Jeremy Zuber, center, celebrates with his fiancée and his parents after his “The Price Is Right” success.
Winning the 8 Tuff Miles Road Race is apparently just one of Jeremy Zuber’s many talents.
The St. John resident won $44,000 worth of prizes and trips as a contestant on The Price is Right, which aired on Monday, December 10.
The show was taped on September 25, but Zuber was tight-lipped about how he fared. In the end, he was the day’s big winner, taking first a trip to Hawaii on his way to winning the Showcase Showdown.
After arriving at his parent’s Thousands Oaks, California home around midnight, Zuber and his fiancée Michelle Weisman arose at 3 a.m. in order to get in line for the show.
“My first thoughts were, ‘Do you really want to go; I’m so tired,’” said Zuber. “But it was our plan and we were really excited to go.”
While tickets to the show are free, potential contestants must line up outside the gate to the lot early to be ensured one of the 325 seats. Once Zuber, his parents and Weisman were given their numbers, they were allowed inside the gate at 9 a.m.
That is when Zuber made an impression on whoever picked the contestants out of the audience, he explained.
“They don’t tape the show until 12:30 p.m., so you just wait and wait and wait,” Zuber said. “People watch you and monitor you and that’s how the selection process goes. I’m kind of a nutty guy, so I turned on the juice to about a seven; I made myself noticed.”
Finally, Zuber and his group entered the stage set and took their seats in the audience.
“I had a funny feeling that something was going to happen,” said Zuber. “Sure enough they call the first three names and I had a twinge of disappointment, which you can’t be disappointed about not getting on, but I was. And then the fourth name got called and it was me.”
“My brain exploded and we all freaked out,” he said. “I was running around like a crazy man.”
Zuber was way off on the first items up for bid, a nook and several comic books, but felt confident when the second items up for bid were wheeled onto the stage, he explained.
“The next two items were surfboards and it just so happens that Michelle’s brother is a pretty big surfer so she knew what they cost,” said Zuber. “She gave me the sign for $1,200 and then I hear the next lady going and people telling her to bid $1,201.”
That lady, however, didn’t listen to the urging of the crowd and instead bid $1,300. The price of the surfboards was $1,225 and Zuber was on his way to the stage.
Zuber’s game was Safe Cracker, which offers a trip and then two accompanying items — the price of which must be guessed. In Zuber’s case, it was a trip to Hawaii, but he had to dial in the price of two go pro cameras in order to win.
“So it happens that a friend of mine recently bought a go pro and I knew how much it cost,” said Zuber. “Plus there are only three dials, so you know it’s not going to be like $45. And the crowd totally helps.”
“I had the first number ‘5’ and they yelled yes,” he said. “I dialed in ‘540’ and sure enough the door swung open and I ran around and around. I’m glad it was that game because if I had to guess the price of Colgate, I would have been totally wrong.”
With the trip to Hawaii and the two go pro cameras already under his belt, Zuber went to the wheel. The first person to spin went over $1 and the second spun 95-cents, putting the pressure on the St. John contestant.
“I spun 95-cents too,” he said. “So we had a spin-of so he went first and just missed out on a dollar and got 15-cents. It was looking good and I spun and landed on 25-cents.”
Zuber then had the entire second half of the show to wait until he faced off in the Showcase Showdown.
“That whole time I’m in Zen mode,” said Zuber. “All I was thinking about was winning and this once in a lifetime experience.”
Zuber was the first to see a showcase and decided to bid on the package, which included a trip to Las Vegas and a brand new Camaro.
“So I calculate in my head about $31,000 but that cardinal rule I know from watching The Price is Right with my grandmother, is you can go under as much as you want, but you can’t go over,” he said. “So I dialed back on it and Michelle was signaling $28,000 too so I bid that. And the crowd booed me; they thought it was too low.”
The second contestant, bidding on a showcase which included a trip to Canada and a new boat, bid $30,000.
“So it goes to commercial,” said Zuber. “Drew Carey comes back and pulls out my card and it’s $32,000. I was off by $4,000.”
“He pulls out the other card and it’s all in slow motion,” Zuber said. “And the card says $26,000 and he’s over. I ran across the stage and freaked out.”
While Zuber’s big win certainly had something to do with luck, he also was ready for, and expecting, good things to happen that day.
“If you believe, things happen,” he said. “Even if you don’t get on the show, it’s totally worth going to. The CBS people make it really fun and you always have this cool story to tell.”
With Zuber’s trips and new car, he left The Price is Right with more than just good stories to tell.