After Calgarian Trent Cherak made a critical error in the Lucky Seven game for a new car on the Price is Right back in 2010, show host Drew Carey consoled him.
“He came over to me in the commercial break back in 2010 and said, ‘Trent, don’t worry about it, man. You’ll get it back as you go on in life.’” Cherak recalled.
Carey turned out to be prophetic – just not in the way Cherak, a 31-year-old Calgary tax-preparer, expected.
In a Price is Right at Night redemption episode that aired Jan. 4, 2023, nearly 13 years to the day of the 2010 show taping, Cherak sunk a roughly eight-foot putt in the Hole in One game to win a Ford Edge SUV.
The Price is Right journey began for Cherak years before the 2010 episode. A school walk in Grade 4 growing up in Calgary first turned him on to the game. His fourth-grade teacher talked about her own experience on the show and the “pilgrimage down to the Price is Right.”
“That was probably the first time that I got excited that you had the potential to be on television and win cash or prizes,” Cherak said.
“Even since then, it was stuck in my mind that I definitely wanted to check it out when I was 18 years old.”
On his 18th birthday, his mom Shelagh took him on a trip to Hollywood to attend the show. They’d purchased tickets for three shows, and he was chosen as a contestant in the second one. In fact, he was selected as one of the first four contestants and was the first player out of contestants’ row at the start of the show.
Different TPIR experience today than 13 years ago
Cherak remembers not being able to hear his name called in 2010 because of the deafening 300+ person crowd. Thankfully, the studio has giant cue cards with your name on them.
“I was looking at the announcer, I remember back then, trying to try to make out what he was mouthing,” Cherak recalled.
“Just to have everyone around you in what was before-Covid times and over a 300-person audience was just the most exciting feeling in the world.”
It’s different today. The crowd is still amped up, but it’s smaller and separated for Covid.
This time, when Cherak won in contestants’ row, he was determined to come back a winner. He drew the popular Hole in One game.
Cherak happens to play golf. He’d purchased a mallet putter just months before, similar to what they use on the show. After making a handful of correct pricing guesses, inching him closer to a tap-in putt, Cherak was stymied about eight feet away.
“All of the things that I’ve learned that makes a good golf stroke were not going through my mind,” he said.
Dressed in the same T-shirt and UofC Dinos sweatpants from 2010 – though not the same fit – Cherak stepped up to the turf, lined things up, and sank the putt.
“That is the most nervous that I think anyone that who putts could ever be in, in any putt they’d ever make,” he said.
The episode was taped in early November and wasn’t supposed to air until February or March, Cherak said. When he got word it was going to air, he was excited to see it all play back. One thing that’s changed is they add a lapel mic for players to hear them during the games.
“Watching the show, I was saying things aloud that I didn’t even remember at the time,” Cherak said.
“I was probably thinking it in my mind, but not realizing that I was saying it. Wow, just a really fun opportunity to watch myself in that experience.”
Drew Carey, the Price is Right experience, is second to none: Cherak
That first experience in 2010 with Carey really sticks in Cherak’s mind.
When former, long-time host Bob Barker retired in 2007, Cherak was disappointed. He wanted to be up on stage with the iconic Barker.
“After having the experience with Drew, I’ve learned that he is the most down-to-earth, nice guy. He’ll take the time to get to know you, get to know your story, and share his personal stories with you,” he said.
“You know he is your supporter. A really nice guy and for every contestant that makes it up on stage, he is your best friend.”
Cherak enjoys most game shows. His favourite is the Price is Right, followed by the trivia game show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
Being able to get back to the game show he loves, and win, definitely lived up to the episode’s redemption tag. It’s a monkey off his back.
(Note: You have to wait 10 years between contestant appearances.)
“I feel so complete after going back to the Price is Right and winning that car,” Cherak said.
“I knew that I would go back at some point. I just didn’t know when that opportunity would arise. And, for the Price is Right to have their first-ever redemption special and to be a part of it, just makes the experience even more incredible.”
He wouldn’t rule out heading back 10 years from now to see if he could play again. Cherak recommends the experience for others.
“I’ve been to concerts, I’ve been to Disneyland, and the Price is Right studio when it’s got a full audience inside at least, is, in my opinion, by far the happiest place in the world,” he said.
“There is so much positive energy inside that studio because everyone is cheering for everyone. Everyone is your friend and everyone’s there to have a good time.”