East Bethel couple win big on ‘Let’s Make a Deal’

When Andrew and Tessa Abrahamson of East Bethel were planning a vacation to Los Angeles, Calif., last October, they thought it would be fun to see if they could also get tickets to a taping of “Let’s Make A Deal,” the CBS game show hosted by Wayne Brady.

Andrew and Tessa Abrahamson of East Bethel were the winners of a Hyundai Accent when they appeared on “Let’s Make a Deal.” Photo submitted
Andrew and Tessa Abrahamson of East Bethel were the winners of a Hyundai Accent when they appeared on “Let’s Make a Deal.” Photo submitted

It turned out to be a very good idea for the couple; not only did they get tickets and go to the show, but they were also called up as contestants and won a brand new Hyundai Accent.

On the day of the show Andrew, 31, and Tessa, 28, arrived at the studio as scheduled, along with about 70 or 80 other audience members. Although the show is technically a one-hour show, the entire process from checking in audience members and actually finishing taping took about four hours, said Andrew.

There was paperwork to fill out, instructions to hear and interview questions to answer, and meanwhile Wayne Brady was running around cracking jokes. “He’s a really nice guy,” said Andrew. “He’s just as and maybe even more funny when he’s off camera.”

Audience members appear in costume on the show, and Andrew and Tessa chose to dress as a gorilla and a chef, respectively. They really weren’t expecting to get called up as contestants, but sure enough, toward the end of the show, Brady called their names.

The game the Abrahamsons were asked to play involved looking at a board with 15 numbers. A dollar amount of either $200 or $400 was behind each number, with the exception of two numbers, which had “zonks” instead of numbers. The couple had to choose numbers one at a time, with the dollar amount behind each adding to the total of their winnings.

Choosing a zonk would end the game and they would forfeit their money. They could quit at anytime and keep the money they had won if they didn’t want to risk losing it to a zonk. But if they could get their total up to $2,000, they could trade that $2,000 in for a $15,400 car instead.

Andrew and Tessa luckily selected number after number, their total dollar amount growing along with their excitement. At one point, as their dollar amount got higher and higher, one can hear Andrew attempt to be the voice of reason and suggest to Tessa that maybe they should quit and just take the money.

But Tessa appears pretty adamant. “Let’s keep going,” she says.

Andrew goes along with her and a few seconds later the couple are sitting in their brand new car as the audience roars and applause.

“It was a good time,” said Andrew, who has lived in East Bethel since 2004 and works for Target Corporation. Tessa is a teacher in the Forest Lake School District.

Andrew said he had only actually seen the show on television once, but his wife Tessa was a big fan.