YONKERS, N.Y. – Hundreds of game show hopefuls showed off their star qualities Thursday, each hoping they had what it takes to be the next contestant to “come on down” for the “Price is Right.”
With big hopes and dreams of the Showcase Showdown, the group lined up inside Empire City Casino’s game room. There, they anxiously waited to make their 30-second pitch to a pair of cameras as to why they should be on the show.
In the end, two will earn fully-paid airfare to Los Angeles and a seat in the audience, while one lucky winner is guaranteed a spot on Contestant’s Row and a chance to be on national television.
For Scarsdale’s Thomas Russo, Thursday was his fifth time auditioning for the “Price is Right.”
“Drew, carry me on down,” he yelled into the camera, a play on the tag line made famous on the show. Afterwards, he said joining show host Drew Carey and “Barker's Beauties” on stage would be the opportunity of a lifetime.
“It’d be a thrill. I’d be jumping up and down,” Russo said. “I just love the game.”
First created in 1956, CBS’ “Price is Right” has remained a national hit, with contestants competing to win cash and prizes by guessing the price of different merchandise.
New Jersey native Kim Barney said appearing on the show was on her "bucket list." Sporting a green wig dotted with Plinko chips in honor of her favorite price- guessing game on the program, Barney said she was nervous for her big pitch.
“Just to be in the audience alone would be incredible,” she said. “My husband thinks I’m crazy. but I’ve been telling family and friends for years I want to go on the ‘Price is Right'.’”
Valeria Piccirello came from Staten Island with her nephew, Joe Claderera, in their matching t-shirts, proclaiming to be the world’s biggest fans.
“My first words after mom and dad were Bob Barker,” Caldarera said, referring to the former longtime host of the show.
His aunt said she even taught her kids how to do math by watching contestants on the show spin the Big Wheel.
“I’ve been a fan of the show since I was a little girl,” Piccirello said. “This is a chance of a lifetime.”
Chris Martin took the day off from work and rode the No. 2 train from Brooklyn to the Bronx, walking two miles to the casino for a chance to audition.
“It’s 90 degree weather so it’s a little hot out there but this is probably the only chance to ever try to do this,” he said. “This is one of the most exciting things I could ever think of doing.”