Coincidentally, two men from Ogden were invited to “Come on down!” on the CBS game show “The Price Is Right” in January. The first episode, with Isaac Eaves, was broadcast on Friday, and the second, with Richard Essary, plays at 11 a.m. Tuesday.
Eaves left with $20,000 in cash, as well as a dirt bike, a computer and other prizes. As for Essary, we have to wait until next week to find out.
The show staff picks contestants from the daily audience, who then try to accurately price items that range in value from the humble to the “Holy cow!”
Eaves and Essary each were chosen to play from a field of about 300. Essary’s episode was filmed Jan. 9, and Eaves’ on Jan. 30.
“I think it is cool that two people from Ogden, at about the same time, were on ‘The Price Is Right,’ ” Essary said. “That is awesome.”
As to how it was that the producers happened to choose two contestants from Ogden so close together, the program’s public relations representative Megan Barker said, “My guess is, it is just a coincidence, just a fluke thing.”
As far as she knows, Barker said, no other Ogden-area contestants are appearing on the program in the near future.
Though Eaves did not end up competing for the final grand-prize showcase, he did walk away with a $20,000 bonus, courtesy of Publisher’s Clearinghouse, as well as cameras, a Honda dirt bike, Kate Spade accessories and a top-model Dell computer.
“This was one of the most awesome things that has ever happened to us,” Eaves said of the appearance he and wife Kara made on the show.
“My wife tells me she loves me more now than ever before. I asked her, ‘How about when I proposed, or when we got married?’ She said, ‘Sure, sure, those are up there, too — but you just won $20,000!’ ”
Essary, the chief of media relations at Hill Air Force Base, is not permitted to reveal the outcome of his episode until it broadcasts.
Both Eaves and Essary admit that they would not even have been on the show without the support of their womenfolk.
Eaves’ wife said she has watched the show faithfully for decades. Essary’s girlfriend, Kathy Montgomery, who works at the Syracuse Walmart, watched the show casually as a girl. She took up studying strategy in earnest last fall, after adding “The Price Is Right” tickets to a trip to Disneyland she had planned for Essary’s 40th birthday.
“She made me study,” Essary said. “She DVR-ed it, and then we would sit down every day and watch it together. She was the one into going — but I admit I was kind of excited, too.”
As Essary and Montgomery learned from careful viewing, people who get picked often sport T-shirts with clever messages about the show. They decided to get two custom-made T’s.
Said Essary: “We got them in black — because I turned 40, black was appropriate, we figured.
“I wrote, ‘All I want for my 40th birthday is to hear, Richard, you’re the next contestant on ‘The Price Is Right.’
“And Kathy’s said, ‘All I want for my boyfriend’s 40th birthday is for him to hear, Kathy, you’re the next contestant on “The Price Is Right.” ’ ”
Montgomery believes Essary clinched his spot during the interview portion before the program. That’s when producers come out and talk to groups of about 15 people.
“All they ask the people in the group is, ‘What do you do?’ ” Montgomery said. “You’d give your answer, and then the producer comes back with a smart comment to see how you react.
“But Richard didn’t stop at saying he works for Hill. He started going off — how I brought him here for his birthday, and how we got the shirts made. I think they remembered that when it came time to pick.”
Essary encourages anyone who has thought of going to “The Price Is Right” to do it.
“Even if you aren’t selected to go onstage, just being in the audience is really exciting and fun, with the music pumping, and the energy all around, and you, yelling out prices like a crazy person. I mean, getting that excited about a box of macaroni and cheese?” Essary laughed.
“It is just a good time. I encourage people to go ahead and try.”
Eaves agreed. “It is such a fun and energy-charged atmosphere. And people get so excited to go onstage with (show host) Drew Carey. When he comes out, with all his energy, it is so awesome, it just goes through the roof.”