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
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.
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.
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: