Ellen Raggets watched herself on television for the first time.
"It was really funny," she said. "It was wild. I thought, 'Is this really me?'"
Yes, Raggets, 68, of Hanover was really on Thursday's airing of the CBS game show "The Price is Right."
The episode was taped Feb. 19 in Burbank, Calif. Raggets, her husband Jim, and his sister Evelyn Arlesic of Euclid, Ohio, were in Newport Beach, Calif., for a weeklong vacation.
Prior to leaving for California, Raggets attained tickets from the show's website. She and Arlesic attended the show together.
Raggets said she was one of the first three people on the game show's Contestants Row. Her name had been called along with the famous "Come on down!" line. A producer also held up a piece of cardboard with her name on it to make sure she heard the announcer.
"I just got out of my seat and got down there as fast as I could," she said. "I couldn't believe it. I was nervous. It's harder to play in person, than when you're watching it on TV."
Raggets, a retired schoolteacher, got to play a game on stage after winning a Contestants Row bid for a turquoise diamond ring.
"I love jewelry," she said. "I'll be wearing that ring. It's a beautiful ring." On stage, Raggets played "Bonus Game," in which contestants determine whether the real costs for four small prizes are higher or lower than the presented incorrect prices. If the contestant wins the small prize beside the window that says "Bonus," then the contestant wins a bonus prize.
Raggets said she won two small prizes: a potato masher and a liquid blender. Because the potato masher had the "Bonus" window, she also won an electric grill and a hot tub.
Then came time to spin the Big Wheel. The contestant before Raggets spun for 95 cents. The wheel's highest amount is $1, which Raggets got on her spin for a $1,000 win.
"When I got the dollar, I almost went to my knees," she said. "I just could not believe it, that I did it. The wheel is heavy. I doesn't look heavy on TV, but it has some weight on it."
With the $1 spin, Raggets got another spin with a chance to win another $5,000 if the marker landed on 5 cents or $10,000 if she got another $1 on the wheel.
She didn't win more money, but she made it to the Showcase Showdown, where she passed over the first set of prizes to the other contestant, who guessed the showcase cost.
Raggets said her showcase included a Dodge Dart and $2,500 for a shopping spree.
In the end, both she and the other contestant overbid. No one won their showcase, she said.
However, Raggets said she thoroughly enjoyed her once-in-a-lifetime experience. She said she had a lot of fun with Drew Carey, the game show's host.
"He's just super, so personable, just a wonderful, wonderful individual," she said. "I adored him. They picked the right guy to take Bob Barker's place. He's great for the role he's in."
-Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org.