U student wins on ‘The Price is Right’: Student group featured on today’s broadcast of game show

By By Esther Merono

By Esther Merono

A U student will win the “Showcase Showdown” on an episode of “The Price is Right” airing today at 9 a.m.

The Frasority, an Associated Students of the University of Utah-sponsored group, rushed the stage of the popular show during filming last October after Clint Ellingson, a junior in biochemistry, won during Fall Break.

“My goal was to get everyone on stage,” Ellingson said.

During the break, Frasority members traveled to Los Angeles with reserved tickets for “The Price is Right.”

The Frasority calls itself a mix between a fraternity and sorority and is organized to have fun without fees.

At the set of the show, the 25 members of the club were interviewed in groups of 10, along with the rest of the audience, before being seated.

As the show began, Ellingson, Frasority vice president, was told to “Come on down!” and participate in the first game.

This came as no surprise to the other Frasority members who said he was the craziest when interviewed.

“The interviewer asked him what school he went to, and he yelled out ‘University of Utah, yeah!'” said Brandon Welch, a junior in biology and Frasority president.

Bidding on the price of a trip to San Francisco, Ellingson’s bid was closest to the retail price, and he won the trip, along with admittance to the stage for the next round.

Winning a scooter and a wet bar set in the game he played, Ellingson entered the “Showcase Showdown” after spinning the wheel and getting the closest to $1 without going over.

The prizes for the showdown included a trip to New Zealand, a bedroom set and a home-security system; Ellingson guessed the prices of all the prizes, and his approximations were compared with those of the other finalist.

After Ellingson bid the closest and won $29,000 worth in prizes, the Frasority members rushed onto the stage, shouting, hugging, laughing and jumping on the display bed, which broke in the excitement, Ellingson said.

“I felt the same way I did when I rushed the field after beating BYU,” Welch said. “It was an experience you only dream about. We received a lot of national exposure for the U, as well as for the Frasority.”

Meredith Wahlstrom, a sophomore in ballet and art history, said she watched the show as a girl and had dreams of being on it someday.

“It was like Christmas morning when you run downstairs to see what Santa got you, except it was to see Bob Barker,” Wahlstrom said. “Clint made that a reality for me.”

Ellingson turned down all of the prizes because the contestants have to pay taxes on the trips and items won, which can be expensive.

The plane tickets to New Zealand were about $7,000 because of the time of the trip, the airline utilized and the seats that encompassed the gift. Ellingson would have had to pay more in taxes than if he had purchased tickets himself.

“The experience is what I cared about,” he said.

His fellow Frasority members said they don’t feel bad that Ellingson refused the prizes.

“It was definitely the experience of a lifetime. I honestly enjoyed cheering Clint on more than if I was up there myself,” Welch said.

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