Posted by: zenmamajo | January 28, 2012

Come on Dooooown! Here’s How YOU Can Be a Contestant on the Price is Right!

have you ever wondered how to become a contestant on the price is right show? well – look no further! the following is what i did to get selected in march of 2005 (fun fact: Bob Barker was still the host).

embarrassing disclaimer: i was the second contestant called and did *not* make it up to the stage *frown*. so if you’re looking for pricing strategy – that’s another blog. 🙂

1. tickets/dates:

you can find the taping schedule and ticket availability here. a lot of times the show will tape for two or three consecutive days (e.g. mon, tue, and wed). i recommend going to the earliest taping and plan to attend the next day’s taping, etc. the reason is because having a ticket does not guarantee a seat in the audience (says so here) and being in the audience does not guarantee being selected. but do get tickets for the warm fuzzy feeling :).

2. arrival:

my first attempt at getting on the show was a tue morning. the price is right website stated the doors opened at 830am for the 12pm taping. so my friend and i rolled up at 830am. it was clear by the lines when we arrived that there was *no* way we could get in that day. fail. i was determined to try again but get there earlier.

the dilemma we had was that my friend was only off that day and scheduled to work the next. she lived nearly 45 min from LA, it was only my 2nd day in LA, i didn’t know my way around but i didn’t care. i convinced her to drop me off the next day and i told her i’d find my way back (i ended up using the public transportation).

my girl dropped me off at 0530 (that’s AM – the sun wasn’t even up) and there were about 10 of us in line. 10. (no wonder by 830am the previous day it was way too late). i think that early arrival is what guaranteed a seat in the audience. (only groups of 15 or more are guaranteed seats). i actually didn’t even have a ticket – i just showed up.

3. the wait.

bring snacks. lots of them. and something to drink. (especially if it’s cold in the morning). oh – and be sure to use the restroom before arriving because there was one convenience store across the street with a sign on its bathroom door that read “not open to the public” (it was really hard to find a restroom in convenience stores in LA).

once you’re in line – it’ll be a long wait. when you first arrive – you’ll be on the street outside of the studio lot. 830amish is when they open the gates and let people on to the lot where there are several benches to sit on. then it’s another several hours wait. i can’t remember exactly – but it was probably about 10 or 1030am when everyone lined up again and the producers started interviewing everyone.

4. attire

people in the studio audience always seem to have some sort of personalized t-shirt or costume. *great idea*

however: moderation, remembering that it’s a family-friendly program, and that it’s not a halloween party are key. when selecting a costume, keep in mind the 6+hr wait and that you’ll eventually end up in a *tiny* studio audience with folks on either side of you. think: comfort. plus – it seems the show rarely picks people ‘overly dressed’ unless there is a specific theme for the show.

i’m actually horrible at generating costume ideas that i’m comfortable pulling off (plus i’m cheap…). so i wore a simple short sleeved black tee shirt and jeans…although there was something about the tee that stood out; however, i’m planning to use the idea again so i must keep this tip a secret for now :).

remember: stand out, but don’t weird people out with your costume.

5. you’re being watched

at some point – someone told me to assume the producers are watching to identify potential contestants. so – from the minute i arrived at 530am – even though i was alone – i made sure to get to know my line neighbors and tried to smile (sincerely) as often as possible. (i remember even concentrating on having a pleasant face for the few minutes i sat alone or daydreamed – it was really hard to constantly look pleasant and engaged without it looking forced. but it was the sacrifice i was willing to make if i was going to meet bob and spin the wheel. *hahah*).

6. the interview

thank God someone in line told me there’d be an interview because i’m the *worst* impromptu speaker ever! i learned the questions asked were: what is your name, where are you from, and what do you do. i also knew i had about 30 sec to impress (or crash). i spent a chunk of any free waiting time putting together an answer that would set me a part from others.

when my turn came for the producer to interview me – the *FIRST* thing he did was look at my t-shirt and say, “whoa! i’m never seen that before…” he said a few other things about it, but again: can’t give away all the secrets…maybe in three years *hahah*. then he asked me the three questions i had been preparing all day to answer. my response:

“my name is ________, i’m from ____________, i was born into an air force family, served four years in the air force and am now an air force wife and i’m excited to be here today.”

simple, informative, and unique without overly boostful.

as i spoke i mentally reminded myself to smile sincerely, project enthusiasm, but keep it real (aka : don’t be overly confident).

7. prepare and bring a friend

i’ll be honest – on that day – i didn’t think there was any chance i’d get selected. why would i? i was there without friends or family, i had on a black tee shirt, and i’ve got the boobs of a prepubescent tween (again – just keeping it real here…). the couple that befriended me told me at one point that i’d probably get selected but i thought they were taking pity on me *hahah*.

so in hindsight – i should have watched several episodes of the show prior to attending (it had been nearly a decade since i’d even seen a show!) to figure out the pricing strategy. once i got up there – i didn’t know the best times to bid $1 or bid a $1 over! (i’m a shopper but it was really hard to think straight with the adrenaline pulsing and the crazed crowd shouting prices).

another lesson is it would have been much better had i brought a friend or asked the couple if i could use them as my price helpers during the show. it’s incredibly intense being up there and looking back at the audience with everyone shouting different prices! in those situations – i have the kind of personality that feeds off the energy of my friends. and i think it showed when watching the show (especially towards the end because i was one of ‘those’ people who got selected in the beginning and made it allllll the way to the end without getting on the stage. what an embarrassing story! do you know how hard it was to be that close to the big wheel and not get to spin it??? *ugh*!).

contestants must wait 10 years to try again so that makes me eligible in 2015 – if the show’s still on – you better believe i’ll be back in that line – several years wiser, many more children later, with my friend (and prepared pricing signals) and eager for my chance to spin the big wheel!

have you ever been a contestant on a game show? what was your experience?



  1. Hello!

    I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Information about the rules (which are really simple) can be found here:

    Yes, these awards are a bit “chain letter”ish, but I gather it is a nice way of letting others know you enjoy their blog, as I do yours! So go forth with it as you see fit, but thank you for sharing your insights with the world!


  2. An amazing story — I always wondered how that worked. You actually got chosen — that would be a fete in its own. I hope you had fun anyways.

    • yes – it was a lot of fun! you work in a city that i use to live and my best friend lives there now. if i head out to visit her – i’ll drop a line to see when you’re volunteering at the museum and try to visit (not sure when since she’s expecting a baby soon too! *haha*).

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