Volume 91, Issue 62

Tuesday, January 20, 1998

Little Bo Greek


Price is Right winner giving it all back to Bob

By Sandra Dimitrakopoulos
Gazette Staff

"It's all a scam."

This was what fourth-year HBA student Mike Pengelly had to say about his experience as a contestant on The Price is Right after he decided to forfeit his winnings of over $13,000 in merchandise.

During a Showcase Showdown at the beginning of January, Pengelly won a living room set, a grand piano and gas fireplace – but when the reality of taxes and shipping costs surfaced, the Western student decided to sign a form releasing him from his winnings.

With the Canadian dollar at an almost record low, importing such products from the U.S. would cost more than double their listed prices in addition to a 40 per cent tax on the winnings.

Colette Gentes-Hawn, spokesperson for Revenue Canada, said because of the North American Free Trade Agreement, anything imported into Canada is duty free but there is a Goods and Services Tax charge of seven per cent imposed on all products at the border.

Lottery winnings and prizes for American residents are also considered part of one's income which was an additional worry for Pengelly who is planning to work in California in July.

Pengelly said he looked into the prices quoted on the winnings such as the piano listed by the production company at $8,000, yet the same piano found in Canada was listed at only $3,000 Canadian or over $2,100 American.

Spokespeople for The Price is Right were unavailable for comment due to Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday yesterday, an American statutory holiday.

The show is set to air on Feb. 10 and Pengelly said he is planning to watch the episode at The Ceeps where he can drink and watch the models. "I went on The Price is Right and all I got was an autographed picture of Bob Barker and a story to tell my grandkids."

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Copyright The Gazette 1998