“David Kersh, come on down! You’re the first contestant on `The Price is Right!'” These words surprised the GW junior when he went to a taping of the celebrated CBS game show while visiting California during winter break and won a trip to Montreal.
Kersh attended the show with his brother, who had been to tapings of “The Price is Right” before but had not been called down to contestants’ row.
“We had to get there at 7 a.m.,” said Kersh, who is from New Jersey. “We waited in line all day, and then finally at 2:30 p.m. they began to let people in for the taping at 3:30.”
The announcer called Kersh out of the audience first. Other contestants ranged from college students to elder enthusiasts.
Kersh won the bidding on contestants’ row during the third round. His winning bid was $850 for a collection of lamps that had a retail price of $1,100.
Kersh said he probably will not use the lamps in his room at GW.
“The lamps are way too nice for school,” he said.
When Kersh went up to meet the show’s host Bob Barker, he shook his hand and Barker immediately noticed Kersh’s GW T-shirt.
“Bob said, `George Washington University! I had surgery there a few years ago!'” Kersh said.
Kersh’s game was “Squeeze Play,” where contestants must eliminate one incorrect number out of five in the price of an item. Kersh chose correctly and won a trip to Montreal for two people.
Kersh then advanced to compete in the Showcase Showdown, which pits three players during the first half of the show against each other spinning the Big Wheel to get close to one dollar without going over. Kersh was the second to spin the heavy wheel, and ended up with 85 cents. He was happy with the total because the person before him only spun 60 cents. But the last contestant took the game with a spin of 95 cents.
“I thought I had won,” Kersh said. “I was deeply upset that she had beat me, and my time at `The Price is Right’ had come to an end.”
While to viewers it may look as though anyone with a ticket can be in the audience, Kersh said that was not the case. He and his brother had to go through a screening process where producers ask informal questions before letting them into the studio.
“They grouped about 25 people off at a time and took us into a room,” Kersh said. “A producer came down the line and talked to each of us while another would take notes. After, we were let in.”
While Kersh did not make it all the way to the end of the show, he said he was very excited about his winnings.
“My brother at first thought it was fixed, because both times he had gone and not been called,” Kersh said. “Before we went he had prepared me to be depressed if I wasn’t called. But he went crazy and was really happy for me when I won.”
After getting home from the taping Kersh said he called his parents and friends from home and school.
Kersh said the only disappointing part of the experience was failing to
meet “Barker’s Beauties” after the show. He said he has not decided who will join him in Montreal.
Kersh’s show will air February 14.