do I have to pay taxes on my game show winnings?
The short answer is HEY YES. The government always wants your money, now. Just because the moolah comes from a game show doesn't mean squat to them. Pay up, sucker.
The linked story says that game shows will allow contestants to refuse merchandise prizes if they don't want the tax burden. I think that's generally true except for trip prizes, which shows insist you take. Something about hotels wanting the occupancy.
There's another way out. Canada doesn't tax winnings on Canadian game shows. So maybe you can fool the IRS by using the term "hoser" and pronouncing "about" in a funny way. (I really don't think this will work.)
Finally, you can give prizes away - at least up to a certain limit - to dodge taxes. But giving away prizes sort of defeats the whole purpose, no?