There Once Was a Game Show All About Maine Where You Could Win a Sack of Potatoes
On any given day, you can put on a television and see game shows like "The Price is Right" and "Let's Make A Deal" airing, but for nearly a decade in the '80s, there was a game show on PBS that was completely specific to Vacationland.
It was called "So You Think You Know Maine," and featured contestants from children to elderly folks answering questions all about Maine in front of an enthusiastic studio audience.
According to the New York Times, the show was actually a massive success. drawing nearly 40,000 viewers weekly for episodes. It had the feel of those classic game shows mentioned above, but rather than competing for extravagant trips or high-end appliances, contestants competed for prizes like a Delorme atlas or sack of Maine-grown potatoes.
The Maine-themed game show actually served as a template for other states, including Texas and Alaska, to create their own state-themed game shows. Those shows never managed to compare to Maine's version, however. Most believe Maine's small size and population made the show so popular. Friends, neighbors, coworkers, and old classmates made up the contestants and the audience. You could root for everyone and anyone and it became a "talk of the town" kind of thing.
The final season of So You Think You Know Maine took place in 1989. At one point in time, PBS had the entire final season to stream for free on its website. Now, the So You Think You Know Maine episodes can be found on YouTube courtesy of the Maine Public channel.