Simple trip for LaPlace woman turns into chance of a lifetime

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 13, 2012



LAPLACE – A simple trip to visit relatives in California turned into the experience of a lifetime for LaPlace resident Anne Matherne as she left Los Angeles with an array of fabulous prizes after being a contestant on “The Price is Right.”

Matherne, her daughter Keri and son Austin, flew out to California in June to celebrate Austin’s 18th birthday. Upon arrival, Austin came up with the idea to attend a live taping of the game show. The show aired yesterday morning.

“At first, Austin and Keri went on their own, but they were told they needed tickets,” Matherne said. “They were told that if they came back tomorrow they would definitely get in. When they came back I decided I would go with them the next day. I wasn’t even supposed to go initially, and I ended up on the show.”

Matherne said the family arrived early the next morning and were met with an all-day process. She said about 320 people attend a taping, and producers take people in 20 at a time in an effort to get to know the people and find the best prospects for contestants.

“They asked me what I do for a living, and I said I’m a stay-at-home mom who watches ‘The Price is Right,’” Matherne said. “I told them my favorite game is Plinko.”

After the interviews, Matherne said everyone was given a name tag with a number on the back, which is used by producers to identify those chosen as contestants. She, Keri and Austin were given seats right near the front row.

Matherne said when the show starts the audience is so loud it is hard to hear the names being called out. She said someone off camera holds up a giant card with the names of the next contestants. Matherne’s name was called during the second half of the show.

“Of course I didn’t hear anything, my son saw the name and pointed it out,” she said. “It is such a rush of excitement. You don’t realize what is going on.”

Matherne overbid on the first item up but came the closest on the next item, a karaoke machine. That was her ticket out of Contestants’ Row and on to the stage to meet host Drew Carey.

Once on stage, Matherne played a game called “More or Less,” where contestants are given a prize and a price and they have to decide if the price is more or less than the actual retail price.

“The first prize was matching his and hers watches, then I got a ping pong table, and then a four-wheeler,” Matherne said. “Then they brought out a car, a black Chrysler 200. The price I got was $20,000. I guessed more, and it was less, so that was it.”

When she got to the “Showcase Showdown” to spin the big wheel, Matherne said the first person spun over. When she got up her first spin was 10-cents and her second was 40-cents, not enough for her to move on.

“It was OK,” she said. “I still went home with $7,700 worth of prizes. It was an experience of a lifetime.”

Matherne said she wasn’t able to watch the show yesterday, but she made sure to record it. She and family and friends are having a viewing party Sunday afternoon.