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Home --> Hurricane Katrina --> Humor --> The Price Is Right

The Price Is Right

Claim:   The week after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, the game show The Price Is Right aired an episode offering contestants a trip to New Orleans as a prize.

Status:   True.

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, 2005]

Did The Price Is Right showcase shown on 9/8/05 include a trip to New Orleans and a speedboat?

Origins:   Whenever disaster strikes a large, long-established city, inevitably one will find earlier references to that city in popular culture that seem arch, funny, or inappropriate in retrospect. Once example of such occurred by coincidence the week after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in August 2005.

On 8 September 2005, while New Orleans was still struggling to evacuate all of its residents in the wake of flooding produced by Hurricane Katrina the previous week, the CBS daytime game show The Price Is Right offered contestants a now-unthinkable showcase prize: "You and a guest will fly round-trip coach from Los Angeles to New Orleans for a six-night stay at the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel, within walking distance to the French
Quarter."

The timing of the broadcast, with its unusual prize offering, was merely unfortunate coincidence, however: the episode was a repeat of one first shown in December 2004. Network executives caught on and pulled the episode before it aired in the Pacific time zone, but only after it had already run on stations in the Eastern, Central, and Mountain time zones.

Said CBS spokeswoman Beth Haiken of the incident:

Trips to New Orleans are frequently offered as travel prizes on The Price Is Right. Out of consideration for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, we made every effort to pull all repeat episodes from circulation that feature trips to New Orleans.

However, this one episode was unfortunately overlooked — and the content of all other episodes scheduled for rebroadcast has been carefully reviewed to prevent this from recurring. Our thoughts and prayers are with the brave citizens of the Gulf Coast.

Last updated:   9 September 2005

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  Sources Sources:
    Morgan, Hudson.   "Destination's Wrong on 'The Price Is Right'."
    [New York] Daily News.   9 September 2005.