round) and 60 seconds (3rd round) - in which time questions are fired at the contestants by the host. These high-pressure questions often determine the ultimate winner of the game.

"Let's Go Shopping!"
At the end of the game - the player with the highest score is deemed the Sale of the Century champion - and is given the opportunity to "go shopping" with the host to pick up some big prizes, and hopefully the cash jackpot. In the earlier years - what prizes people could purchase was determined by their accumulative scores obtained through each of their games (eg. a furniture set might require $145, the car $550 etc.) These days - all the prizes (with the exception of the car and the cash jackpot) are made available and chosen by matching pairs of that prize on a number board. The car becomes available if the players win $100 or more in a single game or all the other prizes have been won already. The cash jackpot (which increases $2000 each game) is given off when all the prizes have been won.

At the end of each night - the champ is given the opportunity to leave the show with all the prizes won to that stage, or risk them all to come back and hopefully win enough games to take off with the lot!

The Australian version of Sale of the Century gave away in excess of AUS$65 million in prizes in its 2 decades of quizzing.

For more details on how Sale changed over the years - visit these more detailed pages on Aussie Sale:

Sale of the Century (1980-1999) (Nine Network)
Sale of the New Century (2000) (Nine Network)
Sale of the Century (2001) (Nine Network)


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Links to other "Sale of the Century" sites

None at this stage.

Created by Chris Powney, 2002.