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Come on down! Tribute to the iconic game show comes to PSU, rewards contestants with gifts

Penn State student Hallie Bilker talks with host Todd Newton as she plays the game “Punch-A-Bunch” during The Price Is Right Live at the Bryce Jordan Center on Thursday, April 16, 2015.
Penn State student Hallie Bilker talks with host Todd Newton as she plays the game “Punch-A-Bunch” during The Price Is Right Live at the Bryce Jordan Center on Thursday, April 16, 2015. CDT photo

Audience members were able to be a part of the 12-year anniversary celebration of the Price Is Right Live! Thursday at the Bryce Jordan Center. Longtime fans as well as newcomers who aren’t as familiar with the game show all had the opportunity to be involved in the interactive stage show.

The stage show, based on the iconic TV game show, premiered in 2003 in Reno, Nev.

“I was waiting in line since 3:30 to sign up to be a participant in the show,” said Ginny Meredith, of State College. “I’ve been watching the Price Is Right for over 50 years. I’m so excited to be here.”

The Price Is Right Live! is every bit as dynamic as the long-running television show it mimics. In its years running, the Price Is Right has given away more than $10 million in cash and prizes and has sold more than 1.2 million tickets. The televised program is currently hosted by Drew Carey, but many people attending the live show Thursday night were just as hysterical as the contestants on the TV show.

Comedian Andy Martello, as seen on Comedy Central, opened the show and got the night off to a good start, keeping the audience laughing and clapping along to the music. He even showed a few “instructional” videos including one on how to act if you get picked to “come on down,” which essentially told viewers to act as crazy as possible.

Emmy-winning host Todd Newton was more than excited to be in Happy Valley to celebrate this anniversar.

“There’s nowhere else I’d rather be right now than at Penn State with all of you,” he said.

He even escorted a 91-year-old woman, who came to the show with her daughter as a birthday present, down from the stands. After asking the woman for a good luck kiss on the cheek, Newton got more than he bargained for, asking the crowd to tweet out #hottestkissever.

Audience members who were lucky enough to get called to “come on down,” many of whom waited in line for hours for a chance to have their name called, were able to participate in popular pricing games from the television show such as Punch-A-Bunch, Cliffhangers and Plinko and put their retail knowledge skills to work. Prizes given out included a 3-D high-definition television, cash and vacations to Las Vegas, Hawaii and California to see a live taping of the television show.

Those who weren’t familiar with the show were surprised by how interactive it was. In most instances, a member of the audience was called to receive the prize that had been played for. As a gift for the show’s 12th anniversary, five lucky guests were selected after each game to win gift cards to Subway, Target and other stores and restaurants.

“Even though I wasn’t picked to play a game, I still felt like I was involved throughout the whole show,” said Francesca Marchese, a Penn State sophomore who isn’t a longtime fan of the show. “It was definitely worth every penny.”

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