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PLNU Students Are Winning Big

The feeling of being called on from the crowd to compete on a game show is one only few people know. Gabe Garcia, a junior computer science major at PLNU, is able to describe his feelings from the moment he was called upon. Garcia competed on popular game show The Price is Right in fall of 2017.

“It was probably the scariest moment of my life. There was so much pressure to be super excited, which I was, but I was so scared of messing something up and totally hating myself later,” said Garcia.

Before competing on The Price is Right, Garcia felt a strong calling from God to spend the summer of 2018 in Bali, Indonesia on a mission trip to spread the gospel to those who have never heard of Jesus. The only set back to the possibility of following this adventure was the $6,500 price tag.

Gabe’s response to God was, “Pay for it and I will go.”

After months of feeling called to pursue God in Bali, Nease Hall RA Elaine Giles was collecting other RA’s to join her on the show. These tickets were offered to Gabe on Monday and the show was to be held the next Sunday.

Not having seen many episodes of The Price is Right, the team of RA’s watched YouTube clips on the drive up to LA where the show was to be filmed.

There was an interview before being placed in the crowd where Garcia showed high energy and kept the conversation going longer than the usual allotted 15 seconds. He and the other RA’s were seating in the front row, wearing matching t-shirts from New Student Orientation.

Garcia began to feel nervous about participating in the show a few minutes before he was actually called up. This was the beginning of his nerves as the pressure of being on the show started to settle.

Garcia’s initial thoughts were, “I’m literally so bad at this game. I don’t know the prices of anything.”

Garcia first won a grill, a cooler and two chairs. This was only the beginning to the prizes in store for him. On the second game where he was attempting to guess dollar amounts of cheaper grocery store items, he won $15,000. During the next game, he managed a perfect score, leaving him with another $1,000.

The final game had Garcia guessing the cost of a package that included a Hyundai Veloster, an iPhone 8 and a trip to Cabo. He guessed closer to the correct amount for his package, winning the entire showcase.

Though Garcia won The Price is Right, the show did not go without injury. Through the single episode, Gabe managed to accidentally hit two people in the face.

During the showcase, he attempted to give his other competitor a double high five.

“My hand just slipped to whack him right in the eye, on live television.”

The second victim was Elaine Giles, who initially gave him the tickets and the opportunity to win the show.

“We were all jumping around, and everyone started reaching in and then I throw my arms up for a double fist bump in the air and my arm just sideswipes her face, up the nose. She gets knocked back.”

After being on the show, Garcia had to keep the winnings a secret for around six months. Though time has passed, he still hasn’t fully taken in everything that took place on the Price is Right.

“In the moment it didn’t hit me. It still hasn’t hit me.”

Garcia described the craziest part of winning by bringing the subject back to missions in Bali. After taking care of taxes from the winnings, he realized that he would only have about $6,000 left over, which is exactly what he needed to go to Bali.

“I felt God saying that he was gifting me with this, but I’m still going to be learning how to be dependent on Him.”


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Emilyn Giddings

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