Susanne Clift, a corporate recruiter living in Uptown, went on the show when her boyfriend's brother had leftover tickets for the studio audience. After waiting in line all day, filling out all the paperwork and finally being chosen to play, Clift ended up winning her Showcase Showdown and was awarded a gold bracelet, a speedboat and an all-inclusive trip to Costa Rica. Ah, a speedboat in Uptown Dallas.
Here are some things we learned after chatting with the big winner:
One guy screens all the contestants
Clift tells us that there is one guy, Stan, who screens all the contestants before going into the studio audience. While she isn't positive on what they look for exactly, she's pretty sure enthusiasm is a safe bet.
The contestants really are shocked
When the announcer calls the person's name and their face looks like a mixture between "I've just pooped my pants" and "Oh, my god, I'm famous," that's actually legit. Clift tells us they have no idea if they will be chosen or not and the reactions are sincere.
It's so loud in the studio, you can't actually hear your name
While the contestants do look shocked, it's not necessarily because they can actually hear their name being called. The studio audience is so loud that there's a sign that appears with the chosen person's name.
Drew Carey interacts with audience members during commercial breaks
During Clift's time on the show, several Marine Corps members were also in the audience. Being a Marine vet himself, Carey talked to and interacted with the Marines, Clift tells us. She says he was friendly and did his best to talk to everyone.
Sometimes things can get aggressive backstage when claiming prizes
After the Showcase Showdown is complete, the contestants and big winners go backstage to claim their prizes. Clift says she was warned about things getting nasty and aggressive backstage, but tells us she didn't have that experience. In fact, her opponent gave her a hug before the game and everyone congratulated one another after the show was over.
You do have to pay taxes on your prizes
Ah, yes. Not everything in life is free, is it? Clift will have to pay taxes on the gold bracelet and speedboat and trip to Costa Rica. While she was mum on telling us how much exactly, she assures us it's not as much as we would expect.
And of course, that wheel is really effin' heavy
It looks heavy and the contestants always seem to struggle, but c'mon, how bad could it be? Clift tells us yeah, it's heavy. So heavy, in fact, another contestant warned her about it before she went to spin. Clift says there's no way of knowing what amount you'll land on; it's just a game of chance. Luckily for Clift, she landed on 95 cents, which bought her way into the Showcase Showdown.