Preparation paid off for a former Benton resident who won big on “The Price is Right.”
U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Todd Browning won a $30,292 prize package in the CBS game show’s Showcase on an episode that aired Monday.
As soon as he saw the Boston Whaler boat in the showcase, Browning knew the prizes were his for the taking.
“Once we knew we were going to the show, we watched and studied every game,” he said. “We knew that if there was ever a boat in it, the showcase was always worth over $30,000.”
He looked from his place behind the onstage podium to the audience and locked eyes with his fiancee, Christina Faulis.
“As soon as I saw the boat, I looked over at Christina and knew it was ours to take as long as I didn’t go over. She said to bid $28,000, but, always a risk taker, I said $29,000,” he laughed.
His bid came in $1,292 under the showcase’s value and was good enough to win him the boat, a six-night stay in Miami and four pairs of Ray-Ban sunglasses on the show that taped in November.
“It’s funny because when got to the waiting area before the show we had our pictures taken and name tags made. Christina and I wore them with pride, glad we at least had a memento to take home,” said Browning, who will celebrate his 26th birthday this Sunday. “I was very surprised to have a seat on the front row, let alone get called to contestant’s row. To win was just amazing.”
He had to keep his big win a secret from friends and family, including his mother, Kimberly, of Mesa, Ariz., and his relatives in Benton.
“The only thing we could tell them was that we attended the show, it would air Feb. 10, and tune in,” he said. “Boot camp was easy compared to keeping my experience on ‘The Price Is Right’ a secret for three months.”
Browning, who is stationed at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, said his phone “blew up” after the show aired Monday.
“It died, I charged it and it died again. I think I heard from everybody I know,” he said. “I put a photo (of his appearance on the game show) on Facebook and it got more ‘likes’ than our engagement photo. It was crazy.”
Browning and his fiancee are still considering what to do with their winnings.
“We have a wedding to pay for in September. There’s a chance we’ll keep the boat and we’ll try and use the Miami trip for the honeymoon,” he said.
On Twitter: @beckymalkovich