“Come on down!”
Jamal Morrow heard these three words live when he went all the way to the final showcase as a contestant on The Price is Right game show Aug. 16.
For Jamal, a freshman running back for the WSU football team, watching The Price is Right and many other game shows runs in his blood.
Back home in Menifee, Calif., his mother Vera Morrow lives as an established game show addict. The family did not eat dinner without watching Pat Sajak reveal word puzzles on The Wheel of Fortune.
“It was bonding time,” Vera said. “It was something to laugh about, something to talk about as a family.”
When Vera heard about the back-to-school Price is Right episode, she knew this was her chance. She bought tickets online for her and Jamal and arrived outside the studio doors at 8 a.m. the day of the show.
After waiting in line for almost five hours, Jamal and his mom entered as audience members. With a few rounds of questions and 20 minutes of painful anticipation, Jamal saw his name on the contestant board and heard the famous words, “Come on down.”
“I was in shock, it was crazy,” Jamal said. “I was in awe. My heart dropped. I’m really gonna be on the show.”
Although shocked in the moment, Jamal did not come to the show unprepared. A week prior, he watched every Price is Right episode he could get his hands on.
After bidding the closest in the One Bid round, Jamal made it on stage. He did not win his pricing game, but he spun the giant number wheel and eventually made it to the showcase showdown, the final stage.
“I just spun the wheel as hard as I could,” Jamal said. “This was my day.”
His showcase included a car, iMac computer and $2,500 cash. Listening to his mom screaming numbers at him from the audience, Jamal estimated $400 off the correct price and did not win the showcase.
“I tried not to think about what I didn’t win,” he said. “Instead I thought about what I did win.”
Jamal went home with almost $2,000 worth of clothes and, as his mother said, “A memory he will never forget and no one can take that away from him.”
Although Jamal has kept quiet about his appearance on the show, he was welcomed back at a recent WSU football team meeting by head coach Mike Leach. Jamal said despite being called “the price is wrong,” his teammates surprised him with their excitement and curiosity about his shot on the show.