Last month, senior Tyler Salomon got in line at 9 a.m. to watch the filming of The Price is Right. Just a few hours later, he found himself winning an exercise bicycle, a collection of Kate Spade accessories, and a 3D television, in an episode that aired just last week.
Salomon, a journalism major, was spending his spring break in Los Angeles. His friend, senior visual and media arts major Nick Riebesehl, proposed that they get tickets to see The Price is Right.
“I had no indication that I actually would be chosen as a contestant,” Salomon said. “I went in there like, ‘I’m excited to see one of my favorite game shows live,’ and from there it just happened.”
According to Salomon, the producers briefly interviewed everyone in line to see if they would be a good fit for the show.
Salomon was selected, and he went to the stage to play two price-guessing games. He first had to determine the cost of the exercise bike, which he did correctly, winning the appliance. In his next challenge, he was presented the Kate Spade set and TV, and their individual prices. He then had to decide whether the prices on the items were correct, or if they should be swapped. Salomon said he guessed correctly that the prices should be swapped, winning those two prizes.
“When you’re in the moment, it’s a lot harder than you actually think,” Salomon said. “Your mind’s racing, the crowd’s cheering.”
Salomon made it far enough in the show to spin the trademark Big Wheel against two other contestants to go to the final round, called Showcase Showdown. The goal of spinning the wheel is to get as close to a dollar without going over. The wheel has increments of money on it from 5 cents to $1. All three contestants ended up spinning 95 cents, creating a three-way tie.
Salomon did not reach $1 in the tiebreaker, so he didn’t move on to the finale.
“One day, I would love to host a game show or even a television show.” Salomon said. “This is definitely a story I’ll have to tell for the rest of my life.”
Assistant News Editor David A. Bumpus, a friend of Salomon, did not contribute to this article.