These are the big winners from Sale of the Century.

United StatesEdit

Big Winners during the 80s shopping eraEdit

NBC DaytimeEdit

  • Mort Kamins: Was the very first lot winner in either version, but the only contestant to win the $95,000 Lot in 1983. He later went on to win the very first Tournament of Champions, winning a grand total of $249,982.
  • Richard Heft: Won an $82,000 Cash Jackpot in July 1983.
  • Barbara Philips: Won $151,689 in August 1983. She became the first contestant to win over $150,000 on a daytime network show. On her final show, Phillips needed $116 to win all the prizes, plus a $68,000 cash jackpot, and she won everything in dramatic fashion, needing to answer the final three $5 questions correctly, thus making her the only player to win all the prizes and the cash jackpot, becoming only the second contestant to win the Lot. She was also the last one in the network version to win the Lot, as all the other big network winners took the cash jackpot and left.
  • Kathy Riley: In the NBC daytime version in January 1984 she stopped and took a $78,000 cash jackpot. She won it in sort of an anti-climatic manner. Kathy was $15 ahead of Bob, one of her opponents, as the game was going to the final three questions. So Bob needed to answer all three questions to tie the game, but Roger answered the first and Bob missed the second; Jim threw away the last and declared Kathy the winner. Kathy, of course, bought the $78,000 cash jackpot and left the show.
  • David Rogers: In April 1984, he won $122,084, including a $109,000 cash jackpot, the highest ever won on the network version of the show (his big win coming just two weeks after a previous champion, Dawn McKellar, tried for a $99,000 jackpot, but lost the game by just $2). Rogers was among the first big winners since the incorporation of the speed round, and later appeared on Jeopardy! in 1987 (under the name David Nagy).
  • Bill Baxter: In May 1984, he took home a $70,000 cash jackpot in somewhat dramatic fashion and left with total winnings of $85,256. Baxter had a total of $659 in his account the day of his big win, and would've needed to come back the next day and win with at least $101 to get everything on the stage, which totaled $142,855.
  • Ian Barondess: Won a $58,000 cash jackpot in May 1984. He later appeared on Jeopardy! in 1986.
  • Stephanie Holmquist: Stephanie first appeared on the show in June 1984. She purchased a cash jackpot of $74,000 with her bank account on the show, turning down the opportunity to go for the lot. Her cash and prize total was $83,337. Stephanie had $723 when she bought the cash jackpot, and she would have needed at least $37 or more on the next show to win everything on the stage, which totaled $147,095. In 1985, she appeared again, this time in the Tournament of Champions, where she won a Porsche and $35,000 cash. Her total combined winnings were $152,897, which was the highest ever in daytime at that time, until her record was overtaken by Tom O'Brien 2 years later.
  • Susan Wolfe: Won $69,798 in Summer 1984, including a $61,000 Cash Jackpot.
  • Bill Fogel: In late 1984, Bill purchased a $61,000 cash jackpot, but not before winning the game with $145, setting an all-time main game record. He left with $66,459. Bill was the last big-money winner of the NBC shopping era and had a total of $721 in his account the day of his big win; a win of just $39 or more would have to win everything on the stage, which totaled $131,761.

Nighttime SyndicationEdit

  • John Goss: Was the first contestant on the syndicated version to win the entire lot - a grand total of $156,339, including a $72,000 cash jackpot and over $8,000 cash accumulated during his reign. In his exciting final game, Goss had $655 in his bank account, needing at least $95 to win everything on the stage, and he won the game with exactly $95. it was revealed after his big win that John was between jobs at the time, making the fact he continued to take risks that much more remarkable.
  • Helaine Lowy: Another syndicated contestant, she won $142,974 in 1985 including a $64,000 jackpot. On her final show, Lowy had $703 in her bank account, needing at least $47 to win everything on the stage.
  • Alice Conkright: The third syndicated Lot winner. She won $141,406 (including a $77,000 jackpot) in 1985, a feat accomplished in only six shows (the shortest amount of time it took anyone on the American version to do so) and won every single show with over $100, including a record $145 (tying Bill Fogel's record) win during one of her games. On her first show, she defeated Michael Friedman, who passed on all the prizes on the stage and needed $101 more to win the $72,000 cash jackpot. In her final show, Conkright had $660 in her bank account, needing at least $90 for everything on the stage. Winning her final game easily with $105 to her opponents who finished with $20 & $25 respectively.
    • In addition to her adeptness at answering questions she refused to buy any of the Instant Bargains she had a chance to take despite the cajoling of host Jim Perry, even when she had seemingly insurmountable leads (which kept her scores relatively high). Jim remarked on her final show she had turned down a total of $11,000 in cash offers along with the instant bargain prizes.
  • Tim Holleran: The biggest winner in American "Sale" history (notwithstanding tournaments). He won $166,875 in 1985 on the syndicated version, including a $90,000 cash jackpot (the second-biggest American cash jackpot in history - second only to David Rogers - and the biggest jackpot in the syndicated version). In his final show, Holleran had $707 in his bank account, needing at least $43 for everything on the stage. Two years later, Holleran competed in the International Sale Tournament of Champions, and was the United States representative in the finals. He finished second place to Cary Young of Australia, but won additional money during the tournament, giving him a final total of $183,373. NOTE: A young Kevin Nealon appeared on stage to congratulate Tim as do many others.

Big Winners during the Winner's Board eraEdit

NBC DaytimeEdit

  • Jeff Hewitt: One of the first to clear the Winner's Board in late 1984, Jeff declined to go for the $50,000 bonus, leaving with $72,794.
  • Margerite Newhouse: Won over $65,000 in late 1984, including winning a new Mercedes-Benz in dramatic fashion during her next-to last game with two prizes and four numbers left on the Winner's Board. Newhouse declined to go for the $50,000 bonus.
    • During the debut of the Winner's Board format, she lost due to an error (Debbie Morris, the last winner of the previous bonus, won that day), so she was brought back a few weeks later.
  • Tim O'Rourke: Tim won $62,843 in January 1985, declining to go for the $50,000 bonus.
  • Cindy Barr: Won $111,590 in 1985; her final-day score was $115, and her 10th-day prize was a white-iron and brass-accented bed. During her congratulatory celebration, Barr announced that a portion of their winning was going to various charities to feed children in Africa.
  • Mark DeCarlo: His final game (April 1985) came down to a climactic tiebreaker. His opponent buzzed in early and answered incorrectly, which by default netted him the win and the $50,000 bonus, for a grand total of $115,257. He was the first contestant to win the $50,000 bonus.
  • Jeff Colbern: Won $123,753 in April 1985, including an Oldsmobile Toronado Brougham 2-door coupe (won on his 10th day).
  • Dave Goodman: Won $64,045 in October 1985, opting to retire undefeated after winning $10,000 on his 10th day.
  • Judy Cahill: In January 1986, she won $89,780; her 10th day prize was a Persian rug. Deciding she (and her husband) could do a lot of good with what had been won, she chose to leave the show.
  • Richard White: An attorney who won over $120,000 in May 1986, including $70,000 cash. His wife Rani won over $140,000 in the Winner's Big Money game era in April 1988, becoming the only person to win the $50,000 bonus there.
  • Jody Spreckles: Won $107,462 in August 1986. She won her final game by $10. She had earlier lost her 10th game, but due to an error that cost her that game, she was invited back, reclaimed her championship and went on to win everything.
  • Diane Cross: In January 1987, she was a big winner during the final year of the Winner's Board era, and was invited back for the final Tournament of Champions in 1988 and was that year's biggest tournament winner, having won a Mercedes-Benz worth over $30,000, plus other cash and prizes previously, including over $80,000 in cash and prizes during her run in the Winter of 1987. Among the prizes she won in 1987 included a $21,000+ Ferrari Daytona Spyder, a $2,000+ trip to London, England, and an unusual trip to an underwater hotel in Key Largo worth about $4,000. She won other prizes during the Tournament of Champions in 1988 along with the Mercedes-Benz, giving her a combined daytime total of $146,995.
  • Andy Ross: Won $81,900 in early 1987 (known to have been during the run of Bill Rafferty's Blockbusters), declining to go for the $50,000 bonus.
  • Linda Credit: Won $140,457 in June 1987, including a $14,000 Instant Cash jackpot. She then played in the 1988 Tournament of Champions and won another $5,700, for a combined daytime total of $146,157. One of the last big winners during the Winner's Board era.
  • Tom O'Brien: The last big winner of the Winner's Board era, Tom won a total of $152,847 in his first eleven games. He was brought back for the final Tournament of Champions in 1988 and added another $20,217 to his winnings, giving him a combined daytime total of $173,064 (the biggest combined daytime amount accumulated at that time).

Nighttime SyndicationEdit

  • Curtis Warren: One of two Winners Board lot winners on the syndicated show. In January 1986, he left with $136,288, including $69,600 in cash; his Winner's Board take was $56,241, including a Nissan 300ZX. He would later go on to win $1.41 million on Greed in 2000, which at the time was the all-time winnings record (has since been broken 4 times, most recently by Brad Rutter). He also won $700 on Win Ben Stein's Money after he failed to beat Ben in the Best of 10 Test of Knowledge.
  • Lisa Muñoz: Another big syndicated winner, taking home $122,551.

Big Winners during the Winner's Big Money Game eraEdit

  • Rani White: Won $140,011 in the spring of 1988. She was the only contestant to win the $50,000 top prize.
  • Phil Cambry: Won $91,323 on Trick or Treat Week in 1988. He won his final game, but missed the $50,000 bonus.
  • Darrell Garrison: Won $79,348 during the final weeks of the NBC series.


Top 10 Grand Champions (Original)Edit

Rank Name Amount Won Year or Date
1 Robert Kusmierski $676,790 1 June 1992
2 Kate Buckingham $471,640 15 October 1990
3 Simon Fallon $434,065 21 February 2001
4 Sandra Oxley $421,080 1997
5 Tom Beck $420,573 31 May 2000
6 Richard Hitesman $382,341 1993
7 David Poltorak $376,104 12 November 1986
8 Peter McMillan $372,538
9 Cameron Burge $360,844 1 August 1995
10 Andrew Yeend $357,889 1999

Other notable wins include:

  • Vincent Smith of Sale, Victoria, the first champion to win the lot (before the cash jackpot) with $73,099. In 1985, he would author The Great Australian Trivia Quiz Book.
  • Cary Young, who won $78,606 in 1982 and went on to win the 1987 World Championship among several other tournaments.[1]
  • Hayward Mayberley, who won $343,536 in cash and prizes (including a $206,000 cash jackpot) in 1983.[2] (This was acknowledged in the 1984 Guinness Book of Records Australian Edition as the biggest Australian game show prize total won on a game show.)
  • Brett Ednie, who won $338,878 in cash and prizes (including a $204,000 cash jackpot) in October 1985 - at that time, the second-highest total (and also the second time the cash jackpot exceeded $200,000) achieved on the show.
  • Louise Williams, who won $354,117 in 2001

Grand Champions (Temptation)Edit

Record-breaking champions which won since the end of Temptation:

  • Brigid O'Connor (Episode 18, 22 June 2005, $663,738)
  • Stephen Hall (Episode 63, 24 August 2005, $672,357)
    • In 2013, Stephen created a blog website, How To Win Game Shows - later releasing a digital book under the same title - offering tips and tricks to winning big on game shows
  • Rob O'Neill (Episode 75, 9 September 2005, $701,241)
  • Yolanda Stopar (8 March 2006, $932,577)
    • Yolanda was the first grand champion under the second format, successfully adding $350,000 to her base cash jackpot by her seventh night and winning double the jackpot on her final night.
    • Yolanda was subsequently the biggest winner in combined history of Sale of the Century and Temptation; she also set a record score of $135 on two separate occasions, the first of which was also a record $100 margin of victory over her opponents)
  • Tracey Korsten (2 November 2006, $857,655)
  • Blair Martin (11 June 2007, $603,002)
  • Sunil Badami (22 August 2007, $638,068)


  1. Sale of the Century 1982 advert
  2. [1]