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HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — What started as a family vacation and birthday celebration ended with a Smithfield woman winning the showcase on the popular game show, “The Price is Right.”
Jessica Dana said her father really wanted to be in the audience of “The Price is Right” for his 60th birthday. She and several of her sisters decided to apply for tickets and accompanied her father to Hollywood on Feb. 23. The mother of four said each audience member is interviewed by producers, but she didn’t think she’d be chosen as a contestant.
“That’s how they decide if you get picked is by your interview,” Dana said. “Basically from what I could research and find, (the producers) were just looking for something that caught their attention. … And then if you have energy, but not too much energy — things like that.”
Dana said she was shocked when she was selected as a contestant.
“We all of course wanted someone from our group to get on,” Dana said. “But I had no idea that it would be me. … They tell you at the beginning of the show if you lose energy that you won’t get picked even if they liked you during your interview. So we had to keep up this amount of energy and so I was quite exhausted by the time it was time for me to go up on stage.”
Dana was the eighth of nine contestants to get called to compete on the contestants' row game, and she had the closest bid on a navigation system and was called onto the stage. Then, she played the dice game, “Let ’Em Roll,” in an attempt to win a car, but she chose to take $5,000 cash. She said after the show finished, host Drew Carey commended her choice.
“He told me that it was a good choice to take the cash instead of the car during my game because he’s like, ‘You didn’t roll any cars the first roll so the chances of you getting that car would have been slim. So it was smart to take the cash,’ ” Dana said. “He’s like, ‘I can’t even hint anything of what my choice would be when you are playing the game.’ ”
Dana went on to get the highest number after spinning the wheel so she became a showcase contestant. She said her showcase was worth $28,592 and she bid $28,000, making her the grand winner. As a result, Dana won a trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, a 55-inch high definition, 3-D TV and a 2015 Mazda 3.
“I was just excited to even be up there,” she said. “I really didn’t care what happened as far as winning or losing or anything. It was just a fun experience. And then it was even better that I ended up winning. … You see that happen to other people, but you never think it’s going to happen to you.”
The episode aired April 30, and Dana held a viewing party in her Smithfield home for her family and friends. She said she had to wait for the episode to air before she receives her prizes.
Due to the amount of taxes applied to the winnings, Dana said she is glad she won the $5,000.
“You have to pay the California state income taxes before you can claim anything,” she said. “Luckily for me, I won the $5,000 in cash, which will cover that income tax. And then when the car comes here, I have to pay the sales tax on it as well in the state of Utah. … I know a lot of people have to walk away from their prizes because the taxes can get expensive.”
Dana said she plans to take her trip to Jackson Hole sometime this summer.
Remember that time you were on The #PriceIsRight @KTron_18 & @JNDana, oh wait...it's happening RIGHT NOW! — The Price Is Right (@PriceIsRight) April 30, 2015