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 80's, 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 who ranged in age from children to elderly answering questions all about Maine in front of a rather 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 a 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 during the same time. Those shows never managed to compare to Maine's version however. Most believe Maine's small size and small population made the show so popular. Friends, neighbors, coworkers and old classmates made up the contestants and the audience. You could root for everyone.
The final season of So You Think You Know Maine took place in 1989. PBS has several episodes available to stream, including the series finale, for free right here.