Every day until spring break, senior Brian Freas returned home from class, ate lunch and watched episodes of the long-running game show, “The Price is Right.” He wasn’t avoiding homework, but conducting valuable research: He and 11 friends would soon travel to Los Angeles to attend a taping of the college coed-friendly prize show. On March 1, Freas and company arrived at the CBS studios at 3:00 a.m. where they waited in line for more than 11 hours for the taping. The students—decked in matching shirts that read “Xavier has its pets spayed and neutered”—finally met with the show’s producers, who determine who gets picked to play the pricing games.
“Meeting Bob Barker was pretty surreal,” says Freas, the first contestant picked from the audience. After playing the game “Pick Two,” in which he had to choose prizes that added up to $3,500, he advanced to the infamous Showcase Showdown after successfully spinning the familiar multi-colored wheel. Unfortunately, he bid a bit too high on some fitness equipment and a six-night Fiji vacation—about $12,000 too high—and, consequently, lost the showdown.
“Completely in shock of my over-bid, my face pricelessly skewed as though someone got tackled hard on a football field,” he says. “I was pretty embarrassed, but brushed it off quickly because I flat-out did not know what to bid.”
Freas got another chance at fame, however, when a number of hometown Cleveland radio stations interviewed him about the experience once the show aired.