In past years, Bonnie Baldridge regularly tuned in to “Let’s Make A Deal.” But it never occurred to her that she might be on the show until she was sitting in a hotel room room in California last summer.
Not only did the Greenfield resident make it on the show, she was picked as one of the contestants, ended up being “the big winner of the day,” gave up a trip to London, then won another prize valued at around $5,800.
The show was taped June 29 in Van Nuys, Calif., but did not air until Jan. 10. Baldridge said that while she could tell people she had been on the show, she was not permitted to reveal any results until after the show aired Thursday morning. She said the full episode can now be viewed on the “Let’s Make A Deal” website.
“I used to watch it all the time when I didn’t work every day, and of course, I like (show host) Wayne Brady. He’s truly a wonderful person and extremely talented,” Baldridge, who works in accounts payable for the Greenfield schools, said. “If someone ever went to the show and thought they weren’t going to enjoy it, your whole attitude changes when you get there. Everyone was super excited and so nice. And the whole crew was like that. They’re very,very nice, very kind, they laugh with you and at you, and you do the same thing back. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
It all came about thanks to Baldridge’s grandson, Christian Ursell, a freshman at Fairfield High School in Leesburg.
Last year, one of Ursell’s teachers at Fairfield nominated him for an Ambassador Leadership Summit Program. There were five summitt locations to choose from, but since he wants to attend UCLA when he graduates from high school, that’s where he picked to attend the summit.
Baldridge said her grandson’s family did not feel comfortable sending a 14-year-old alone to California for the summit, so his mother decided to accompany him. And when she decided she didn’t want to sit around alone all day in California, Baldridge decided to join them.
“We were sitting in the hotel the first night looking up things to do, ‘Let’s Make A Deal’ came up, and we decided to do that,” Baldridge said. “We ordered the tickets online right there, had the hotel print them out, called Uber the next day and said, ‘Take us to ‘Let’s Make A Deal.””
The next thing she knew she heard her name called as one of the contestants.
“To be honest I was so full of excitement, I was in awe,” Baldridge said. “I was like, ‘Are you serious?’ I was shocked. I was like, ‘How am I going to get down there?’ There were so many people.”
After making her way through the crowd, Baldridge found herself in front of a dice game. She said she was given a pair of dice to roll on a downhill slide. She rolled a six and a four, which meant Brady and another host alternated giving her 10 words that were clues to what was behind a couple boxes. Behind the box she eventually choose was a trip to London, England.
That left her in a bit of quandary because she couldn’t choose which family member to take with her to London. So when she was announced as the big winner of the day, and was offered a chance to go for the big deal of the day, Baldridge decided to give up the trip and go for it all.
She didn’t win the big prize, which was a two-person trip to Aruba and Thailand, but she didn’t the win the smallest prize either. What she won a 75-inch smart television set in a wooden stand that comes equipped with all kinds of Apple accessories.
She said she will receive it sometime within 30 to 90 days of the show airing.
“It was a very nice outfit and can be enjoyed the whole family, and that was the point of giving up the trip to London,” Baldridge said. “The big deal was a trip to Aruba and Thailand, and that would have been another vacation, so it all worked out well.”
She said a spur of the moment decision the night before the show turned into an experience she will long remember.
”It was definitely an experience. I’d go back if I had the chance,” Baldridge said. “If you ever get a chance, definitely go. It was a lot of fun, extremely high-energy, a fun-filled TV show.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.