Are you looking for radio game ideas? We've gathered a list of 21 exciting radio games. Stations use the games to keep their listeners entertained.
Now —don't just grab these ideas off-the-rack. We advise taking any idea you find interesting and adding new elements to it.
Let’s get going:
Why should you start playing radio games with callers?
Radio games make the show exciting. Listeners tend to root for the caller or go against them. They can even participate in the gameplay in their offices, cars, or homes.
Listeners also love user-generated content and dynamic shows with different elements.
1) Cash Register on Country Hits Radio
Our first example comes from the Cash Register on Country Hits Radio. During the Breakfast show, they announce the prize amount. Listeners write it down or make a mental note because they must state the prize amount if they are selected to participate.
After 3 pm, the hosts call selected players. There is a twist. The player must answer the phone in 5 rings. According to the rules, if no one picks up or misses the 5 rings, they don’t call other contestants for the day.
The chosen player must name the prize to win. After the prize is not claimed, it keeps growing.
There are many adaptations of the Cash Register. For instance, in the Marty Sheargold Show on 105.1 Triple M, the player must answer the phone within four rings, not more, not less.
2) Matching 9’s - Kolla Dollar Bill
The Kola Dolla Bill runs Kolla FM. Players must have a one-dollar bill with three 9’s in the serial number. The 9’s don’t need to be in exact order.
When the host opens the call lines, they select the 19th caller who has to confirm that they have the bill. Later, they must present it at the radio studio and claim the $100 prize money.
We found a couple of stations running the same radio game. So, add another twist to make yours more enjoyable.
3) Kola Radio Roulette
For this radio game also on Kola Radio, listeners first play for a spot on the weekly roulette game. If the player qualifies for the second round, they receive a random number. On Friday, the roulette wheel at the Local casino is spun. If the number hits a listener’s assigned number, they get the chance to win up to $3,000.
See it in action: https://www.kolafm.com/kola-radio-roulette/
4) Confess Your Biggest Secrets
Leading up to Women's Day, the Breakfast Show with Jordan & Perri and Tyler asked listeners to confess their biggest secrets for the chance to win €2000. Submissions first took place online, and the best stories made it on-air.
To win, the participant had to tell their untold secrets on-air as a test of guts. The show asked players not to leave their names or addresses. Thortful.com sponsored the competition, and winners also received a gift card with the confession printed.
5) Money Wheel
Money Wheel is a popular radio game. Our example comes from Marty Sheargold on Triple M. He has taken his boss’s wallet and wants to splash some cash. Each time the game is played at 10, 12, or 2 p.m listeners can win up to $1000. So what is the twist? For the Marty Sheargold show, listeners must answer a question about the previous show. For instance, at 10 p.m., the question comes from the breakfast show. Marty has to spin the money wheel each time to determine the prize amount. It can range from $1 to $1000.
See it in action: https://www.triplem.com.au/melbourne/win/win-marty-s-money-170478
6) The Impossible Question
Many radio stations have also attempted this idea. And our example comes from the Dave and Cheryl radio show on Chatham-Kent’s Country Radio. The impossible question is based on global surveys. Examples include:
“A Survey Found That 20% Of Office Workers Have One Of THESE In Their Desk.”
Care to guess the answer? It was: A ToothBrush.
See it in action: https://country929.com/contests/2018/08/impossible-question/
We also liked how questions were presented on the website.
Another variant we found was on Mix Maine. It's basically the same format of using survey-based questions like:
Q: 17% of parents say they argue with their kids over this?
Answer: Covering their cough.
See it in action: http://mixmaine.com/the-not-so-impossible-question/
7) Local Business Radio Contests
We also liked this radio game idea from Chatham-Kent’s Country. They partnered with local businesses to support them through the COVID-19 crisis. Participating businesses had to hang signs in front of their shops, encouraging people to shop local. Contestants had to take selfies in front of the businesses and submit the photos through the station’s entry form.
See it in action: https://country929.com/contests/2020/06/shop-local-contest/
8) The World's Easiest Quiz
Currently featured on the Will & Woody’s show, listeners can be $500 richer by answering simple questions like What is the opposite of Left? Of course, it’s Right.
What is the twist? Well, there is a time limit of 30 seconds to answer 10 easy questions. The player will be under pressure and easily mess up.
See the world’s easiest quiz here: https://country929.com/contests/2020/06/shop-local-contest/
9) Celebrity PopMaster - Pop Quizzes
Pop quizzes are nothing new! We like the PopMaster, a long-running quiz show on Radio 2. It's a big part of their mid-morning show by Ken Bruce, and questions revolve around popular music.
Listeners love the segment because they play along, pitting their answers against live contestants. There is a PopMaster ScoreCard that fans can download and print.
10) Muck That Mum Made - Jonesy & Amanda’s
This fun radio game from the Jonesy & Amanda show on WSFM asks listeners to share the most bizarre things mom made. The wildest recipes win.
See it in action: https://www.wsfm.com.au/competition/jonesy-amandas-muck-that-mum-made/
11) Jonesy & Amanda’s Magnificent SevenJones
Another game from the duo is the Magnificent SevenJones. The participant has to answer seven questions. But there's always a twist! The caller must answer all seven questions correctly. But if they get one question wrong, another player takes their place. Ultimately, the person that answers the 7th question wins the prize.
See it in action: https://www.wsfm.com.au/competition/jonesy-amandas-magnificent-seven-2/
12) Guess the Missing Word
This radio game idea is from Nova FM, and they offer an outstanding sum of money for anyone that can guess the missing word in a sentence stated by a celebrity. They are currently doing Rita Ora’s missing word but have done Dua Lipa, Jason Derulo, and Pink.
Fans can walk away with up to $50,000.
See it in action: https://www.novafm.com.au/win/novas-50000-missing-word-with-rita-ora/
Did we also mention that Aussie stations have creative radio games?
13) The Whisper Challenge
The Whisper Challenge is a fun game that you can play with your studio guests. Okay, there are two players. The first player wears headphones with the volume turned up. The second player whispers a word, and the other player must guess what they're saying.
WKDQ played the Whisper Challenge when they had Stacey Godbold in the studio. Watch it here:
14) Complete the Lyrics
This is the easiest game to play with live callers. Play a random song and cut it mid-sentence. Let the caller complete the lyrics. For a general idea, check out the popular TV show: Beat Shazam.
15) Name X things in X seconds
You can pull off this radio game idea with your eyes closed. Tell callers to list 5 or 10 things that begin with the letter “L” or any other alphabet letter. For added intensity, you should have a countdown timer.
16) Celebrity Line Up
The simple radio idea is to have a montage of celebrity voices. Your celebs may recite one phrase or sentence. Listeners must name all the celebrities in the audio line-up.
It’s good to offer a good prize sum. Each time a player names their lineup, you can reveal how many celebrities they got right. By doing this, you build up anticipation. It can be a long-running segment that lasts for several days or weeks.
17) Hit Bit (Name the song)
This radio game example comes from Classic Hits 94-105 FM. The station plays just one single bit of a Classic Hits song. Listeners have to guess the song’s name. We like that they publish the wrong guesses. And they feature the song’s sample on their website, so players can listen to it any time.
See it in action: https://www.classichits.ie/competitions/thehitbit/
18) Guess the mystery phone number - Spin's €5K Phone Call
The radio game runs on the Graham and Nathan Show on Spin 1038. Callers must guess the mystery phone number digit-by-digit. Once the caller has all the 10 numbers correctly, the phone rings, and they win €5,000.
Well, 10-digits seems like a lot. Callers receive €200 each time they get a single digit in the correct order. The collect guesses are published, giving other players a head start.
See in action: https://www.spin1038.com/shows/fully-charged-graham-nathan-9710
You can listen to some Spin 1038 archives. The game show started on March 1st, 2020.
19) Secret Sound Jackpot - Kiss 108
Think callers can recognize everyday songs? Played on Kiss108, the host plays the secret sound at various intervals throughout the day. They tap on the 25th caller to participate. The exciting part: the prize keeps growing following incorrect guesses until someone clinches the top prize. Currently, the jackpot is at $16,924. Listeners can see all the wrong guesses on their website.
See it action: https://kiss108.iheart.com/sound/
20) You gotta get it wrong
Another hit game from the Graham and Nathan Show requires callers to provide wrong answers to questions. There is a time limit of 1 minute, and within this time span, listeners must provide as many wrong answers as possible.
The buzzer goes off if the participant doesn’t answer the question in several seconds. In the latest episode, one question was: What is the main ingredient in mushroom soup? The player answered “Pepper,” which was correct. There is a leaderboard, and at the end of the broadcast week, the caller with the highest score walks away with the prize.
21) The Time Game on the Hit Network
Featured on the Carrie & Tommy on the Hit Network, players must stop the clock at exactly 5:00 seconds. If no one manages to hit the 5 seconds mark, the jackpot amount increases.
See it in action: https://www.hit.com.au/shows/carrie-tommy
Got more radio game show ideas? Put it in the comments below and help out your mates.