Meyonda Benjamin was the first audience member called to “come on down” to bidders row when she appeared on an episode of “The Price Is Right” that debuted April 14.
“I was kind of in disbelief but excited at the same time,” said Benjamin, who lives in Atlanta’s Collier Heights community and won more than $14,000 in cash and prizes on the show.
That was just one of many firsts for her on the show, which was taped in February in Los Angeles. Benjamin, who works at Goodwill of North Georgia’s Alpharetta location, went there with four co-workers to celebrate the birthday of one of them, Trey Benham. She talked about her experience in an interview with the Neighbor hours after the episode aired.
Once on bidders row, Benjamin won the first item up for bid, a new iPhone 11. After winning the phone, Benjamin hesitated before running onto the stage. But once she got there, she jumped for joy, firing up the crowd.
“I didn’t even realize I had won the iPhone,” she said. “I was thinking my son (Treori) will love this because he’s a big fan of iPhones. We were just looking up iPhone prices a month or two before, so I had a pretty good idea what it would retail for.”
Then Benjamin played Plinko, where contestants first bid on prizes to get up to five chips for the game, where they place the chip in a spot and release it. At the bottom there are slots for $10,000 down to $0, so one can potentially win $50,000. Benjamin won all five prizes, getting five chips. She then won $13,000 in Plinko, including one $10,000 turn.
“I was lucky enough to win all five of the Plinko chips to drop them in,” Benjamin said. “There wasn’t any strategic plan to put them in. I was just hopeful this lands on something besides $0. I love Plinko. That’s one of my favorite games. That’s one of the questions they asked, ‘What game do you like to watch?’ So when they announced it was Plinko, I was so excited.”
In the spinoff competition, where each contestant gets two spins of the big wheel to get up to $1 to see who advances to the Showcase Showdown, she was up first and spun 20 cents twice for only a total of 40 cents. But with one competitor going over $1 and the other getting only 30 cents, Benjamin survived.
“I just really thought someone was going to get 85 cents or higher and bump me out,” she said. “That really took me by surprise. To go to the next round with such a low number was such a surprise.”
In the Showcase Showdown, Benjamin bid $23,600 on the first showcase, which was a trip to Las Vegas and Iceland plus a new Toyota Prius. Her competitor, Lynn, bid $21,000 on the second showcase, which included new camping gear, new kitchen appliances and a trip to New Zealand. Benjamin’s bid was $7,045 lower than the actual price, and Lynn’s bid was only $2,501 lower than the actual price, so Lynn won.
Of the entire experience, Benjamin said, “It was great. I would totally redo it again if I had the opportunity. I lost in the showdown. But it was exciting to meet Drew and be on the stage and have the crowd cheer me on with the bids and everything. It was definitely a very memorable experience.”
Benjamin said she plans to use the money she won on the show to replace her older car with a newer one and repair her home’s basement.