O’FALLON – On Wednesday, May 25, 2016, O’Fallon native Carolyn Joseph was not only spotted in the crowd on CBS’s The Price is Right, but she was also one of the contestants chosen to participate in the gameshow.
Joseph is the great granddaughter of the late Oliver C. Joseph, founder of Belleville’s Oliver C. Joseph, Inc. – the oldest Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealer in the world. Currently, she attends the University of Tennessee in Knoxville but has been in Florida, working at the Disney World Resort for the past 18 months, studying Supply Chain Management and Marketing.
Back in February, Joseph went to California with three of her friends – Savannah, Kelsey, and Ashlynn – to go to Disneyland and visit her sister, Whitney, when she received priority tickets to The Price is Right.
“The show was taped on February 24, 2016,” Joseph said when sharing her experience. “It took three months for it to air on May 25. I had to stay tight lipped because I wanted it to be a complete surprise for everyone.”
After arriving to the CBS lot in Burbank at 7 a.m., she and her friends waited in line for a while before they were allowed inside the studio.
“When they let us in,” she explained, “we signed documents, and they took green screen pictures of us with the wheel. Then the producers took us in groups of about 20 and interviewed all of us.”
She recalled the producers asking for her name, her hometown, and her job, and when she described working at Disney as a Fairy Godmother in Training, transforming little girls into princesses by doing their hair and makeup and dressing them up, the producers were intrigued.
“They joked that since I came from Florida, they hoped my prize wouldn’t be a trip to Disney,” Joseph laughed as she continued detailing the off-screen experience. “Next, they took our cell phones and sat us down [to watch] old The Price is Right episodes for two hours before [going] to the audience. While we were sitting, the producers watched us and sort of evaluated our personalities to see how friendly we were with other people.”
While describing the rest of her off-screen experience, Joseph mentioned how she and the other contestants were to sit in the second row behind “Bidders Row” and were instructed on what to do and where to go if they were selected. Once the gameshow started, the real fun began.
“I was thinking there was no way I was going to get called up on stage because I was watching the producers before the show started, and they were walking on stage, looking at us. They didn’t even glance in my direction. I thought they were just setting up camera angles to get the contestants, but as soon as the music started, I was the first contestant called down! I couldn’t believe it when I read my name. I was like, ‘That’s me! Oh my goodness, what do I do?!” So I had to climb out of my row and over people to get up to the Bidders Row.”
The first prize Joseph had to bid on was a fold-up bike, but she her bid was too high.
“I had no idea how to price things,” Joseph continued, “and I started freaking out internally because I was thinking I’d spend the whole show on Bidders Row and how nerve wracking that hour was going to be!”
However, her doubts disappeared when she made the closest bid of the four contestants on Bidders Row in the second round of the first half, guessing $501 on a $550 valued Samsung tablet with a smart cover.
When asked about how she felt when the producers called her name and asked her to come onto the stage, she said, “I about died! I ran up on stage [after almost going up the wrong way] and wanted to jump and hug Drew Carey, but the producers told us not to because he had an incident with a guest a few months ago and had to wear a sling on his shoulder. When I ran up on stage, I was running so fast, I ran right past Drew and had to turn around again! So I hugged and kissed him… because why would I not seize the opportunity to kiss Drew?!” Joseph laughed again and then added, “He hugged me back and was really sweet.”
Once the producers finished setting up her game, the cameras were back on, and the prize she was playing for, ironically, was a car. “My friends and I started cracking up because of the obvious,” she smirked.
In Joseph’s game, there were five prices listed for the car, and she had to knock off the incorrect prices, one by one, leaving the correct price for last. Each time she guessed the incorrect prices correctly the price flipped over and revealed a dollar amount that she could walk away with at any time and forfeit the car.
“I flipped over three of the incorrect prices, racking up $6,000 take-home cash. The last two choices were around $18K and $19K. I was too scared, and I didn’t really need a car, so I ended the game and took home the $6,000.”
After another contestant played the game, Joseph and the other two participants spun the Wheel. For those who are not familiar with The Price is Right, towards the end of the first and second major rounds of the gameshow, each contestant gets to spin the Wheel, and whomever is closest to $1.00 without going over gets into the showcase. Joseph tied with another contestant so they both spun again, and she won the higher amount of the two.
“It was complete luck, and once again, I was completely shocked,” Joseph grinned. “Then, we sat in the audience again, waiting for the second half of the show. The entire time I was waiting, I was freaking out over how to price my showcase. Finally, it was time for the showcase, and I was up against one other contestant. When I put in my bid for my showcase, and the answers were revealed, the numbers were so close that everyone thought I had won at first; the other contestant pointed to me, and Drew looked confused. But, alas, I didn’t win. But I only lost by a few hundred dollars. My prize would have been a trip to Bali and to Texas, and a complete ‘glamping’ set.”
Though Joseph did not win the showcase, she was allowed to take home the tablet and the $6,000 she had won from her game.
“Going on the show was so much fun and so amazing,” said Jospeh. “It was complete luck that I was able to get so far.”