Also, for my Pay The Rent watch, the game was played on The Price Is Right Salutes The Armed Forces, on Veterans' Day. Somehow I wasn't expecting it, although the game with its theoretical $100,000 payout seems like a reliable one in the For The Troops shows.
Just because it was a Salute The Armed Forces episode doesn't mean they made the game at all easy, though. This might've been the toughest cluster they've had yet, in fact. The prizes were a bag of pretzels ($2.99), bow tie pasta ($1.69), a five-pound bag of charcoal ($3.99), drink mix ($0.29), frosting ($2.49), and mustard ($1.99). Apparently none of the products was a paid sponsorship as they didn't mention names, and Drew Carey even corrected the contestant who picked 'Kool-Aid' by saying 'drink mix' until the anonymization became clear.
The contestant put the Kool-Aid in the bottom ($0.29 for the level), pasta and frosting in the second ($4.18 total), pretzels and mustard for the third ($4.98) and should have bailed out there, although I confess I thought it would be plausible that the charcoal might be more than five dollars. But it wasn't, and the contestant went on, and lost everything.
The only correct ordering I could find was the frosting on bottom ($2.49 for the level), pretzels and Kool-Aid on the second ($3.28), pasta and mustard on the third ($3.68), and charcoal on the top level ($3.99). The range in prices is tight enough, a mere $3.70, but the range in level totals is just $1.50. That seems almost impossible to beat, unless you decide you're fine with the $10,000.
Trivia: When George Eastman bought his first camera, in November 1877, it cost $49.58, and the needed lessons were another five dollars. Source: The Company: A Short History Of A Revolutionary Idea, John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge.
Currently Reading: The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History Of Empire And War, James Bradley.
PS: Descartes and the Fear of the Negative. No, I haven't forgot about this 'e' thing I was explaining.