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Second appearance on game show— 50 years later

By Staff | Dec 24, 2011

North Fort Myers Jane Richards received a very special birthday present from her family this year. While visiting her daughter Gale Richards in San Francisco, Gale and grandsons Sky Richards and Riley Bartlett surprised her with a trip to Los Angeles to be on The Price is Right.

A big part of the fun was that this was Richard’s second appearance on the show.

“Jane first appeared on Price 50 years ago in 1961,” said The Price is Right spokesperson Courtney Smith. “She returned for another try with her daughter and two grandsons. They found a photo of Jane’s original appearance and used that image for their custom-designed shirts when they attended the taping in Los Angeles earlier this month.”

The show aired on Dec. 12, and you can still view it.

“Your readers can view the full episode of Jane’s appearance at www.cbs.com/shows/the_price_is_right/. Current episodes are available to stream online for about 14 days after their original air date.”

“I was just so excited – thrilled to be on it, with my grandchildren and my daughter Gale with me. The episode was aired on Monday, Dec. 12, but taped on my birthday on Dec. 5. My daughter arranged the whole thing. She flew the four of us there, and we stayed in a beautiful hotel room.”

She had told her children years ago the she would like to go back to The Price is Right to see how different it was now. “After 50 years, it was very different. I had no idea of the prices on any thing; in my day I did the shopping, and now everything is electronic – and computers – I don t even own one.

They arrived at 7:30 a.m., she said, and stood in line with her family. “They let us in at 8 a.m. “We already had tickets. Then you sit on a long bench for a long time, then are called in, then they explain what will happen and show you a show.”

She wasn’t in yet, she said. A producer then interviewed every single person.

“He was a lot of fun, made little jokes, and very interested in my grandson’s (Riley Bartlett) background first, when he explained he worked in Africa with a group he is in charge of. But he said he was mainly there because of his grandmother – that she was here 50 years ago.”

The front of their shirts said: “1961 Champion” and on her back, the saying I’m back!

“I have six children and everyone came up with an idea of what should be on the shirt.”

She was the second picked. “They said ‘Jane Richards come on down’. All I could think about was that I was going to meet Drew (host Drew Carey) on the stage.

Fifty years ago, legendary game show host Bill Cullen was the emcee.

“They were both absolutely wonderful.”

She planned a surprise for close friends to view the show the day it aired, inviting them to the house to come to the house for a holiday brunch. “Some asked me if I met a man on vacation and I said yes. It was actually Drew Cary.”

Fifty years ago she did the same thing – she invited many with the same ruse, and some still say it was so much fun, she said.

If you watch the show, you know you go against other players first for the closest bid. The items were a pair of bicycles. I bid $1 more than the high bid. The reason I bid what I did is my children gave me a spatial bicycle for my birthday because I have a handicap, and I knew it was least $500, because of the size of the wheels.

You’ve never seen an audience so excited when I won.

She also won a trip to Annapolis worth $9,000. “I had to guess between $9,000 and $12,000. I guessed $9,000 and was right. The audience was so wonderful to me – they all stood up and cheered when I won again – and that made me feel so good, I was so happy to be there.

Several asked her what she whispered in Carey’s ear when she got the trip. I said I was so thrilled because I have a granddaughter Tracee who lives there and I haven’t been able to visit her. He put his arm around me and he was wonderful, very natural. He loves people, you can tell.”

At the end of the show she had to spin the big wheel. “The first girl spun $100 so I knew my chances weren’t good. The next lady didn’t win. Drew had asked me if I needed help – the wheel was so heavy, I couldn’t believe it.”

She didn’t win the grand prize, but the two others were terrific, she said.

Of her appearance 50 years ago, she said, “I had a very good friend who was on a show and said I should try the new Price is Right show. I said, yes, I’d like to – the two of us went to New York. It was filmed then. I left my six children with my husband and babysitter and only stayed overnight. I won the first time and won a mink coat, a stainless steel stove, 50 yards of carpeting and more. I was on for two days.”

Of Bill Cullen himself, she said, He was a dear, sweet man. Very similar to Drew Cary – both witty and very comfortable with the audience.

The Price is Right is the longest-running game show in television history, airing at 11 a.m. on CBS in our area.