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Walsh Rector wins on TV game show

Amanda Gray | Thursday, April 28, 2011

Walsh Hall rector Annie Selak, decked out in a cupcake costume, managed to be selected from the audience as a contestant on the CBS game show “Let’s Make a Deal” during a January taping. Selak won a prize package valued at more than $6,000 in an episode that aired Wednesday.

“Let’s Make A Deal” is a game show hosted by Wayne Brady, who picks people out of the audience to participate in games for a variety of prize winnings.

“Winning is surreal,” Selak said. “I never thought I’d be on a game show. Seeing it on TV made it even more surreal.”

Selak’s mom urged her to attend the filming while she was away on Winter Break with her parents in Los Angeles, near where she grew up.

Audience members are encouraged to wear elaborate costumes, so Selak dressed herself in the cupcake costume she originally wore for Halloween on campus.

Selak said her assigned seating in the audience was ironic given her profession.

“The producers assign you your seat,” she said. “They placed me between a beer bottle and a beer pong cup, which I thought was an ironic spot for a rector.”

The selection process is held before the show films, Selak said. The producers ask the contestants a number of questions before determining the seating.

“They didn’t ask me many questions,” she said. “I didn’t think I would get selected. They asked my parents a lot of questions.”

Selak’s parents were also dressed in costume, her father as a golfer and her mother as Raggedy Ann.

“You line up outside the studio,” she said. “There’s this line of people at 10 a.m. in Hollywood in strange costumes.”

Selak was selected early in the show, and Brady had Selak pick between two prizes with the hint words ‘dinner’ and ‘limo.’ Selak picked the latter, winning a Beverly Hills shopping spree complete with limo, personal shopper, Chloe handbag and Christian Louboutin shoes. Selak opted for a cash prize over the limo and personal shopper.

“I’m very happy with the choice I made,” she said. “I tend to be a very practical person – I don’t like name brands. … It’s a fun treat, a fun surprise.”

Since the filming three months ago, Selak said she was required to keep silent about being on the show. After a press release was sent out earlier this week, she was allowed to confirm she was on the show but not if she had won anything.

“It’s been very difficult to keep quiet,” she said.

Selak said people stopped by her room in Walsh all day asking whether she won on the show, but they were left in suspense until the episode aired. A group of rectors watched it with Selak later in the day and Walsh Hall had an episode viewing as well.