Some kids turn 18 and buy a lottery ticket; Southern student Chris Carrion turned 18 and took a bigger gamble by going on the TV show “The Price is Right” in 2007.
The junior journalism major made a documentary earlier this year about his adventure called “Christian Carrion, Come on Down: The Price is Right Story.” He showed it in the Student Center Theater on Nov. 1.
“I don’t know how he did it, but [my dad] got me a round-trip to Los Angeles to see the show,” Carrion said in the documentary.
He said “The Price is Right” is his favorite game show and he has been watching it since he was 4 years old. Carrion got the opportunity to go on the show a matter of weeks before host Bob Barker retired.
“I don’t care who you are; I haven’t met a single person who doesn’t love Bob Barker,” Carrion said in the documentary.
He said he was in awe when he arrived in California. Carrion waited outside the CBS studio for 76 hours and was the first in line. The studio holds 300 people; over 600 people waited in line with him for a chance to be on the show.
Carrion went to a bagel shop across the street to get breakfast one of the mornings he was waiting.
In the documentary, Carrion recalls talking with the employee, who asked if he was going on “The Price is Right.”
“He said, ‘You know it’s a longshot right?’” said Carrion. He said he told the employee he knew his chances weren’t good.
“He said ‘Alright now listen. There are 300 people in the audience, and every show they call nine people. That’s, like, those aren’t very good odds,’” said Carrion. “‘I hope you didn’t spend a lot of money to get here. But I have a feeling, I have a hunch, I have a feeling. You seem to want it more than a lot of people who come here. You seem to be very passionate about what you’re doing.’”
Carrion was one of the first audience members to get called down. To move up, contestants had to guess the value of the displayed product without going over. After four rounds, Carrion estimated the closest to the price of a couch and eye drops, which he won.
He said when he was moving, the couch broke. He added he was not given eye drops; he actually received eye drop coupons.
His second potential prize was a new car; Carrion is seen in the documentary falling on the stage after seeing the blue SUV.
However, he did not win it; he was off by one number.
Carrion said overall he cared more about being on the show than winning. He said he went on the show because: “It felt like something I needed to do.”
The documentary lasted for approximately 40 minutes and consisted of “The Price is Right” footage; including the episode Carrion was on as well as clips from other episodes. Carrion said he contacted CBS and was sent the game’s music and footage he used.
Senior Lauren Mastrianni, a communications major, came out to support Carrion.
“I was excited to see Chris’ journey at ‘Price is Right,’” she said. “Chris’ passion about game shows really stood out in the film.”
Mastrianni said she would also like to see Carrion make a documentary about his journey with “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” as well.
“That is an awesome idea and I’m really gonna think about doing it,” said Carrion, in regards to making another documentary.
Senior Katie Roberge also attended the event.
“It’s cool to see a good friend in his element; game shows are definitely his element,” she said.
Carrion said he also took a test over the summer to be on “Jeopardy” but has not heard back yet from them.