By James Lane
Earlier this year I heard the most unusual command: “James Lane, Come On Down!” And yes, I am a winner on The Price Is Right. Along the way, I won some great trips. However, it was a surreal moment to be in the CBS studios in Los Angeles and spend my day guessing on bids to win prizes on the show.
It all started with my two best friends and I moving to Los Angeles to pursue lives in the entertainment industry. We all got jobs and weren’t having much luck, so we decided to get tickets to be in the audience of show like Jimmy Kimmel, Let’s Make A Deal, and of course The Price Is Right. The day finally came.
You first get tickets to be on it, sign some papers, they give you a number and you wait in line for a few hours as they take pictures of you and take copies of your information.
Once that is all over, you’re auditioned and that’s when they figure out who is going to be the “lucky” ones who get called for the day. I obviously knew I had to show Price is Right staffer him my most fun, energetic, and yet smartest self I could possibly be. He approaches me.
“Hello my name is James Lane and I want to win The Price Is Right today!” He asked me what do you do?
I told him I am starting to write my book of travel archives,
“Wow,’’ he replies. “I bet you would really love to win a trip today?’’
I yell ,”Yes! Give me them all,” he laughs. I high five him and he moves on to the next person (some guy wearing a St. Louis shirt).
I felt in my bones right there, I was going to get called up. They bring us in studio and there is a whole group of 20-30 college kids all wearing the same shirt. Then, they sit Thom, Mike and me up front and some woman that works for CBS comes up to me and says, “Hey we need to move you over here.”
I definitely felt I was going to get called because if they’re moving me around that could be a good sign. They sit us more in the back. They called down contestant number 1, followed by contestant number 2, and contestant 3.
I’m shaking more than ever before. They flip the name card around and holy cow! It says James Lane on it.
I was the fourth contestant called down. The studio was so loud and noisy it gave off great vibes. I love excitement and being in front of crowds so I wasn’t too nervous. In that moment it does make the world feel like it’s stopped as you’re trying to guess a bid in under 30 seconds till you finally get it right and get called up on stage, which is exactly what happened to me.
I made the right bid on a brand new Canon Camcorder and bid $1000 on it. I walked up on stage with my one-month mustache and my Baltimore t-shirt.
The show’s host, Drew Carry says to me “So, you’re from B-more?” I smile and say, “yes I’m from Baltimore, Maryland!’’
I get a good crowd response. My game is where I had to pick the proper price for the right trip; it was so easy.
The two trips were one to San Francisco as well as a one-night tour of Alcatraz. The other trip is to Reno and a five-night stay in Lake Tahoe.
The crowd shouts, “Tahoe!” And so I said Lake Tahoe. They were right….I won again! Drew sends me off with the models next to my two trips as they congratulate me with hugs and kisses.
I get grabbed up by one of the models, Aisha Tyler. We start the James Lane Aisha Tyler victory dance. I recognize Tyler from the television shows in which she has appeared, such as The Talk and Archer.
Finally, they sit me down as I watch the last contestant get called; very ironically the last contestant was a guy from St. Louis I was standing right next to in line with all day long. He wins some major prizes and then they bring the three of us all back on stage to spin the wheel.
This older Hispanic lady goes first and she spins 80.The guy from St. Louis goes next and he spins 80. I am completely not paying attention to their spins at all, but instead thinking who I wanted to say Hi to back at home (Thom, Mike, Dana, and my aunt who just survived cancer)
I spin. BAM! 80. Yes it was a three-way tie. The crowd is on the edge of their seats and goes nuts. The woman spins 30. The guy spins 65. I spin 60. I end up losing by five. I really do not care! I am more than ecstatic and if you ask anyone there, I won the best prizes offered on the show that day.
I head down off the stage and everyone start giving me high fives, and random people yelling my name, it was incredible. The show ended with the guy from St. Louis winning the whole showcase. They took us all into the back and they make us sign confidential papers basically stating we can’t talk about it or tell anyone about this till the show airs.
They give us the cards our name was on when we got called. I place my name sticker on there and I leave so excited with a deep secret in my body for the next couple of months that I can’t tell anyone.
I won a 2014 Canon camcorder, a round trip airfare to San Francisco for two–Including a five-star hotel, $50 daily meal card, a rental car, and a one-night tour to Alcatraz. I also won a round trip airfare to Lake Tahoe for two including five-star hotel, $400 worth of golf, and ski lift passes.
Now I am currently working at a hostel in my hometown of Baltimore. I am also taking care of my Aunt who just survived cancer. I am taking classes at CCBC to pursue a career in Journalism, and am getting ready to make my own website where I will be able to update blogs, podcast, media, and news.
I plan to get started on writing my book in summer. This whole experience was beyond incredible and I couldn’t be happier or thankful about my big win. Moreover, I’ve got those two great trips waiting for me.
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