Penny Ante

1980 (?) - 2002 (Retired)

Penny Ante is a game played with two grocery items. At the start of the game, Bob gives the contestant three oversized pennies. For each grocery item, the contestant sees four possible prices, only one of which is right. The contestant picks a price and Bob pushes a lever which sets of an indicator displaying whether the choice was correct or not. If the contestant is correct, s/he moves on to the second grocery item. If s/he is wrong, s/he must surrender a penny and pick again from the remaining three choices. If the contestant correctly identified the price of both grocery items before losing the three pennies, s/he wins a bonus prize.

The distinctive sound effect that plays when Bob pushes the button showing a price has seen the light of day in several game shows. It was the sound effect for the opening of the board on Alex Trebek's Double Dare in 1976 and it was the buzz-in sound on the short-lived CBS Tic Tac Dough in 1978. More notably, it doubled as the board "wind-up" sound effect on the popular Joker's Wild from 1978-1986.

The placards which display "YES" or "NO" at the top of the board are quite flimsy. The mechanical flipping of the chosen placard has been known to accidently set neighboring placards into motion prematurely.  This started happening more often than not towards the end of the game's life, leading to its retirement.

Set Changes: The words "Penny" and "Ante" went from red to blue at some point.

Here's the Penny Ante board from 1980. Kind of a weird lookin' concoction, isn't it? The first grocery item today is a Chunky bar. Do they still make Chunky these days?
69 cents and 75 cents are possible prices of that Chunky bar. Note the oversize penny graphics leading up to the top of the board. 69 cents is a no-go. This contestant was the first player who didn't even make it to the second grocery item.
Here's the new Penny Ante board; not much of a difference honestly. Here's the "YES" sign...this contestant won $3,000 worth of appliances.