Spring break proved to be a valuable and unforgettable time for Huntington University student Sarah Wolfe who was on the TV show “The Price is Right.” Wolfe won a handful of prizes.
Junior Sarah Wolfe spent the break in Los Angeles, Calif., visiting her boyfriend and fellow HU student Tyson Cocks, a senior currently enrolled in the Los Angeles film study center (LAFSC) through HU for the semester.
Her mom, Diane Miller, also made the trip, and insisted that they attend a filming of the popular TV show, “The Price is Right.”
With tickets in hand, Miller was eager for the experience to begin. Wolfe, on the other hand, just wanted to catch some extra sleep when her alarm clock went off at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, March 14.
“She almost left me because I was still sleeping because it was so early,” Wolfe said.
Sporting tie-dye T-shirts that said, “We love you Drew from Kalamazoo,” they headed to the CBS studio.
They arrived at the studio at about 5:30 a.m. and waited in line outside the gate. Wolfe said there were about 15 people in line in front of them and it was a cold morning. As the day went on, however, the excitement grew.
“We were talking to people in line, having conversations,” Wolfe said, “asking them where they were from — just getting to know them.”
At 8 a.m., the people with priority tickets were allowed to enter the gate.
Wolfe and her mom became nervous and thought their chances of actually getting into the taping were slim — they’d heard that “only 10 people from general admission actually got in,” Wolfe said.
The wait and the early wake-up call were both worth it when the door man asked for their tickets. They immediately entered a waiting room where they had their pictures taken.
Realizing that she could be on national television, Wolfe decided to stop in the bathroom. With a few touch-ups to her T-shirt and a pig-tail makeover, she was all set to go.
Wolfe continued to chat and make friends as she sat in the audience, waiting for the filming to start.
“It was an awesome community,” Wolfe said. “No one knew each other, but we were all there for the same thing. We all wanted to be on The Price is Right. It was really cool to talk to others and hear their stories.”
Then, to her surprise, Wolfe heard her name called along with 13 others to begin the interview process to pre-pick those who would be on the show.
Wolfe was very nervous at that point, knowing that although she was one step closer to actually being on the show, this step would make or break her chance.
An employee of the show interviewed Wolfe, asked where she was from, what her name was and what her occupation was. The man then asked her, “So as a student, you don’t have much time to watch The Price is Right?”
Wolfe said she panicked, knowing it was true — she wasn’t a religious watcher of the show and in fact didn’t know much about it. But she put on a brave face and forged ahead with the interview.
The group was then released to go back to the waiting area, where Wolfe was reunited with her mom. As the wait continued, Wolfe spent time practicing bidding for different items on the show. Her mom jokingly got frustrated with her because she always bid $600, regardless of the item.
“I was doing awful. I was thinking, ‘If I get on the show, it is going to be embarrassing,’” she said.
They were then finally let onto the stage area. Wolfe said the stage area seated about 300 people and was not much bigger than Longaker Hall in the Merillat Centre for the Arts.
“The audience was given three rules,” Wolfe said. “Don’t tackle Drew, don’t close your eyes and when asking for help from the audience, don’t stare at them for 15 minutes.”
When the show started, the lively crowd cheered and yelled numbers, so it was almost impossible to hear anything Drew Carey, the host, said.
“Then all of a sudden my mom pushed me, yelling, ‘Your name!’” Wolfe said.
Wolfe was called as the second contestant. Thrilled, she gave her mom a huge hug and ran down the aisle, giving high-fives as she approached the front of the stage.
She joined three other contestants and was the first to bid on four camcorders. She looked back at her mom, who was holding up six fingers, telling her to bid $600.
“All of the sudden, the board with my name on it was in front of me, dinging and flashing,” she said.
She won the bid and made her way up to stand beside Carey to wait for the next challenge to begin.
She then played the “vault game,” a popular game on the show. She had to open a vault with three numbers — none of them could repeat and it couldn’t start with zero. Wolfe chose the numbers five, eight and zero, and to her surprise, the vault opened.
Wolfe said winning the prizes was nice, but the best part was meeting new people and experiencing the fun environment.
“Being on it was awesome — it was the biggest adrenaline rush I have ever had,” she said. “But being there from 5:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., getting to know people, their story, what they do — that was the best part. Everyone was very positive and happy to be there for each other.”
Student Activities Board hosted a viewing of the show in the Huntington Union Building yesterday after Ekklesia.