LOS ANGELES, Calif. — In one “mind-blowing” moment, one of Stefanie Rolf’s childhood dreams came.
Not long after walking down the aisle at her wedding, she was invited to “come on down” another aisle on CBS’ The Price Is Right.
On their recent honeymoon in Los Angeles, Rolf’s husband Dustin surprised her with tickets to one of her favorite TV game shows.
“It was something on my bucket list and I never in a million years would have dreamed that’s what we were going to do,” the 26-year-old Ludlow Falls resident said. “It was mind-blowing. It was just crazy.”
Her husband even had matching T-shirts secretly packed away, which they decorated together before going to the show. The neon green shirts asked show host Drew Carey to “make our honeymoon dreams come true!”
Getting into the studio “honestly takes forever,” Rolf said. Ticket holders spend a lot of time in line — not to mention filling out paperwork and having head shots taken — before they make it to the screening process. After answering a series of quick questions, the Rolfs were shown to their seats and the show began.
“A lot of people think that some parts of the show are staged and it’s really not,” she explained. “You have no idea that you’re the one being called down until that moment. It’s all real, it’s all true emotions.”
Rolf was the second person called down to “Contestants’ Row” — where players bid on items to determine if they will move to onstage pricing games.
While Rolf stayed in Contestants’ Row for the whole game, she said the experience was still phenomenal.
“I couldn’t even tell you the things I was bidding on,” she laughed. “In the moment you don’t even pay attention, you’re so full of adrenaline.”
Even though she didn’t win any of the game prizes, Rolf was still awarded $300 just for playing.
She was also thrilled to have a chance to meet Drew Carey, who took over the show from longtime host Bob Barker in 2007.
“He is just as genuine in person as he is on any TV show I’ve ever seen him on,” Rolf said. “He kept the crowd going for sure. He was dancing during the commercial breaks. It was great.”
Rolf said she was surprised by the size of the studio, which she says looks much bigger on TV than in real life.
“I could not get over how small the studio was,” she said. While on TV it looks like there are three curtained areas, Rolf said there’s only one. Everything is rolled on and off stage, even “The Big Wheel” on the Showcase Showdown.
Episodes are taped months in advance and contestants are asked to keep the details of their participation a secret until after their episode is aired. Rolf’s episode was filmed in August, but didn’t air until Dec. 14.
Rolf said she still feels like the experience was a dream.
“The day of it, I don’t think it really hit me,” she explained. “But then when everyone’s saying, ‘Oh, I saw you on TV!’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I was on TV! That was me!’ I really was on the show I’ve watched since I was 5.”
Rolf has been a fan of the show since she was a little girl. Watching the long-running show was something she shared with her grandfather.
“It was tradition, we always watched it,” she said. When her episode aired Dec. 14, Rolf was delighted that her grandfather got to see her on a show they both love.
Rolf wishes she could have watched it with him, but she was at work when the show aired. She did get to share the experience with some of her preschoolers in the Tipp City Enrichment Program.
On the day the episode aired, Rolf wore to work the same bright green shirt she’d worn on The Price Is Right.
“It confused some of the kids,” she said laughing. “They couldn’t figure out how I was on TV and with them at the same time.”
Rolf now says her husband has set the bar high for himself.
“What are we going to do for our birthdays and Christmas now?” she joked.