Jul 29, 2014

Nancy Tepley-Mimbach's Letter to 'The Price is Right'

Here is the letter that Nancy Tepley-Mimbach sent to producers of “The Price is Right” who were seeking previous winners for the 40th anniversary reunion show.

I began my job with Northwest Airlines in May 1994 and was anxious to use my new “flight benefits” to go to “The Price is Right” and fulfill a longtime dream. My sister, Patricia Bledsoe, who also worked for Northwest Airlines, began to plan the trip.  We were excited to include our mother, her sisters and some cousins in our travel plans. We got our tickets and we were OFF! Bound for California and “The Price is Right!”

We got up very, very early and took a couple of taxis (to accommodate all of us) to the studio. Despite the long wait in line, we had a lot of fun and enjoyed getting to know some of the people in line with us -- one group was even from a town that is near my home town. I exchanged name, address, etc., with another individual and we became pen pals! 

We attended the first show and to our disappointment, none of us was called on. As we were leaving, we were asked if we'd like to attend a second show that night. Apparently they were short of people to fill the audience. 

After surveying our group, it turned out that only my sister and I wanted to go to the second show.  My mom and aunts are older and it had been a very long day for them. After some cajoling, my sister and I were able to talk them all into going to the second show. 

We enjoyed ourselves immensely and sat through the second show, each of us counting down how many more names would be called. When there was just ONE name left I heard it! My name! I couldn't believe it! Some part of me gathered the strength and began walking swiftly toward the contestants’ row. My kneecaps felt like they were on tracks, sliding up and down, and I felt a huge knot in my stomach that had me feeling like I had just swallowed a 9-pound bowling ball.

I entered contestants’ row, and as I look back, I know that Rod Roddy was absolutely right when he told us that when our names are called, our brains will turn to MUSH. I could barely think. The item offered up for us to bid on was a black and cherry armoire (this would be my ONLY chance since I was the last one called). I had been watching the show faithfully for many years but prior to attending had really studied the items and prices. 

I bid the exact amount of an armoire I had seen on a previously televised show, and I won! Wow! That is so amazing that I had ONE shot and I got it! I had told my sister, mother, aunts and cousins that my dream was to play the dice game, and when I went up on stage, guess what game I got to play? Yep! The dice game! My favorite! The prize was a red Neon. Of course, I wanted the car. My oldest son had just gotten his driver's license, and I thought it would be so cool to have an “extra” vehicle now that we have an “extra” driver in the house.

I didn't even try to think, though. As I rolled each number, I just looked to the audience for my sister, who is always cool and calm, and she would signal higher or lower. In the end, she was wrong! (I should have been listening to the cute guy sitting in front of her because he was right.) Spinning the wheel was fun, too. It is so awkward, you just have no idea until you try to spin it. 

After the show it took about a day before the “bowling ball in the stomach” feeling went away. Friends at home contacted our local newspaper, and they came to my home and did an article about it. Bassett Furniture Company had one of their semitrucks deliver my armoire right to my door! My kids’ teachers let their classes watch the show the day it aired, and my daughter said everyone was quite entertained when I put my hands up to my face and squeezed my cheeks together -- I hadn't even realized I'd done that until seeing the show on TV! 

I love “The Price is Right.” I am so glad that I got to be on with Bob Barker, and I am thrilled that Drew Carey has taken over for Bob since his retirement. Drew is such an awesome host. I didn't think anyone could do it any better than Bob Barker, but Drew Carey brings his own “flavor” and it is even more fun! 

Thank you, “Price is Right,” for the awesome experience. I have five children and it is now a family tradition to bring each child to “The Price Is Right” in celebration of their 18th birthdays. Call it a rite of passage!

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