[Nameplate] Fair ~ 90°F  
Feels like: 97°F
Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

Showcase showdown: Sikeston resident gets the price right

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Kathy Sturgess of Sikeston won the Showcase showdown last week during a taping of "The Price is Right."
SIKESTON -- It wasn't her "Bob Barker, show me the money" T-shirt that won Kathy Sturgess a spot on "The Price Is Right," she said.

And it wasn't her pre-show interview, Sturgess said. In fact, the Sikeston resident said she didn't even get an interview.

But it may have been Sturgess' genuine excitement that led the elementary school principal to win a trip, two vehicles and other prizes on the 34-year-

old game show last week.

"I was just so hyper and excited. I never dreamed I would have been on it," said Sturgess, who admitted she's not a regular viewer of the show.

Sturgess was in Los Angeles visiting her daughter, Jennifer Scism. The two had already planned to attend a taping of the game show and arrived at the studios around 5:30 a.m. July 11. Once there, the interview process began with 10 people in groups of 10, Sturgess recalled.

"It's very simple and very quick," Sturgess said about the process. "The producer was asking questions and just started with someone. He was asking everyone 'Where do you work? What do for fun?'"

But when he came to Sturgess, the producer didn't ask her anything.

"I was bouncing up and down and all he said, was 'Kathy, well, you just need to calm down a little bit,' -- and never asked me the questions," Sturgess said.

Sturgess said she was kind of upset she didn't get asked any questions, but her daughter thought differently.

"She said, 'Mom, you're going to get on,'" Sturgess said.

Around 4 p.m., after waiting all day at the studios, audience members were finally let onto the set and taping began, Sturgess said.

"When we got to go in, that was exciting, and I was the first one they called down," Sturgess said, adding the announcer said the show's popular phrase: "Kathy Sturgess, come on down!"

Sturgess missed out on the first opportunity to get on stage, but when the second bid item -- an ottoman and chair -- came out, Sturgess won the prize and an opportunity to be onstage and face-to-face with host Bob Barker.

"We didn't really talk that much. He asked what part of Missouri I was from since he spent some time in Southwest Missouri," Sturgess said. "They were really moving the show along. He was very nice and during commercial break takes, he would come out and talk to the audience. You can see why he's had his job for so long."

Once on stage, Sturgess played "Make Your Move" for three prizes -- a coin roller, drum set and an electric car. The way the game works is one prize has two digits, one has three digits and one has four digits, according to CBS.com. Sturgess was shown a board with all three prices on it in a single, continuous line with no spaces. She then had to determine which groups of numbers belonged to the three different prizes.

"I had to slide these bars under the price and you can't overlap, and I couldn't see but one way to do it that wouldn't overlap," Sturgess said.

When she finished, Sturgess said Barker told the audience, "Folks, I've been doing this show for 34 years and never in contestant history has it been done this fast."

It turned out Sturgess was right and moved on to the spin the big wheel. She landed on 80 cents and the other two contestants went over $1 so Sturgess was in the showcase showdown.

"I didn't really know what to do, and I was just happy," Sturgess said.

As it turned out Sturgess faced her new friend, Lloyd from Dallas, Texas, whom she'd met that morning.

"After spending a day taping the show, you really get to be friends and know everybody in the audience," Sturgess said.

The first showcase was a trip for two to Rio de Janeiro, a refrigerator wine cooler and a Jeep Wrangler. Sturgess didn't pass and bid $26,000.

"Then came Lloyd's showcase, and he got a trip to New York City, London and then a Mustang convertible. He bid $27,000," Sturgess recalled.

In the end, Sturgess's showcase was worth $28,000, and Lloyd's was worth $39,000 so Sturgess won.

"The Barker beauties were saying come on over, and my daughter and I run to the car and we hug. ... We open the door and I'm too scared to get in," Sturgess said.

Following the show, Sturgess said she called her husband from the studio parking lot. But it wasn't until he talked to audience members from Georgia that he was convinced she'd won, Sturgess laughed.

Sturgess, who is the principal at Southeast Elementary in Sikeston, returned home Friday night. Her neighbors had decorated her house with pink flamingos and a sign that read, "Kathy, come on down!"

Sturgess admitted she's a little apprehensive about watching the episode, which is scheduled to air Oct. 5.

"I really don't know what I did on TV -- and I don't know how I acted," Sturgess laughed. "I did not kiss Bob Barker -- that's the No. 1 question I've been getting. But I hugged him though."

Although school will be in session when the show airs, Sturgess is hoping she'll receive permission from school officials to let her students watch.

And despite all of her winnings, Sturgess isn't sure she's keeping all of her prizes.

"What a lot of people don't know is you have to pay sales tax and income tax on everything," Sturgess said.

Plus there's also a lot of paperwork that comes with winning, but Sturgess would at least like to keep her trip and the electric car to drive to work.

She said: "With gas prices the way they are, it would come in handy."