Elon student appears on television game show

It turned out the price was wrong. But when university senior Lydia Graeff appeared March 27 on the game show “The Price is Right,” the Pennsylvania native, showing her school spirit, was sure to sport a bright red Elon shirt for a national television audience to see.

Lydia Graeff
The show, hosted by actor and comedian Drew Carey, invites contestants to make “bids” on merchandise like cookware, home furnishings and jewelry. The contestant with the closest bid to the “actual retail price” is rewarded with a chance to win larger prizes, such as new cars and vacation packages, by going onstage for more elaborate games.

Graeff was the last of nine audience members invited to bid on the smaller merchandise during the hour-long show. Her bid of $450 for a book collection fell short of the retail price, and the man to her immediate right – who bid $550 – found himself on stage instead. (The retail price: $628.)

That unsuccessful bid was her one and only chance at the big prizes.

“It was kind of an out-of-body experience,” she said. “It all happened so quick. The taping was an hour, and then you leave.”

Graeff completed her course work in January and is away from campus until graduation. She and her friend, Christopher Disher ’07, waited from 6:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. one day last month for tickets to the taping and their chance at becoming contestants.

“Of course I wore my Elon University shirt,” Graeff said. “I knew that would help my chances of getting picked to be on the show.”

Graeff said that it also helped she was from Hershey, Pa., and was able to chat with producers about her experience giving tours in a town known best for its chocolate factory. “If I was to go up on stage, I’d have something to talk about and be interesting,” she said. “I think that’s what they’re looking for – people who are excited.”

Though she didn’t win, Graeff walked away with a rug and a food cart, courtesy of the show’s sponsors. And her thoughts on Drew Carey? “He was a really, really personable guy and really funny,” she said. “They put a lot of make up on him!”