The Price Guessing Game

Executive Summary
This game is kind of like The Price is Right, which is always enjoyed by old people! The Price Guessing Game takes you back in time and is fun for everyone.

Quick Facts
  • The Price Guessing Game
  • A free party game brought to you by

Page Description
If you’ve ever seen “The Price is Right” on TV, you’re probably familiar with the game where contestants guess the price of an item, and the one who gets the closest without going over wins. If you haven’t seen it, you can be confident that you’re not an old person yet.

If you’re looking for a fun game to play at your friend or loved one’s birthday party, you could play a variation of that same price-guessing game. The difference is that instead of guessing an item’s current price, you’ll have guests guess how much the item cost when the birthday person was born.

Present an item, and have everyone write down their guesses about how much it cost the year the birthday person was born. Whoever gets closest to the real price without going over (you can eliminate the rule about not going over, if you want) wins that round.

Keep doing this with as many items as you can find the information for. If you want to be extra tricky, throw in some items that didn’t exist that long ago - see if anyone can figure that out. If they do, bonus points! At the end, the person who won the most rounds should get a small prize of some sort.

If you don’t know how much an item was many years ago, you could ask the birthday person if they remember. Here’s a few examples, but you may want to surf the web or check out the library if you want to use items other than these.

New House (average):
1940: $3,920
1950: $8,450
1960: $12,700
1970: $23,450
1980: $68,700

New Car (average):
1940: $850
1950: $1,510
1960: $2,600
1970: $3,900
1980: $7,200

Gallon of Gasoline:
1940: $0.11
1950: $0.18
1960: $0.25
1970: $0.36
1980: $1.19

Hershey’s Chocolate Bar:
1921-1968: 5 cents
1969-1973: 10 cents
1974-1976: 15 cents
1977: 20 cents
1978-1980: 25 cents

Comic Book:
Until 1962: $0.10
1962-1969: $0.12
1969-1971: $0.15
1971-1974: $0.20
1974-1976: $0.25
1976-1977: $0.30
1977-1979: $0.35
1979-1980: $0.40

And here’s the cost of various household items for different years:

In 1940, a radio cost $16.95 and a Hoover vacuum cost $52.50.

In 1950, a black and white TV cost $249.95 and a clock radio cost $59.95.

In 1960, a can of beef ravioli cost 30 cents and a loaf of bread cost 20 cents.

In 1970, an issue of Sports Illustrated cost 15 cents and a Westclox watch cost $18.

In 1980, a man’s casual shirt cost $14 and a 19-inch color TV cost $399.95