Bridal work brings dividends on 'Price is Right'

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

When Cape Girardeau resident Stephanie Belmar went into Tuesday's taping of the game show "The Price is Right," she didn't know that she would even be a contestant.

Nor did she know that the things she learned as a bridal consultant at Famous Barr would help her win the Showcase Showdown: the grand prize round at the end of the show.

Due to Belmar's love of the venerable game show -- she watches every day, sometimes twice -- she and her husband, Shawn, decided to try and catch a taping in Hollywood on their honeymoon. Even though the couple had tickets, it still wasn't guaranteed they would even be a part of the studio audience, much less that she would win the show's grand prize.

"Just because you have tickets that doesn't mean you'll be in the studio audience," Belmar said. "They give out more tickets than they have seats for."

So the newlyweds waited for seven hours, starting at 6 a.m. to see Bob Barker and his crew live. They finally made it in, and when the taping started, Belmar was the first to be called up as a contestant.

"They called Stephanie Belmar and I didn't even hear it," Belmar said. "It's so loud in there you can't hear anything."

Fortunately the name was displayed on a cue card. Belmar went to the stage and placed the closest bid for a Honda dirt bike, which allowed her to play one of the show's games -- Freeze Frame.

She lost the game, but got a chance to spin the wheel to be in the show's culminating event -- the Showcase Showdown. When she spun the wheel, Belmar got 90 cents, the highest of any contestant.

Belmar had then had to bid on a showcase featuring a dining room set, dinnerware, crystal, a $1,000 gift certificate for chocolate-covered strawberries and a baby grand piano. Here was where her knowledge from Famous Barr kicked in.

"The dining room set, dinnerware and crystal -- that's my area of expertise. I already knew the price for that stuff."

She placed a bid of $18,000, just $3,000 under the actual price of the showcase, coming closer than her competitor.

"Meeting Bob Barker was a dream come true," Belmar said. "I wanted to do this since I was old enough to watch TV."

In all, Belmar's winnings totaled $23,850. She plans to sell the bike, but keep the strawberries, china and crystal, and possibly the piano.

Belmar's win can be seen on the Thursday episode of "The Price is Right." It airs at 10 a.m. on KFVS12.

msanders@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 182

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