ST. CHARLES – Dan Hagberg’s 15 minutes of fame will air Wednesday when he appears on television as a contestant on “The Price is Right.”
Hagberg, 23, of St. Charles, crossed off one of his biggest goals this summer when he was chosen to “come on down” as a contestant on the show.
He said he’s been a fan since he was in preschool and has fond memories of watching the show in the morning with his grandmother.
Hagberg ended up on the show while on a post-graduation vacation in California with a few friends from his track team at Cornell College in New York. While they were in San Diego, they decided to make a trip to Los Angeles, where the show is filmed.
“ ‘The Price is Right’ is in L.A., and we decided we were too close to not go to it,” he said.
They woke up at 4:30 a.m. and, after donning matching tank tops, they landed a spot 10th in line to get tickets. Hagberg said he and his roommate, a fellow fan, always had a hunch that at least one of them would one day be on the show.
“And sure enough, it was me,” he said.
The audience was so loud, Hagberg said, he didn’t hear his name called. He didn’t know it until his friend shook him and pointed out that his name appeared on a poster board indicating he had been chosen as a contestant.
When contestants are called up, they are challenged to come up with the price of a product. The person with the closest guess then gets to compete in mini-pricing games to win larger prizes.
Hagberg said he couldn’t remember the name of the mini-game he played, but said it was “pretty straightforward.” He couldn’t reveal the outcome of the show before it airs, but said the game show host, Drew Carey, poked fun at him for looking at his friends a few times while on stage.
He said Carey was “hysterical” when joking around with contestants during commercial breaks, but Hagberg said he was disappointed that he left without getting Carey’s autograph.
“It was a pretty surreal experience. I almost blacked out when I was up there,” he said. “The details flew over my head. I remember standing up there thinking, ‘Is this really happening right now? Is this real?’ ”
Hagberg said he hadn’t planned a party to watch the show air at 10 a.m. Wednesday. But, because he works at home, he said he could watch it.
His grandmother, however, plans to watch the show with a group of people at her nursing home.
Hagberg said anyone who has ever considered going to see “The Price is Right” live shouldn’t hesitate.
“The atmosphere of the place was unreal,” he said.