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Today in History: Game Show Fraud

Posted by Gilbert Stack on November 2, 2018 at 5:10 AM

On this day (November 2) in 1959, Charles Van Doren, a contestant on the wildly popular television game show, Quiz Show, admitted to Congress that he had been given the questions in advance. The scandal derived from the disastrous premier of the new show when neither contestant seemed to know any answers. The sponsor, Geritol, warned the show that it would not stand for a repeat of the first night’s performance. So they began to choreograph the show, telling contestants what to say and how to dress and act. Charles Van Doren was a wildly popular clean-cut contestant who eventually triumphed over the far less popular Herbert Stempel after he was ordered to take a dive and lose to Van Doren. After doing so, Stempel accused the show of being rigged. His accusations didn’t make much headway until a contestant on the gameshow, Dotto, discovered a notebook with all the questions and answers being asked of the current champion. Investigations began and many rigged gameshows came to light, including Quiz Show.

Categories: Today in History

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