Think you’ve got what it takes to make it on your favorite game show? You might, as long as you’re unique and can stand a 10-hour day of filming.

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theellenshow/Instagram

Everyone has their favorite game show, whether you religiously watch it every day, or just catch it once in awhile when you have the day off. Either way, we can guarantee at least one thing—that you’ve thought about what it’d be like to be on the show, maybe even proclaiming how well you’d do if you were.

That might be true, but being on a game show isn’t just giving the right answer or spinning a giant wheel just so. In fact, real people shared their game show experiences online, and their stories will tell you everything you need to know about what goes on behind the scenes.

Unique Is Better

I auditioned to be on the show Wipeout. I found out they specifically look for people with something extremely unique about them and/or people who are willing to make a fool of them self on TV. They are not interested in athletic people who might actually have a chance of completing the course.”natureruler

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IMDb

You can’t entirely blame the producers for this one. If everyone who competed on a show like Wipeout just breezed through the course like it took no effort at all, everyone on Earth would feel too bad about themselves to ever watch it again. As interesting as it can be to see the occasional athletic person beat a course in record time, seeing someone’s portly uncle do the course in a tutu will keep the entertainment factor going.

You’re Not Driving That New Car Home

“I won $100 cash on Let’s Make a Deal. They give you cash then cut to commercial and take the cash back. Then after the show I had to fill out a huge packet of legal stuff. A little over a month later I got a check in the mail.”kingbrassica

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Hollywood Reporter (via CBS)

It’d be nice to walk off with a few thousand dollars or drive away in a new car just by answering a few questions correctly, but that’s not exactly how it always works out. Collecting your prize is actually a pretty complicated process, and there’s usually a catch involved.

What most people don’t often realize is that you’ll still owe taxes on the money and cars that you win—that’s not all magically taken care of by the show. Not to mention that game show winners who take home cash often start planning to spend it before they even physically have it, and it often lands them in financial trouble.

Things Take Time

“Went to a taping of Millionaire once, they did have a few retakes for random reasons, like if something was wrong the filming. So on a couple of occasions the contestant had to say his answer again and we all had to fake the excitement as if it were the first time, as would the contestant.”clevername71

Just like movies on the big screen, television shows have to undergo a lot of editing before they air, and having more material typically makes for a better final product.

Ultimately, if something doesn’t look right the first time, the crew will re-film it, as awkward as it may be to the audience and contestants.

Sometimes Cheating’s Allowed

“I was a lifeline on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. We were prepped, the five of us that were the chosen lifelines, and in this prepping there was no mention about googling. In other words, it was understood that using the 30 second window to Google the question would be acceptable. Many people wonder this, I think, so I thought I’d share.”—Toastwaver

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Shriners Hospitals for Children

Hey, if the producers of a show don’t specifically forbid anything, you can always assume that it’s fair game, right? We’re sure most contestants would, in an ideal world, love to know the answer to a question that’ll help their buddy win the big bucks, but desperate times call for desperate measures when

We’re sure most contestants would, in an ideal world, love to know the answer to a question that’ll help their buddy win the big bucks, but desperate times call for desperate measures when there’s a million dollars on the line.

Filming Isn’t Always Chronological

I went to the taping of an episode of Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition. It was the episode in Green Bay. We did a ton of reaction shots to nothing. “Okay everyone turn around and be excited about how amazing he looks!” So we all turn around and cheer for nobody. Eventually the person who lost the weight came out, then went back and came out again. It was pretty funny. Also they gave out McDonald’s gift cards to the crowd, which was weird because it’s a weight loss show.”—SixEightWhisky

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IMDb

We imagine situations like this make for some pretty awkward filming, but we assume that the crews have to work with what they have at the time. If someone isn’t ready to come out but all of the waiting family members are good to go, it makes total sense to utilize that downtime and get some shots in.

If someone isn’t ready to come out but all of the waiting family members are good to go, it makes total sense to utilize that downtime and get some shots in.

They Don’t Just Pick Anyone

“I tried out for Jeopardy once. They said they deliberately make the qualifying questions much harder than what you see on the show because 1) they want to find people who are actually smart and not just lucky, and 2) people get kinda stupid when you put a TV camera on them.”wingnutzero

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Business Insider

We’ve all thought before that we would do well on Jeopardy, usually after watching just one episode that made us feel particularly knowledgeable. However, producers for shows like this don’t want contestants with broad knowledge in just one category—they want someone who knows a lot about a lot. Admittedly, it’d be pretty boring watching a game show where the contestants never made any progress.

However, producers for shows like this don’t want contestants with broad knowledge in just one category—they want someone who knows a lot about a lot. Admittedly, it’d be pretty boring watching a game show where the contestants never made any progress.

The Host Isn’t “Guiding” You with Looks

I will never forget this. Regis is dumb. Regis does not have the answers until we show them after you’ve locked in your answer. If you are working through an answer and you think he’s making faces to ‘guide’ you, remember, there’s as much chance that he’s going to help as there is that he’s making that face because he’s relieving himself. Regis. Is. Dumb”PaydayJones

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Jeopardy!

For the most part, the hosts of these game shows seem like they genuinely want people to take home the grand prize, and it’s easy to wonder if they ever signal to the contestants to guide them. However, just because someone is a suave host doesn’t always mean they’re great in the trivia department. The majority of the time they aren’t given the answers to your questions until they’re revealed anyway, so if they don’t know the answer beforehand, they won’t know it until you do.

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IMDb

The majority of the time they aren’t given the answers to your questions until they’re revealed anyway, so if they don’t know the answer beforehand, they won’t know it until you do.

They’ll Have Some Fun, Though

“I was at a taping of The Price Is Right. During the commercial break, Drew Carey talked to the crowd a lot and gave a lady a lap dance because it was her 90th birthday.”—black_gallagher1

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therealpriceisright/Instagram

If the taping of a show ends up taking hours on end, the host has to do something to keep themselves sane, right? It’ll definitely give you something to talk about with your friends back home, too.

Just Don’t Get Too Crazy

If you get called up for a game on the Ellen Show, do not pick her up out of excitement or give her a bone-crushing hug. We were told she has a bad back.”deadly_creampuff

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IMDb

Television hosts are people too, and some of them have issues just like the rest of us. Whether it’s that that they have a bad back or they just really don’t like getting hugged, treat them nicely and pay attention to any requests they may have when it comes to their space.

Whether it’s that that they have a bad back or they just really don’t like getting hugged, treat them nicely and pay attention to any requests they may have when it comes to their space.

Any Mystery Might Get Ruined

“Tried out for Legends of the Hidden Temple. They put me on the blue barracudas . They tell you not talk directly to [Olmec] because the questions are pre set and he will only answer with set responses. it was actually cool to see the dude who runs [Olmec] come out and wave to the crowd. He was just some skinny white dude who does voices.”—rareunlimited

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MTV

Everything is always so nicely edited when you see it on TV, it can be easy to forget that people are often running around like crazy to make it all happen. Being in a studio audience gives you the unique opportunity to see how the magic happens, but don’t be surprised if the illusion is ruined when you do. Don’t feel bad for being disappointed, though—we always liked to think of Olmec as a sentient mystical being, too.