Points for Playing

Paul from Watertown, MA listens to Says You! On WGBH and inquired about the team that almost always comes in last:

Often the audience gets points. Has the audience ever won, or, if not, what’s the most they’ve ever got?

Often, when a question has stumped everyone one on stage, someone in the audience will know the answer and will earn the audience some or all of the ten points. This occasionally occurs more than once in a game: most recently in episode SY-2107 from Salt Lake City in which the audience racked up an impressive 23-point total.

Officially, the audience has never actually won the game, or even come in second, though there have been times during the course of a game when they’ve moved into a solid second place.

The band has occasionally been awarded points as well, as have the scorekeepers. In our twenty years there have also been a few audience-participation rounds (e.g., the Biofictionary round in SY-802) in which gift certificates were awarded to specific audience members. And in the Listeners’ Challenge rounds (e.g., SY-403), correspondents earned as many as 30 points.

The structure of the game is such that the maximum score across both teams is generally 200 points, while the maximum a single team can amass is 110 points. Very infrequently, a game will come close to one or the other of these maxima.

However, these numbers don’t take into account the possibility of bonus points. The highest score ever recorded is from SY-2108 (our 500th episode), which Francine’s team won with a total of 1,090 points. The production crew briefly considered whether to run out and buy a second two-digit score flipper.


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