Saint Mary’s senior wins “The Price is Right”
Martha Reilly | Friday, April 21, 2017
Saint Mary’s senior Alyssa Mazurek had good fortune over spring break when “The Price is Right” host Drew Carey asked her to “come on down” during a March 15 taping of the show.
Mazurek said she, her boyfriend and his friend traveled to the “The Price is Right” studio in Los Angeles with no expectations of being selected to participate.
“We thought we would just go into the city and get to watch the show,” Mazurek said. “How often do you get to go on a TV set? We didn’t think any of us would actually get up there, because why would we?”
All audience members were interviewed upon arrival, according to Mazurek.
“It can be anywhere from five seconds to a minute, depending on how bubbly and personable you are,” she said.
Before taking their seats, everyone participated in a dance party, which the producers watched to evaluate individuals’ varying levels of interest, Mazurek said.
“I was just having a good time at that point,” she said. “Then we were seated in the third row, smack dab in the center. … We were number 200 or so out of 300 people in the studio, so we thought ‘Oh, we’re going to be in the back.’ But then they pulled us out of line and said ‘You guys are going to go to this spot.’”
Mazurek said she and three other contestants were selected when the taping began.
“We have to give our initial bets on the first prize that comes down,” she said. “It was two video cameras. I’m not aware of prices, and I was still totally in shock at that point.”
She said her bet on the video cameras earned her the first spot on stage, where she was asked whether a trip to Seattle or a trip to Chicago was more expensive. Though Mazurek answered this question incorrectly, she still had the chance to prove herself by spinning the wheel, she said.
“I got 85 right off the bat,” she said. “The next two people went, and they both went over, so then by default I got to go to the final portion.”
Mazurek said she waited in the audience for the second half of the show, during which contestants were narrowed down to determine who would challenge her in the final segment.
“I appreciated that because I could mellow down and actually process what was happening,” she said.
Her opponent, David, bid on the first showcase, so Mazurek had to estimate the cost of the second, which included a six-night trip to Germany for two and a Ford Fiesta, she said. She said she could still see her boyfriend and friend in the audience, so she relied on their opinions when formulating her answer.
“One of them said $27,000 and one said $26,000, so I just cut it in the middle and said $26,500,” Mazurek said. “Drew Carey read David’s number first, and he went over, so all I had to do was be under … and I won. The actual price was $26,767.”
Mazurek said she was unsure how to react to her victory since she was in such shock.
“I had no idea whether to shake [Drew Carey’s] hand or hug him,” she said. “They tell you to run over toward the prize, because the car was on the stage.”
The new car and trip to Germany are the highlights of an overwhelming and unexpected experience, she said.
“I’m about to graduate college, and there’s no way I could afford a brand new car,” she said.
Mazurek said she could not tell even her closest friends or family she won for the three-week period that separated the filming date from the episode’s airing.
“It was really hard to keep it a secret,” she said. “A lot of people were like ‘Why didn’t you tell me? You lied straight to my face.’”
The Saint Mary’s community has been supportive of her achievement, she said.
“People keep stopping me, if they hear about it, and saying ‘You won,’” she said. “I am still in shock about it too. Professors I haven’t had in a while email me, or people in meetings congratulate me. These people truly think it’s a truly great thing that happened to me, so it makes me appreciate it a lot more.”
According to Mazurek, her Saint Mary’s education prepared her to participate on “The Price is Right” with enthusiasm and vitality.
“I accredit a lot of my confidence being up in front of people to Saint Mary’s,” she said. “Even though I was out of it and in shock, I was able to compose myself and not look like a total idiot on TV.”
Mazurek said she won far more than prizes from the experience, since she learned a valuable lesson about life’s unpredictability.
“If something not great just happened, look forward,” Mazurek said. “You never know what’s going to happen.”