Park Forest Woman Wins Showcase Showdown On The Price Is Right

Romona Johnson, Drew Carey, Price Is Right, Showcase Showdown, Dream Car Week
Romona Johnson, of Park Forest, expresses her excitement after winning the chance to join The Price Is Right host Drew Carey on stage. (Photo: FremantleMedia North America)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- A Park Forest resident won the Showcase Showdown recently on The Price Is Right. Romona Johnson, who lives near the DownTown, said she was “still grinning ear to ear” after winning nearly $36,000 in cash and prizes for an episode of the acclaimed.

$35,364 in cash and prizes, to be exact.

Asked to “Come on Down!” after the first commercial break of the May 19 show, Romona bid $750 on a MVMT Designer Chronograph watch package.

Among the prizes Ms. Johnson won are a Frigidaire four piece stainless steel kitchen group, a Breville BBM800XL Custom Loaf Bread Maker, an MVMT Designer Chronograph watch package, a Caravan.com Mount Rushmore tour for two or four, and, yes, a “New Car!” Romona won a 2017 Hyundai Sonata Sport, and she’s still in a state of awe.

“The experience was amazing. Awesome. I feel in a state of, ‘Wow! This happened to me!'”

Romona said she has watched The Price Is Right all of her life.

“I am fourth generation in my family who’ve watched [The Price Is Right],” she said in a phone interview. “I’m only 42.”

When she was younger, she would watch the show with her great grandmother and her grandmother, until she started school.

“Every day,” she said. “And even in the summers, I went to their houses. I didn’t go to summer camp or anything like that.”

“My earliest remembrance of The Price Is Right would probably be like 3 or 4 years old,” she continued. “Their routine was Price Is Right, then the Young and the Restless. I remember Price Is Right being on in the house every day that it came on.”

Did watching all those years help her when she was called to “Come on down!”

“Absolutely. I was a big, big fan. Ironically, the game that I played was my favorite game, even though it didn’t turn out that favorable for me at the time. It was just such an exciting experience just to go on the show.”:

The game she played after she won the watches was the Clock Game. She was not successful at that game, but returned to spin the big wheel.

While the wheel was spinning the first time, she said hello to her Mom, her family, her clients, “I love you guys!” she said on the show. Romona is a hair stylist, and considers her clients among her friends, and family.

She won her chance to bid on the Showcase Showdown after spinning $0.30 and $0.45 for a total of $0.75.

“That was actually one of the things I put on my 40-to-do list. I made a list of 45 things I wanted to do within the first couple of years of turning 40. The Price Is Right was one of them.

“I wish my grandmother and great grandmother could be here because they would have been just as excited for me.”

Romona Johnson, Drew Carey, Price Is Right
Romona Johnson with Drew Carey on The Price Is Right. (Photo: FremantleMedia North America)

What was it like to meet Drew Carey?

“Drew was really cool. Most of my life, I grew up watching it with Bob Barker, of course,” she began. “The first thing I noticed about Drew was his suit. It was so sharp. He was very pristine. His suit was very tailored. His hair — I’m a hair stylist — his color was perfect, his cut was perfect.

“Personality-wise? It seemed like he was just as excited for me as I was for myself.”

She did watch herself on the show.

“I didn’t realize I hugged him so many times,” she said. “He seemed very personable. I imagine with all the people that he has to hug, or embrace him, he didn’t seem off-kilter at all or aggravated.

“I remember one young lady in my episode ran and jumped up on him. And, he was just like, ‘Okay!’ With his smile, though.”

Ms. Johnson took her friend Tammy, a Los Angeles resident, along with her to the show. Tammy invited her friend Renee. Tammy and Renee will join Romona on her eight day Caravan.com tour of Mt. Rushmore.

As the big showcase winner on the show, Ms. Johnson applied the skills she learned from decades of watching The Price Is Right, as well as her own knowledge of the retail market. She had the presence of mind on stage to analyze the showcase on which she bid.

“Here’s what’s fortunate for me,” she said, recalling her bidding process. “Everything I bid on or played for was familiar to me, with the exception of the gaming system. Even the watches that I won to get on stage, I had purchased the watch for a male friend of mine a couple of years ago. So, when I bid for the watches, I based that around the price that I paid for his watch.”

The Showcase Showdown was a different story, or could have been.

“When the Showcase Showdown came, I promise you, I think it was design. I think God was just really on my side and showed me favor. So, when the Showcase Showdown came, and the young lady passed the showcase to me, the first thing was kitchen appliances.

Who can I hire to redo my kitchen?

“So, I got a house last year, and the only room in my house I did not remodel or touch was my kitchen. So, that was on my to-do list for this year. I had been pricing kitchen appliances, but I hadn’t bought anything, because I needed to see exactly what we’re going to do, how we’re going to restructure the kitchen.”

Ms. Johnson said she had been shopping for kitchen appliances, comparing prices, for a while. Also, she said she travels quite a bit, and that helped her bidding process.

“I travel a lot, so I’m always looking at trips. The appliances I had in my mind that they would be $4,000. The trip I had in my mind, it would be about $3,000. And then car, my mother has a Hyundai Elantra, and I knew she paid $21,000.

“So when [the other bidder] passed the showcase to me, I bid $28,000, based on what I remembered. I didn’t price the dishwasher because because I don’t have a dishwasher now. So, for the appliances, I put in $4,000, the car I put in like $21,000, $22,000-ish. And the trip, that should be about $3,000 to $4,000.”

It was the “-ish” that helped her win it all.

“Her showcase?,” she said, referring to her on-stage competitor. “I wouldn’t have been able to tell you the price of products. And I think I judge pretty well. I would have been able to bid on the trip to Milan, but I wouldn’t have been able to bid on they hybrid car. That was totally oblivious to me. So, I felt like it was divine. That’s how I did it.”

Ms. Johnson closed on her house in Park Forest a year ago this month. She was a resident of Blue Island for ten years prior to moving to the Village. She grew up in Country Club Hills.

“I like it out here,” she said. She lives near DownTown Park Forest. She says she has been “a little alarmed”
because of some “things unfavorable” that have been in the news. “Other than that, it’s very quiet. My sister lives in Park Forest as well, my mother lives in Richton Park. So, I’m closer to my family.”

“I like the community. I’m not as involved yet. I’m still trying to get acclimated to the house and things of that nature. But everybody I’ve encountered so far has been really nice, even when I go to the Village Hall, whether it’s to pay the water bill or to inquire about things, they’ve been very nice. So, I have no complaints.

“I love nature, so one of the best features for me — outside of all the raccoons — when I’m driving down Orchard, there’s some hawks that are perched on the light poles, or in the trees. That’s amazing to me to see. I love bird watching.”

“It’s very peaceful and serene,” she continued. “I like my neighbors. They’re very nice.”

Her friends knew she was going on The Price Is Right, and she said they told her, “Girl, go on there and win some appliances!”

She was very surprised that she was able to do just that. But she was not permitted to say anything until the show aired last Friday.

“So, Friday, when we were all watching together, [her friends said] ‘You didn’t tell us anything! You kept this a secret!'”

She admitted it was very difficult to keep her experience on the show a secret.

After the show aired, however, she received many phone calls from friends, many telling her how “amazing” she looked on television.

“I can’t tell you how awesome an experience it was,” she said. “To me it was awesome. And, to me, that’s just a mild word. It was like a dream come true. I got to spin the wheel. People have been asking me, ‘Was the wheel heavy?’ Yeah, it was a little heavy.”

“It was such a great time, from start to finish,” she continued.

“It was amazing,” she said. “I’m still smiling ear to ear.”

Watch Romona Johnson on The Price Is Right here. Romona’s journey begins after the first commercial break.