After spending his childhood watching Bob Barker give away prizes on the longest running game show on television, James Boothe finally got his chance to come on down.
Boothe, 20, a junior at the University of Georgia, watched The Price Is Right since he was 5 and dreamed of being on the show.
"We had a friend who got on the show in the 1960s," said his mother, Mary. "He made a video and showed it to him as an impressionable youth."
Boothe, a 2001 Evans High School graduate, said his fascination with the show began evenbefore that.
His dream came true May 21, when his name was called to stand onContestant's Row. The show is scheduled to air at 11 a.m. Wednesday on WJBF-TV (Channel 6).
traveled to Los Angeles and waited in line for hours for an opportunity to be on The Price is Right. He won some prizes and collected a lot of souveniers.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"All my friends here and at school know that I just love the show and watch it all the time and planned to go out there last year," Boothe said. "They know I'm a goofy kid so it wasn't too surprising that I wanted to do it."
Although a plan to visit the show at CBS Television Studios in Los Angeles fell apart last year, Boothe and his father, Ed, made it this time. They arrived in California on Sunday, May 18, and arrived in the lot to wait in line at 6:15 a.m. Monday morning, where Boothe was 278th to get into one of the two tapings.
On Tuesday morning, beginning at 5:15 a.m., Boothe, 160th, and a friend he met in Los Angeles stood in line again. Boothe told producers he scheduled his college classes around the show, but to no avail.
"People came up to me on Tuesday and thought I might get in," Boothe said. "By Wednesday, everybody knew me. Everybody there was kind of rooting for me, but I wasn't going to convince myself I would get on."
The third time was a charm. Boothe and his buddy arrived at the studios a little after 5 a.m. and played a CD of the show's theme song to everyone as they entered the gate, where Boothe ended up 95th in line to get in.
He had an idea that he might get his big chance, but Boothe was still surprised when his name was called to come on down. He won the bid on a lounge chair to get on stage with Bob Barker, who later told Boothe that he lived in Athens, Ga., during World War II.
"Bob was a real nice guy," Boothe said. "He was funny. It was exciting."
Boothe won several prizes in his game of Easy As 1-2-3 by putting some items in price order.
"I did alright," he said. "I got up on stage, won the game I played. I went crazy and ran around the stage after I won. I did a cartwheel," Boothe said.
After winning his game, Boothe spun the famous wheel for a chance to compete in the Showcase Showdown for the grand-prize package.
"It was heavier than I expected," said Boothe, who was surprised the wheel was made of wood.
To move on, Boothe had to spin the closest amount to $1 out of the three people spinning. After landing on 45 cents, Boothe gave the wheel another spin going over with a total of $1.25.
"I was just happy to get up there," he said.
After the show, Boothe was given two tickets to Universal Studios and got several souvenirs, including a baseball cap signed by Bob Barker.
Boothe, who is traveling Georgia for the summer ministering with a youth church group, might get to watch the show on his trip. Even if he didn't make it on stage, Boothe had to try.
"It was just fun going," he said.
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