Check-Out

1982 - Present

Check-Out is a game similar to Grocery Game played with five grocery items. For each item the contestant must give a bid on what s/he thinks the item costs. After all five items, the contestant's bids are totaled. After that, the actual prices of the items are shown. If the contestant's total bid on all five items is within 50 cents above or below the actual total of the five items, the contestant wins a bonus prize.

In 1995, to allow a little more room for error, the margin of error was increased to $1.00 above or below the actual total of the five items.  This didn't help much, and losses far outpaced wins.  For the 32nd season starting in late 2003, the limit was increased to $2.00.

Although the game is pretty similar to Grocery Game, I find it more enjoyable because of the cool set and the different strategy involved. If the contestant (usually in response to audience groans) believes his/her bids on early items have been too high or too low, s/he can make up for it by over- or underbidding on the final items.

Set Changes: The game was actually temporarily retired for around three months or so in 1995 to fix the display that reads out the actual total of the five items. Thankfully they decided to keep the game and fix it instead of scrapping it altogether, which was the fate of Hurdles and Super Saver. The Check-Out colors were changed again in December, 2000, now yellow on red. In February, 2001, the beloved oversized board where the model punched in the numbers was removed, with the contestant's guesses now registering each time over the center readout.

It's the premiere of Check-Out from 1982! Back then, 50 cents above or below was the rule.
How much do you think this chunk chicken costs? Yum, it's from Swanson! She says 69 cents, which Holly gladly punches in her "register". I love that readout; it's so huge!
Her total for all five items came out to $5.43. That chunk chicken was 79 cents; pretty good guess...
The ARP of all five items came out to $6.01... ...and she was off by 58 cents; she loses by just 8 cents!
Nowadays you get a $1.00 spread for your total purchases. Here's the new display from a 1998 ep. I assure you that this game IS won every so often.
Brand-new Check-Out colors from 2001... ...same old Check-Out loss from 2001.