As the show's spokesperson explained, and every person with half a brain knows, the prizes, games, and script scenarios have nothing to do with the contestants, which are ultimately picked for participation through various guessing games.
Why did this rise to the level of a news story? I can't imagine that this was the first time, since it first aired in 1972, that the show gave away a prize that wasn't suited to the winner. Women win prizes more suited to men and vice versa. Older people win prizes more suited to younger, etcetera, etcetera. You give the stuff away, you sell it, you let it collect dust in your living room as a conversation piece about the time you were on a game show.
The lady in the wheelchair that won the treadmill was on Jimmy Kimmel, where he gave her a cruise. Another in a long line of extravagant gifts that celebrities and shows give to people that the media has built up as being slighted, or deserving due to their station in life.
If a 5-year old says 'apparently' a dozen or so times on television, Ellen will scoop him up and make him a regular correspondent on her show, jetting the kid and family around to exotic destinations, showering them with gifts. Yeah, because that is a great lesson in what
hard work dumb luck can get you.
I am all for helping our military, our youth and elderly, our poor, but this idea that every Joe that get their fifteen minutes of fame for some minor event in their lives should benefit with a windfall of gifts just feeds the entitlement mentality that is crippling our nation.