Joellene Freeman has watched “The Price is Right” television game show since she was a child.
This past summer the Coon Rapids resident had the opportunity to personally appear on the show during a taping in Los Angeles, Calif.
“It was a wonderful experience,” Freeman said.
The show featuring Freeman was televised on WCCO TV, the CBS-affiliate in the Twin Cities, Monday morning.
The taping itself took place Aug. 1 after Freeman had made a side trip to Los Angeles after driving to Flagstaff, Ariz., to visit family members.
According to Freeman, she had gone to auditions for “The Price of Right” when they took place in Minnesota, but was not successful.
But she badly wanted to be on the game show hosted by Drew Carey, who she has admired and enjoyed from his early stand-up comedy performances, Freeman said.
That was why her husband, David, and daughters, Nicole, 18, and Savhanna, 10, drove to Los Angeles from Flagstaff this past summer.
While David took Savhanna to the beach that day, Freeman and Nicole went to the television studio where “The Price is Right” is taped at 6 a.m. to queue up for the 11:30 a.m. taping, she said.
“There were about 70 people in line,” Freeman said.
Freeman spent the five hours before they were let into the studio talking to the other people waiting in line and telling jokes, acting like a “big dork,” she said.
“It was well worth it,” Freeman said.
During the wait, “The Price is Right” staff gave each person a name tag and conducted a mini-interview with them.
Freeman told the staffer that “The Price is Right” is her favorite game show, she said.
But she had no idea that her name would be called by announcer George Gray to “come on down” and join three other people on contestants’ row, according to Freeman.
“I was really surprised,” Freeman said.
“I let out a scream, jumped up and ran down to the front, high-fiving people all the way.”
To earn the chance to go up on stage with host Carey, the four contestants had to guess the price of an item without going over the price, and the closest to the price won the chance to play “The Price is Right.”
Asked the price of a video camera, Freeman came the closest without exceeding it.
She not only won the video camera as a prize, but went up on stage with Carey to play for a showcase prize – one of only six people to do so during the taping, Freeman said.
“I gave Drew as many hugs and kisses as I could,” she said. “He was very nice about it.”
“Drew was super funny and was cracking me up all the time.”
To win the showcase prize, Freeman had to put in order of cost, most expensive to least expensive, three prizes – exercise bicycle, washer-dryer and laptop computer, Freeman said.
“It was an experience beyond belief,” she said. “I had a really fun time.”
Indeed, Savhanna demanded that her mother write her a letter promising to take her to a “Price is Right” taping when she is 18 years old.
Freeman works for a medical device company in St. Paul, while her husband is employed as a program coordinator by a company that works to place people with developmental disabilities in jobs with businesses in the Twin Cities.
In her spare time, Freeman enjoys playing games – card, board and video – which is why she enjoys “The Price is Right” so much, she said.
“The Price is Right,” which premiered on CBS Sept. 4, 1972, is the longest-running game show in television history.
Celebrating its 41st season on the air, it is produced by FremantleMedia North America and broadcast from 10 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday on WCCO TV.
Peter Bodley is at [email protected]