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Federal Way women find ‘The Price is Right’
Two Federal Way residents, Jackie Jarvis and Mimy Evans, got chances of a lifetime recently, with the two friends both getting the opportunity to participate in a taping of that classic American gameshow “The Price is Right.”
While Evans episode won’t air until April, which restricts her from being able to talk about it much for now, Jarvis’s episode aired on Wednesday morning. Jarvis truly did find the price to be right, as she won in every round she participated in, including the Showcase Showdown, netting her a total of $34,899.36 in cash and prizes.
“It’s always been a dream, so I got some tickets online and wanted to make sure it would happen,” Jarvis said.
She and her husband, along with a friend, went to the taping to try and fulfill that dream. A big part of trying to make sure you get selected is answering a brief interview question posed to audience members and potential contestants while everyone waits to file into the studio. For anyone who knows Jarvis, her effervescent energy was probably not hard to notice, and it seemed that the show runners did indeed notice.
“Finally, the producer moves on to me, and goes alright, ‘What do you do then?’” Jarvis recalled. “So, I’m like moneybags over here needs a trophy wife.”
Jarvis’s husband Matthew is a financial advisor in Federal Way, and had alluded to such in his short interview. Jarvis then said the next question was, what was their favorite game on the show?
“I said my favorite game is ‘Swap Meet,’ and they’re just stunned. I know everybody says ‘Plinko,’ but (for me) it’s ‘Swap Meet.’ And he’s like, ‘That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard,’” she said. “I didn’t want to tell the true story, but he called me out and said, ‘It’s an easy game.’ I said, ‘Yes, that’s the real reason. It’s an easy game and there are lots of prizes.’”
Jarvis shared the experience of being in “The Price is Right” audience, saying that one of the show’s requirements is that everyone in the audience has to keep a high level of energy. Because of this, the sound inside the studio is “deafening,” according to Jarvis. So much so, that she was uncertain if she heard correctly when her name was called.
“Drew (Carey, ‘The Price is Right’ host), sends it over, and goes, ‘Alright, who’s our next contestant?’ And I hear, ‘Jackie Jarvis, Come on down, you’re the next contestant on ‘The Price is Right,’” she said happily. “I’m cheering with Matt, and I’m like, ‘They just said Jarvis!’ I had to rewind in my head to figure out which Jarvis they just said. I think it’s Jackie! And I’m looking everywhere, and it’s so deafening loud so they hold up signs with your name on it, and I’m just in this panic wondering where the sign is.”
Jarvis said she stood up and realized she was the only one doing so for a moment. She decided to roll with it, saying, “I guess I’m just going down!”
“I’m jumping up and down, I pass Matt, who was still sitting down apparently, and hug everybody else in my row, I’m already down there, hugging the most random strangers,” she said.
The experience of being called on and heading down to Contestant’s Row was intense, Jarvis said, sharing how people just stick their hands out to give you a high five or attempt to give you a hug.
“All of a sudden, you’re the superstar, your name was called,” she said.
Jarvis recalled that her first bid on Contestant’s Row was for an elliptical machine, one which every other contestant overbid on, leaving her the winner.
“I get to go on stage, I go up on stage. This is the one thing I remember, I say, ‘Drew, the 12th Man brings their love,” she said, because the taping of the show was held the week leading up to the Seattle Seahawks playing the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game.
For her game, Jarvis got to play the Bargain Game. In this game, two items are presented to the contestant with the prices altered, and it’s up to the contestant to guess which one is the better bargain. Jarvis said her choice was between a refrigerator and a scooter. She had a good idea on how much the refrigerator was worth (approximately $2,900). The scooter, she said, she had no idea about. Like any good contestant, she looked to the crowd for help.
“I look out to the crowd … and everyone is pointing to the fridge, so I’m like, cool! All the fans back up what I think too, I gotta go with the refrigerator,” she said. “I win that, I win big. They hook a microphone up to me and I’m running around like crazy … I was floating.”
Up next was spinning the big wheel, Jarvis recalled. She said she got 75 cents on her first spin, which tied another contestant. They went to a spin-off, and Jarvis came out the victor and headed to The Showcase Showdown.
Her fellow contestant passed on the first showcase, which Jarvis ended up bidding on. It consisted of two trips, along with a 15-foot sailboat. The sailboat, Jarvis said, seemed to throw the audience off a bit in properly evaluating the package.
“I think most of the crowd thinks a 15-foot sailboat is really expensive,” she shared. “We’re from Seattle, we’re from the land of the boats. A 15-foot sailboat is nothing.”
With this bit of knowledge in her mind, Jarvis bid her showcase at $26,500, with the actual price being $27,700. She said her competition overbid their showcase, so she had to wait in suspense that she hadn’t met the same fate.
“They did hers first, and then they did mine. I’m thinking, ‘As long as I didn’t go over, as long as I didn’t go over,’” she said. “I’m hearing the number $27,700. That means I got it! I got it right? But I don’t want to freak out and look dumb, so I’m waiting for them to officially tell me.”
Jarvis said she ran straight to the boat and started celebrating, with Matt running up to her and the two sharing a big embrace.
“We’re just dancing around, it was an unbelievable day,” she said.
For Evans, the “Price is Right” was also a lifelong dream, one that she and her three sisters decided to make a reality. Evans can’t yet say much about her episode, but could share a bit about the pre-show interview process.
“I had some things in mind, but I just wanted to say whatever was at the top of my head at the time, I didn’t want to seem too forced, but at the same time, I was just so nervous,” Evans said. “I was with my siblings, and they were all nervous and needed help, so I had thought up things for them to say. But I really couldn’t really think of something clever for me to say. And then this angel called me on a whim.”
Evans said Jarvis went into coaching mode, making sure she was in the right head space for the pre-show process. The two settled on a jokey reference to Evans’s work as a flight attendant.
“I tell her, tell them you get high for a living,” Jarvis said, laughing with Evans. “But don’t let them pass before you say you’re a flight attendant. But then, you need to add, at the very end, that you’re from Washington, where it’s legal.”
“It was awesome,” Evans added. “I delivered it really well. Everybody was laughing, (the producer/show personnel) was laughing.”
The Mirror plans on following up with Evans as the air date for her episode approaches. For now, Jarvis jokingly said she plans on becoming a “The Price is Right” coach. In fact, a special re-airing of her episode is scheduled for 8:30 p.m., March 17 at Buffalo Wild Wings in Federal Way.