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Executive Meddling: Likely the reason for the Winner's Board and especially the Winner's Big Money Game being implemented, as NBC wanted a more traditional endgame for the show and they wanted to save money.
Matt Ottinger, a QuizBusters host, Game Show Forum administrator, and Bill Cullen expert, was a contestant on the May 17, 1985, episode of the American syndicated edition. And he had a whole head full of hair, too! Unfortunately, he did not win the match, but he did win $2340.
While not a contestant, a then-unknown Kevin Nealon was one of Tim Holleran's buddies that came up onstage when the latter won the Lot.
Very few episodes of the 1969–74 version are known to exist, and those that do aren't circulating (minus some syndicated-era clips in a 1982 pitchfilm).
The 1985/86 syndicated run and 1988/89 daytime episodes were aired on USA from 1992 to 1994, but most of it hasn't been seen since originally airing.
It's rumored that while NBC stopped wiping in general in 1980, they (or perhaps Grundy's company) wiped Sale up until September 1988. However, this seems extremely unlikely and unthinkable as the entire run of Scrabble (another Reg Grundy series that aired on NBC) exists.
After years of fans clamoring for GSN to pick up it and Scrabble, the network finally picked up 65 episodes of Sale beginning April 1, 2013. The lease began at #1496 (November 10, 1988) with 1503-1505 (November 21-23), 1516 (December 12), 1521-1530 (December 19-30), 1534 (January 6, 1989), 1552-1553 (February 2-3), and 1556 (February 8) being skipped. During #1573 (March 3, 1989), Jim Perry reminded viewers that they wouldn't be on for the next two weeks (due to special programming hosted by gossip columnist Rona Barrett), and to tune in on March 20 for the start of their final week. Note: The 1985-1986 syndicated run is currently being shown.
No Budget: Some critics of the latter 1980s formats claim that the ousting of the Shopping endgame was a cost-cutting move. Indeed, many of the cars went from full-size Cadillacs, Mercedes-Benz sedans, and top-end sports cars to less-expensive cars. Although never reaching the subcompact or econocar range, mainstream cars such as the Ford Taurus, entry-level luxury cars such as the Mercedes-Benz 190 or BMW 528i, or compact convertibles including the Chevrolet Cavalier were more common. The big-ticket items such as $13,000 European tours and $21,000 cabin cruisers were replaced with more common game-show fare in the $1,500–$5,000 range.
What Could Have Been: Jim Perry being tapped to host Sale almost didn't happen as, on October 23, 1982 (two months prior to the first Sale taping), he hosted a pilot for Bob Stewart called Twisters.
Pretty much everyone who purchased the Cash Jackpot on the NBC daytime version, particularly the ones in 1984, could've gone on to win the Lot. The fact the Cash Jackpot was between the car and the Lot (all six major prizes and the Cash Jackpot) rather than at the end was clearly a factor.
Kathy "Oh, to Hell with the last question" Riley was only $45 away from the Lotnote (she and her challengers had $5 added to their scores by Perry during the "Let's Go Shopping" segment due to him skipping the last question), and she had never scored less than that during any of her previous shows.
David Rogers won a record $109,000 Cash Jackpot. Had he decided to continue, he could have possibly broken the all-time daytime game show winnings record set by Barbara Phillips one year earlier (that record would ultimately be broken by Tom O'Brien in 1987).
Ian Barondess scored $113 when he won a $58,000 Cash Jackpot. He was only $39 away from the Lot.
Future Tournament of Champions winner Stephanie Holmquist was only $37 away from the Lot when she won her $74,000 Cash Jackpot. In fairness, though, she did have a shaky Speed Round during her last game.
Susan Wolfe won her $61,000 Cash Jackpot with a score of $95. She was only $57 away from the Lot, and on one prior show she won the game with $139.
Bill Fogel won a $61,000 Cash Jackpot after winning his game with a score of $145 (the record for the highest one-day score in American Sale, a record tied by Alice Conkwright...TWICE). He could've gone all the way if he wanted to, seeing that he also only needed $39 to win the Lot.
Technology Marches On: Now that a sizable collection of episodes (from the 1985-1986 syndicated series) has aired on GSN and been uploaded to video-sharing sites, one can see the show offered as prizes many prototype and early versions of now-common devices, and state-of-the-art (for 1985-1986) devices that have been usurped by newer technology. In addition to then common game show prizes such as VCRs, computers and analog-only televisions, the show was known to offer prototype automobile navigation systems note (at least once, offered as an Instant Bargain, including during champion Tim Holleran's run; Holleran, who passed on the $1,395 device, remarked, "What will they think of next?"), video jukeboxes note (Jim Perry, who did tout the machine as state-of-the-art, was amazed at song titles such as "Like a Virgin" by Madonna)and much more.