The Price Was Wrong


I’ve never written a bucket list, as the whole thing seems kind of grim to me. That being said, there are certainly some things I want to accomplish. At the top of my list was being a contestant, ideally a successful one, on “The Price is Right”.

Growing up, I watched this game show nearly every day with my great-grandmother — meaning I stayed glued to the television while she fell asleep sometime before the first round of the big wheel. How anyone could sleep during that excitement is beyond me.

So when I found out “The Price is Right Live!” — read: the knock-off, untelevised version — was coming to Charlottesville, you can bet my decision to attend was a no-brainer. Close enough to the real thing without having to leave beloved Charlottesville? I mobilized my friends pronto.

I assumed I wasn’t going to be picked. I just wasn’t lucky enough. There would be tons of people there — 2,400 to be exact. I wouldn’t be chosen. I was in class all day, and therefore couldn’t register early, as suggested. But it was okay, because being able to watch the “show” in person would be more than enough. I registered shortly before the show, kissing my slip of paper before putting it in the bin.

The. Show. Was. Awesome. I watched someone play Cliff Hangers in real life! I heard the yodeling for myself! Obviously, the contestant had no idea how much a glass picture frame pivoting on magnets cost — let’s be honest, who does? Seventy bucks, in case you’re wondering. I was on cloud nine, which is basically how high up and far away our seats were.

After four rounds of names to no avail, I was still more than content to be a spectator. But then — on the fourth round, the last name to be called was “Abbi Sigler, come on down!” “Abbi Sigler” flashed on the screen in black capital letters. Wait, that person has my name. Wait, that person spells it weird like I do. Wait, that is me! I stared in disbelief until my friends looked down the aisle, grinning. I grabbed my license out of my wallet — how else can you prove who you are?

I ran to the usher, beaming and hyperventilating, and he asked me if I was excited. Uhh, please, I don’t think there’s a word in the English language strong enough for the emotion I felt. I proceeded to tell him about my great-grandmother, who I’m sure was beaming as much up there as I was in JPJ. I finally understood the sheer emotion of the 65-year-old women who kiss and tackle Bob Barker/Drew Carey and don’t comprehend how they are overreacting.

My competition and I approached the podiums and shook hands with the stand-in Bob Barker — because there can only ever be one and this guy was not him. I leaned over to the woman, who later became my new friend, and begged her to not be the tool who places her bid one dollar higher than mine, since I was in the unfortunate position of having to go first.

The first round, we all overbid. It’s not my fault I have expensive taste and would pay a lot for an electric guitar. Then we placed bids again and I ended up only clapping for my new friend, who turned out to be the closest without going over. I returned to my seat, still hyperventilating and in disbelief, and watched her compete in all her glory.

My girl Therese went on to win a trip to Vegas. You go girl. Really, winning that trip would’ve complicated my life. Who to take? My roommate — partly as a reward for putting up with me, but also because she loves gambling? My mom — because she gave me life? But what about my dad? And winning that would have entailed a lot of taxes, right?

In any case, I’m thanking my great-grandmother for whatever strings she pulled up there and checking this off my non-existent bucket list. I’m also probably never taking off the consolation prize t-shirt. This is Abbi Sigler reminding you: Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.

Abbi’s column runs biweekly Wednesdays. She can be reached at

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