Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes on the Price is Right? My friend Eliot from high school won $59,187 in cash and prizes on the show. I’m a pretty big geek and a TPIR fan, I decided to interview Eliot to find out his secrets to winning $26,000 on The Big Wheel, how get chosen as a Price is Right contestant, and how to win on the Showcase Showdown!
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – Tell us how you got onto the Price is Right.
Eliot, Price is Right Contestant – I’m an Operations Manager for a large company, and my General Manager came to me and said you need to have a team building event with your team…I asked what’s my budget for this thing. She said, “I don’t know… $5,000.” So I went back and said “Ok, I have an idea. Our budget is $5,000. We could go to a game show for FREE and then take the $5,000 and go have an extravagant dinner – like lobster, the whole bit. We can rent a stretch Humvee.” Everybody was on board. So we went. The funny thing is, I got picked to go up there! But, all those people you saw with me are my co-workers.
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – How did you get picked to be a Price is Right contestant? e.g. birthday, funky shirt, outgoing personality?
Eliot, Price is Right Contestant – About eight years before, I had a buddy who was on The Price is Right and I asked him “How did you get picked?” because they interview everybody in line. He said, “Oh, well, all I said was ‘Hey, my name is Juan and I’m ready to play!'” So, I said the exact same thing and they picked me.
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – Tell us more about the Price is Right contestant screening interview/screening process?
Eliot, Price is Right Contestant – They bring you in groups of like 20 to a certain part of the line and there are two production people or casting specialists or whatever. And, they say what’s your name and tell me about yourself. That’s it. So you have like 10 seconds for “My name is and blah blah blah”
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – How long does a Price is Right taping last? Does the show take all day?
Eliot, Price is Right Contestant – The show actually tapes pretty much in real-time. It was about as long as the TV show. They didn’t stop and go back or anything. It was pretty fluid.
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – Tell us about the games you played and what you won.
Eliot, Price is Right Contestant – I was one of the first people that they picked. We were all going crazy running down. I actually came out of my shoe. So I went running down there with one shoe on. I got up to the thing and I lost the first bid. I don’t even remember what it was. Then, the second thing came around and it was kitchen stuff from Hamilton Beach and I guess I guessed closest to the price so they called me up on stage, which is crazy because you never expect to be up on stage! So, I ran up on stage, I was with Drew Carey and my better half still gives me crap about this today because I don’t have any idea how much purses cost so I had to choose what the difference in price was between an ATV and Michael Kors purses. I had no idea Michael Kors purses were worth a lot of money, so I picked the ATV and I lost. I thought “Oh my God, I just got on The Price is Right and I blew it!” But, you still get to spin the wheel. Since I was the biggest loser because I didn’t win anything…I got to spin first…It starts lined up with a dollar. So, I remember thinking to myself, if I hit a dollar, I’ll remember exactly how hard I spun it. So, I spun it, and sure enough it hit a dollar! I freaked out. I was going totally crazy, flopping around on the ground and everything. When I went back to wait for the other people to spin, I thought “I could do this again because I totally remember how hard I spun it.” So, for hitting the dollar, I got $1000. Then I get to spin again and I did it exactly with the same strength I did the first time. I hit the dollar again, which came up to be $25,000 cash! I was totally freaking out. All my guys in the audience were going crazy! I won $26,000 cash.
When the showcase showdown came, the girl that I was on stage with… now I had the option to pass or take the prize… I passed it and she bid a lot of money. So, we were all pretty convinced that she overbid so when it came to me I underbid and, sure as sh** I won the whole thing. I won a cruise, I won a car, $6,000 in cash.. along with the $26,000 cash and all the appliances for the kitchen.
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – Do you keep the prizes, or can you opt to not take them?
Eliot, Price is Right Contestant – You have to take the prizes. But, like at the dealership, the dealer said “You want the car, or do you just want the cash?” So, he’ll “sell” you the cash and keep the car. But, we took the car. You don’t get your prizes right away. They take you back stage and you have to sign a bunch of stuff, give them your social security number and all that stuff for taxes. So, then we had the rest of the night to ourselves. We had that stretch Humvee. We all went out to eat. We had $5,000 to spend. It was pretty great. It was a really cool day. The best team building event ever.
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – Are the Price is Right prizes exactly as you’re seeing them? And, how are they “delivered” to you?
Eliot, Price is Right Contestant – It is. It’s exactly what you’re seeing. They just mail it to you. All my kitchen stuff just came in the mail. They mailed me a check for $26,000 cash. Then, the dealership called me and said your car’s ready. The car that I won was kind of small so I paid the difference in cash and upgraded to an SUV. And, no matter where you live, it would be a dealership near you.
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – What is the Price is Right set like? When we’re seeing it on TV, we’re seeing segments of it. Is it huge?
Eliot, Price is Right Contestant – No, it’s not that huge. It’s really cool. I remember when we all first walked in, we were commenting on how nostalgic it was because it’s the same set they’ve been using all these years. It almost looked kind of 70’s when you came in. And all those games are on rollers. They just roll them out.
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – When you’re in that studio, it’s really loud. Are the names displayed on a screen or something when contestants are asked to “Come on Down” so they know it’s them being called?
Eliot, Price is Right Contestant – It’s super loud. They hold up signs of the names. Exactly.
Since the episode aired, videos of Eliot and his slick moves at the wheel have gone viral and he has been featured on CNN, NBC News, and ABC News.
Thanks to Eliot, now I finally know what goes on behind the scenes of a Price is Right episode!