Gunning for game show fame: My quest for a shot on ‘The Price is Right’

Who wouldn’t want to be on “The Price is Right”? To just be a regular person guessing the prices of regular stuff. Win outrageous prizes in exchange for everyday consumer knowledge. It could be anyone. So why not me?

I first had that thought back in 2004. I was a college kid on a California summer vacation, with nothing better to do than camp out overnight on a busy Hollywood sidewalk outside a television studio, gunning for my shot at game show fame. Oh yes, I was going to win a new car, and I had my angle: cute co-ed. I had the University of Texas hooded sweatshirt, the braided pigtails, and the peppy go-team attitude producers dream about. They love that stuff, right? I made it as far as the studio audience. Dozens of names were called to “come on down’ as the afternoon sped past — but not mine. Eight years later, I got another shot. On a recent afternoon, around 500 people showed up at the Delaware Park Casino in Wilmington to audition for their chance to be the next contestant on the famed game show. I was among them — after all, what better place to try your luck at super-slim odds than in a casino?  This time, I’d need a better angle. So, naturally, I pulled out my smartphone and Googled “what to say in a price is right audition.” No help there. I called my mom. Voicemail. I called my fiancé. Nothing.  So I had a couple beers in the name of creative lubrication and hit the line to sniff out the competition. I first met Anna Kelley of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  “In September I’m celebrating 15 years of [being a] cancer survivor,” Kelley told me. “I don’t have a long bucket list, but one thing is that I really, really want to be on the Price is Right.” Cancer survival. Not bad, not bad. Next I met Steven Jennings of Oxford, Pennsylvania. “I donated a kidney to someone I don’t really know,” Jennings told me. “I’m just recovering from that and I’m hoping I can raise up enough energy without hurting myself today.” That’s right: organ donor.

Safe to say I won’t win in the angle department. So, new strategy. I decided: I will yell louder than all of them. 

Which I did. There’s audio and video evidence at the top of this article to prove it. Just brace yourself for over-the-top enthusiasm and embarrassing screeching noises.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Now that the audition is over, it’s a waiting game. The contest rules note the show producers have until next July to choose someone.If not this time, maybe the third time’s the charm?Better start working on a new angle.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal