Saturday, June 13, 2009

Bowling For Dollars... Pittsburgh Style

Here's a taste of the Pittsburgh version of the venerable "Bowling for Dollars". The format was devised by Bert Claster, who specialized in creating formats then selling the production rights locally. Besides "BFD" Claster also marketed "Romper Room" in this manner.

Although people in my area would remember the New York "Bowling For Dollars" variously hosted by Bob Murphy and Larry Kenney, here is Pittsburgh handled by the late Nick Perry. Mr. Perry is notorious for the 1980 Pennsylvania Lottery scandal, in which he managed to rig a Numbers drawing by loading up some of the ping pong balls with paint so they wouldn't bounce as high in the air-powered mixing devices. By buying possible tickets with more limited outcomes (only the "4" and "6" balls were unpainted), Perry was able to clean up when one of those numbers - 666 - was drawn. Lottery officials noted unusual betting on that and other numbers, and an investigation resulted in a grand jury bringing charges against Perry. He did spend a couple of years of a seven-year prison term before being paroled. He died in 2003.


Callie said...

Hey, Dave. Wasn't there a movie with John Travolta and Lisa Kudrow called 'Numbers' based on that story? IIRC, it must've been based on actual fact/true story.

Dave Mackey said...

It's been acknowledged that "Lucky Numbers" was inspired by the Nick Perry incident. I saw that movie and thought it was very funny, and Lisa Kudrow is just so wonderful in it.