Winning Big: The Top 10 Game Shows with the Highest Chances of Winning Cash
If you’re an avid game show watcher, you’ve probably daydreamed about playing for a cash prize yourself. Winning a popular game show might seem unrealistic, but you don’t have to be a professional quiz player to succeed. If you often find yourself screaming answers at the TV or strategising tactics, you could be halfway there.
To help your chances, Payset has analysed popular UK game shows to identify which is the easiest to win. In our research, the programmes which involved elimination rounds, carry-on episodes, and a higher number of contestants appeared more challenging. However, teamwork could get you closer to the win — as previous studies found teams play more strategically than single players.
Chance-based shows have been ranked as easier to succeed in as the formula places contestants on a level playing field, as luck is accessible to anyone. In comparison, games that require specific knowledge or skills attract the most advanced in those areas. And as theorised in ‘the paradox of skill’ concept, luck becomes more important when the gap between the best and average participants narrows.
Continue reading to discover the ten British game shows with the lowest difficulty rating!
The Easiest UK Game Shows to Win a Cash Prize
10. Come Dine With Me
This cooking-based competition has provided Brits with excellent TV, and never-to-be-forgotten pop culture moments, such as ‘What a sad little life Jane.’ Not only is it excellent TV, but it’s also a fairly easy show to win some cash if you can cook of course! Come Dine With Me see’s four contestants visiting each other's homes for a three-course meal. The guests each mark the dinner party and the contestant with the highest score wins £1,000.
9. The Wheel
Hosted by Michael McIntyre, this American spin-off game show involves seven celebrities assigned as an expert in different subjects, from social media to history. The celebs are seated on chairs around the perimeter of a huge spinning wheel. Below are three civilians and the wheel decides who plays first.
The contestants answer questions within categories decided by the wheel, with the help of a celebrity expert. If they answer correctly, they continue for the chance to win a cash prize. If they don’t succeed, the contestant is sent back down the centre of the wheel and a different player will have a shot at victory. The highest amount ever won on The Wheel is £690,000.
This 80s gameshow consists of three contestants trying to guess well-known phrases or sayings from looking at animated picture puzzles. The first contestant to guess the phrase wins a cash prize and goes to the next round. The winner of the final stage qualifies for the bonus round for a chance to win an even bigger prize. The highest amount that a contestant has won was a whopping £50,000!
Four teams of two contestants put all their knowledge to work in finding the most obscure answer to questions previously asked in a public survey with 100 individuals. The aim of Pointless is for players to achieve as few points as possible, with the team achieving the lowest score at the end of each round winning. The biggest prize ever won by giving ‘pointless’ answers on this fun quiz show was £24,750.
Adil Ray hosts the British revival of the 1988 American word-based game show. In Lingo, three teams compete at solving word puzzles that are each worth a set cash prize. At the end of round two, the bottom team is eliminated and the remaining two teams go head-to-head in guessing more words.
The losing team goes home with nothing while the lead team enters the final round with 90 seconds to solve more puzzles and claim their winnings which can easily top £6,000.
5. The Hit List
The British music game show, hosted by couple and former pop stars Rochelle and Marvin Humes, first aired in 2019 and is now on its sixth series. Across three rounds, contestants must correctly recognise the artist and title of hit songs from across the years while under pressure. The successful contestants, with impressive music knowledge or lucky guesses, have a chance to win £10,000!
4. The Chase
Another favourite, The Chase features four contestants working together against a professional quizzer, known as ‘the Chaser’, in a battle of general knowledge questions. The Chaser, who is also in it for the money, tries to answer more questions correctly and if they succeed, the team loses their prize. However, if the contestants are smarter and faster, they win and split the prize equally between whoever made it through. The biggest prize ever won by amateurs was £100,000.
3. The Wall
This popular game show, which premiered in 2019 and was previously hosted by Danny Dyer, introduces two contestants in each episode who answer trivia questions for a cash prize.
As the pair contemplate their answer to each question, three white balls fall down a wall towards a selection of money slots with different values. Once the ball falls into place, the players’ answer is final and if correct, the balls will turn green, and the money will join their pot. However, some of the slots are actually traps that deduct the money.
In the final of three rounds, the player in the lead has to ‘face’ the wall to win the jackpot. The biggest prize ever won on the show so far is £121,544.
First airing in 2003, the show features a team of highly skilled game show champions, known as the ‘Eggheads’ who are challenged by a team of five contestants, usually amateur quizzers, in each episode.
The contestants must answer general knowledge questions and beat the Eggheads to win a cash prize. If the challengers lose, £1,000 is added to the prize money pot until the Eggheads are next beaten, in which case the prize money will revert to £1,000. The biggest amount ever won by amateurs was £75,000 in 2007.
1. Family Fortunes
The much-loved show, now presented by Gino D’Acampo, has been a favourite among viewers for over 40 years, so you’ll probably already know it well. Two families, each including five members, must guess the most popular answers to a survey consisting of open-ended questions posed to 100 random people. The lucky family have the chance to win a jackpot prize of £30,000.
There you have it! If you’re after winning some cash, or simply want to take part and be a champion of your favourite show, why not apply for one of the above shows?! We certainly could think of less exciting ways to earn some money.
For each game show, we’ve looked to see if it’s based on luck, knowledge or skills, if it can be played by a single person or in teams if there are elimination rounds and carry-on episodes, and also what is the number of participants for each episode.
We then gave a grade from 1 to 10 for each entry, with ‘1’ being easier to win and ‘10’ most difficult. After calculating the total figure for each game show, we ranked the programmes with fewer points as the easiest to win.
You can find the full data here.
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