Marco Barker, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, got his chance to “Come on Down!” during a pre-social distancing trip to Los Angeles on Feb. 4.
As a birthday surprise for his partner, Barker got tickets to “The Price is Right,” the CBS game show that tests pricing knowledge for price of various consumer goods.
Barker said his partner, Brian, loves game shows, particularly long-running favorites like “The Price is Right,” “Let’s Make a Deal” and “Wheel of Fortune.” “The Price is Right,” currently hosted by Drew Carey, is the longest-running game show on TV, dating back to the 1950s.
The couple even wore “The Price is Right” T-shirts that Barker had made as part of the birthday surprise.
Participants for the show are chosen from the studio audience. After waiting in line for hours to get into the show, Barker said he was shocked when his name was called. He did not actually hear it, because the audience was cheering so loudly around him. He realized it was him when he saw his name posted on a sign in front of the audience. Also, everyone around him shouted “It’s you! It’s you!”
“I was not expecting to be called at all,” he said. “They pick around nine members from an audience of about 300, so I thought the odds were against me.”
Barker said it would have been more thrilling if Brian had been the one chosen, but he nonetheless enjoyed the experience. Even high-ranking university administrators like to have fun, he said, adding that it’s important to have work-life balance.
“Some people sky dive,” he said. “I did a game show. I can take that off my bucket list.”
Did Barker win a big prize? He can’t say before the show airs April 28. Lincoln’s Channel 10/11 airs the program at 10 a.m. weekdays.