Mount Pearl woman wins on ‘Price is Right’

Danette Dooley
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Twenty-one-year-old Brittany McCarthy watches herself on “The Price is Right” Thursday. The Mount Pearl woman appeared on the show in January, but couldn’t reveal if she’d won a prize until after the showed aired Thursday. — Photo by Danette Dooley/Special to The Telegram

Brittany McCarthy of Mount Pearl has been keeping a big secret for more than a month.

The 21-year-old Memorial University student was a contestant on “The Price is Right” in January, but couldn’t reveal if she’d won a prize until after the show aired Thursday.

McCarthy was at home with her boyfriend, Justin Penney, and several other friends Thursday afternoon as they counted down the minutes until the show aired at 12:30 p.m.

“What I can tell you is that it was an unforgettable experience,” she said.

The fun began on Christmas Day when McCarthy’s parents, Tim and Jeanie McCarthy, and her 27-year-old sister, Ashley McCarthy, gave her a trip to California to the People’s Choice Awards. They gave McCarthy’s 25-year-old sister, Genna McCarthy, the same gift.

Ashley McCarthy lives in Alberta. The three young women and their parents were taking the trip together.

During the Christmas holidays, Genna McCarthy went online to see if she could get tickets to “The Price is Right” in Los Angeles. She was lucky enough to get them and on Jan. 9 the family headed to the CBS studio wearing navy T-shirts with Newfoundland printed in large yellow letters across the front of each shirt.

More than 300 people had tickets for the show, McCarthy said, and thus began what eventually became an eight-hour wait.

Wannabe contestants are placed in groups of 12 and then interviewed individually by producers.

“They asked me where I was from and I told them Newfoundland, Canada. I told them I was a poor student and that I really needed to be on the show. And I told them where we are from, people really care … that we put missing cats on the news,” McCarthy laughs.

McCarthy and her sisters were told to sit in the front row of the audience. Their parents were seated directly behind them.

Only nine contestants are selected from the 325 audience members for each episode. Of these nine contestants, only six make it past contestants’ row to play the game.

McCarthy was speechless when the show’s host, Drew Carey, called her name as the very first contestant. It’s almost impossible to hear the names with the roar of the crowd, she said, but producers at the front hold up large white signs with the person’s name on it.

“When I saw my name I freaked out like crazy. I was just so excited to even get in contestants’ row.”

McCarthy was the closest bidder on a sofa valued at more than $1,000. Carey then invited her to play the Plinko board game where contestants can win up to $50,000.

McCarthy had three large, plastic chips to place at the top of the Pinko board. The goal of the game is to drop the chips and watch as they make their way to the bottom of the board and into slots marked with various amounts of money.

Her first chip landed in the zero amount. Her second chip earned her $1,000.

“Here it comes, my last chip,” McCarthy said to her boyfriend and friends as she watched herself on television releasing the last chip.

The chip landed in the $10,000 slot.

“I won $11,000,” McCarthy yelled, raising her arms in the air.

McCarthy also spun the big wheel for a spot in the final showcase, but didn’t make it.

She’s not disappointed, she said, and has already decided what she’ll do with her winnings.

McCarthy and her boyfriend recently bought a home in Paradise. The money will help them make renovations to the basement apartment. They plan on living in the apartment and renting the upstairs.

Being on the show was an opportunity of a lifetime, McCarthy said.

Carey was a great host, she said, and made small talk with her parents and sisters during a commercial break.

During their five-day stay in California, the family also went to a basketball game and an NHL hockey game.

McCarthy doesn’t hesitate, however, when asked about the highlight of the trip.

“‘The Price is Right.’ And I’ve proven that you can get on the show. You just have to be a little bit crazy.”

Organizations: CBS, Plinko board, Pinko board NHL

Geographic location: California, Mount Pearl, Newfoundland Alberta Los Angeles Canada Paradise

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Recent comments

  • APS
    February 17, 2012 - 20:30

    Maybe the reason she was able to get her own house in paridise is because instead of sitting around during the summers, relying on mom and dad, she chose to go away and make money and save it to better herself. Jealous is the only word that comes to mind when I read all the negative comments. Yes she is a student, without barrels of money, and the money she does make goes to more important financial choices than out with friends. Her family gave her the trip to LA. GET OVER IT!

  • Closely Related
    February 17, 2012 - 19:35

    Britt, We are all very Proud of you , You always do Great at whatever you set out to do. Your an A Student ,always made your Parents Proud of what you've accomplished, You can do anything that you set out to do, We all know that your Parents didn't just help you through school, they also did the same for your 2 sisters who they also can be Proud of what they also have accomplished. Keep your head up because you have a lot to be Proue off. Congratulations on putting NL on The Price is Right.

  • JP
    February 17, 2012 - 17:26

    Intelligent, lucky and beautiful to boot! I can't understand why people would be jealous! LOL! Congrats to someone who sounds like they got their act together.

  • Disgusted Newfie Abroad
    February 17, 2012 - 16:01

    OMFG !!!!! I wanna be a "poor student" like her ..... Going to MUN,...( a politician in the making no doubt ) ...... holidays in Cali. , baseball games, hockey games ...... her own house in Paradise ....... Hmmmmm sound more a politician ...... Well done Brittany .......

  • stephen
    February 17, 2012 - 15:53

    Ain,t it typical of those who are too godd@#$ lazy or "sick" to work that get on here and crap all over someone else because their family MAY have money. You know something? I grew up in outport NL and moved on to the mainland and I did very well,I love NL with my heart and soul but I hate Nlders who make the rest of us look greedy for being sucessful.I am not mega rich by no means,but I don,t buy into this 99 percent crap either. Youe life is what you make it,or don,t so shut up your whining about people who are doing well,and try it yourself. You might like it.

  • APS
    February 17, 2012 - 15:29

    Why is everyone so jealous? She made it on the show and did well. She was representing her province by wearing the T-shirts. I think she made us proud. Just because she went on a trip with her family, which was a Christmas gift, does not make her rich. She is a student, who has a great head on her shoulders, that purchased a house to better herself financially. I don't think her or her family's financial situation should be anyones concern here, just the simple fact that a fellow newfie made it on a famous TV show. So stop ruining her excitement and happiness with your negative comments. She may be better off than some other people in the province, but it was her own determination and drive that got her where she is. I am very proud of you Brittany, and all those negative comments are here because of jealously! xoxo

  • billyb
    February 17, 2012 - 14:28

    Congrats to you --- Brittany .You are certainly a lucky girl . Lucky enough to win on the price is right but even luckier to be able to get out of Mount Pearl and move to Paradise ( you are smart as well as lucky.)

  • newffie
    February 17, 2012 - 13:55

    hello tim glad ya made it on the price is right with ya kids take care hope to have a chat about it some day have fun jack

  • newffie
    February 17, 2012 - 13:52

    hello tim glad ya made it on the price is right with ya kids take care hope to have a chat about it some day have fun jack

    • wilfred conway
      February 17, 2012 - 14:28

      Congratulations Brittany on your winnings, all the best to you.

  • George
    February 17, 2012 - 13:33

    I live on the mainland and usually the TPIR on in the morning while I do housework. Yesterday I was lying on the couch half asleep and didn't hear her name called. What woke me up was "Newfoundland Canada" with that accent. Awesome!!!

  • Paul Ryan
    February 17, 2012 - 13:25

    I cannot believe the petty, mean spirited comments about this young lady's financial situation. What a miserable way to live when jealousy outweighs joy for a neighbor's success. Since her win wasn't at your expense, its time to applaud her good fortune and use the story as a reminder that all our news isn't about a poor economy, government cutbacks, an uncertain future, or missing cats. This young lady should be admired for her initiative to seek out the tickets for Price Is Right when she could have as easily coasted on her family's generosity and I wonder whose idea it was for the eye-catching t-shirts. If anyone thinks that purchasing a house in Paradise with the intention to live in the basement while tenants pay down the mortgage is a sign of hidden wealth, they are out of touch with reality and likely to be forever doomed to a life of missed opportunity and complaint about the size of their next government handout.

  • Ashley
    February 17, 2012 - 12:24

    Cannot believe some of the comments on here, some people are just cruel. Try not to let these few jealous people get you down, MOST of us Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are very happy for you.

  • geepers
    February 17, 2012 - 11:35

    I agree with Bobmanny and Waitnow......don't go exaggerating, you won, that is great but you ain't poor nor were you poor before going on the show. Take a look around the province if you want see people who are living poor, can't afford a trip to an Ice Caps game or the MusicNL awards!!!!

    • Waitnow
      February 17, 2012 - 11:54

      I dare say she's not out eating Mr. Noodle's like many "poor students" have to resort to.

  • katrinka
    February 17, 2012 - 10:38

    Small correction to your story: Drew Carey does not call out the contestants names to "come on down". That is done by the announcer, George Gray.

  • Perry
    February 17, 2012 - 09:22

    Bobmanny What a bitter jealous person you are . Just be happy for the young lady . She won !!!! . Why try to take that away from her

  • Robb
    February 17, 2012 - 09:06

    Hey to rain on her parade don't you...???...I guess your glass is half empty.......if you can't say something nice, please keep the stupid comments to yourself.....this is a wonderful little story about someone having a little fun, and you jump all over the "poor student" comment...very petty man.

  • Steve
    February 17, 2012 - 09:04

    BOBMANNY.....get a life. Its a great story. Stop being so negative.

  • bobmanny
    February 17, 2012 - 07:49

    "told them I was a poor student" ??????? Getting to go to L.A., the People’s Choice Awards, NBA game and an NHL game, plus the Price is Right!!!!! Sorry but I don't know any poor students that can do that, I know the parents paid for it but you don't qualify as a poor student with parents with that kind of money!

    • WaitNow
      February 17, 2012 - 09:25

      How many "poor students" can afford a house in Paradise ? Congrats on the winnings, not on the embellishment of one's situation for personal gain.

    • WaitNow
      February 17, 2012 - 09:55

      ....... and I probably would have done the same thing.

    • Mom
      February 17, 2012 - 13:17

      Her parents paid for the trip, not her, and just because her parents have money doesn't mean she does. My parents never supported me financially after I turned 16 and got my first job. I had to put myself through school, and when you're in school full time, everyone's a poor student

  • linda
    February 17, 2012 - 07:28

    hi congrats on your chance of a lifetime and your winnings .i bet your friends know now you can keep a secret lol .

    • Barb Baldwin
      February 17, 2012 - 08:54

      Way to go girl. missed the show yesterday, but very pleased for you.

    • marm
      February 17, 2012 - 09:08

      I think BOBMANNY's comments are uncalled for, I know we live in a society where freedom of speech do prevail and I respect that, but this young girl is full of drive and personally any student especially in their 3rd year of Business needs any extra cash they can get their hands on no matter what her parents financial situation is. Let her fun with it and the Brittany I know will put her money to good use, she is a very sensible girl. Come on don't take it so seriously and as I say let her have a little fun. You go girl, the more cash, the better and faster you can get your education and your home. Loves ya Britt, you know who I am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Mary
      February 17, 2012 - 12:40

      Who cares ,who called out her name, somebody did, and I'm thrilled for her, The green eyed monster, is alive and well here, I see.