Ball State senior John Newbold has a $750 clock on his coffee table to remind him of his recent win on the CBS game show "The Price is Right." Although he plans to sell it on Ebay, it has also served as a constant reminder of the anticipated arrival of his grand prize - $6,000.
When Newbold's winning episode airs on television Friday morning, he will see his reaction to his win for the first time. According to Newbold, the episode was taped so long ago he does not remember what happened.
"That's the cool thing," Newbold said. "It was so long ago. I don't remember how I reacted - or what they got on camera."
Newbold's plans to attend "The Price is Right" began long before he made the trip with three other friends to Hollywood, Calif. over Fall Break.
Newbold sent in a self-addressed stamped envelope for the free tickets, but did not hear back from the show for a long time.
"I didn't think we were going to go and all of a sudden they came in the mail one day," he said. "I had always wanted to go."
When he arrived at the studio at 5:00 in the morning of Oct. 8 for the 1:15 p.m. taping, Newbold stood in line for more than eight hours.
"I was really excited, but it's kind of intimidating," he said. "You stand in line eight hours, and they give you a simple task, like filling out a form to keep you occupied...but it really doesn't."
While in line, Newbold stood with the Penn State volleyball team and other large groups of people. He said he didn't think he was going to get picked. All he had was a few minutes to convince the interviewers outside that he should be selected.
A few minutes proved to be enough when he heard his name called after the show began. Newbold said he and his friends sat by a group of men that had attended the show every day for 12 years. The men could guess the correct price on the spot, and they even predicted that one of the four would be picked.
When it was Newbold's turn to bid on the clock in his third round at the contestants row, he turned to his faithful "Price is Right" friends. The next thing Newbold knew he was making his way up to the stage with host Bob Barker.
"It's so different than on television," he said. "It's smaller than it looks. It doesn't seem like real television, it's like a play."
Newbold said it was hard to function while experiencing enthusiasm and trying to bid the right price. The lights were also hot, he said.
Newbold played a new game called "Pass the Buck," in which he ended up losing a car, but won the money. Newbold said the car would have been a hassle to pay taxes on.
"I already have a car, plus it was a Neon," he said. "He said 'new car' and I blanked out - I don't even remember the color."
Once his long awaited check comes in the mail, Newbold plans to pay off his bills and fulfill a promise he made to the rest of his friends.
"We made a deal that if anyone won, we'd pay for each other's plane tickets," he said. "I might buy myself something nice with the $5 I have left."
He experienced his 15 minutes of fame after the show when people from the crowd congratulated him. One lady even thought he won the car, he said. He called his mother, but she didn't believe him.
Friday she will come down from South Bend with his dad to join Newbold and his friends to watch the show on a big screen when the show airs at 11 a.m.
Newbold said everything will hit him once he watches it on television, and what will be even more real is when he receives his $6,000 check in the mail.
"It makes checking the mail a lot more exciting," he said.