The dating game contestants
Zonks are often demonstrated by the announcer, and legitimate prizes were modeled by the model (On the original series, Merrill would often help model the zonks).On rare occasions, a contestant would appear to get zonked, but the zonk would be a cover-up for a legitimate prize; for instance, the old washer and dryer having a pair of old jeans that had thousands of dollars in cash or a set of keys to a new car in one of the pockets.Audience members were picked at the host's whim as the show went along, and couples were often selected to play as "one" contestant.The "deals" were mini-games within the show that took several formats.While he was all charm and smiles on stage, he showed a more sinister side while in the green room with the other male contestants. They think that something is wrong with that girl: 'She played me.
Legitimate prizes ran the gamut of what was given away on game shows during the era (trips, fur coats, electronics, furniture, appliances, and cars).In the current Wayne Brady version, these are often referred on the CBS version as "quickie deals", and are conducted by the host, announcer, and model each.CBS will post information on the show's Twitter address (@letsmakeadeal) days before taping to encourage audience members to carry and win additional cash for carrying such items.Though usually considered joke prizes, contestants legally won the zonks.However, after the taping of the show, any trader who had been zonked would be offered a consolation prize instead of having to take home the actual zonk.
In fact, a disclaimer at the end of the credits of later 1970s episodes said, "Some traders accept reasonable duplicates of zonk prizes." On some episodes, the first contestant(s) offered an unknown prize kept it for much of the show, not trading it in until the Big Deal.