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By Brendan Howe
The dream of millions of North Americans was a reality experienced by Western student Mike Pengelly last week as he was called to 'come on down' and be the next contestant on The Price is Right.
On Jan. 5, the fourth-year HBA student became the popular American game show's first taped winner of 1998. Although Pengelly won over $13,000 worth of merchandise, he said the outcome was a little disappointing.
"I got ripped. I can't even explain how bad I lost," he said. For winning the Showcase Showdown when his opponent bid too high, he received a living room set, a grand piano and a gas fireplace. Pengelly said he was hoping for a Hawaiian vacation showcase and not just furniture. He added he was, however, still happy because he got to kiss one of the show's models, Chantal.
The appearance on the show came during an 11,000 km, 17-day trip Pengelly was taking which began on Dec. 26 and ended this past Sunday. He got called from the audience after a successful interview before the show.
"I told them I was Canada's goodwill ambassador for The Price is Right and I drove 3,000 miles to get there," he said. However, Pengally added it was really a last-minute decision for him and his friends to buy standby tickets on the day of the show.
Pengelly got on stage after making the winning bid on an oak armoire. He said even though he won, he refused to run up and kiss the show's host Bob Barker, only shaking his hand.
"Bob Barker is one of the most unattractive men I've ever seen. He enjoys life but he's not a pretty man," he said.
Pengelly then went on to play a game called 'Side by Side' in which he had the chance to win a catamaran-style boat but failed to do so.
Duncan Smith, communications manager for Canada Customs, said all merchandise brought back to Canada is subject to duties ranging from two to 14 per cent and the seven per cent Goods and Services Tax.
Pengelly attributed his victory on the show to his education. "I guess it shows Ivey is a really good school we can guess all those prices."
The show airs on Feb. 10.