Keith Hovorka (right), 55, of Orland Park, who will appear on an upcoming edition of "The Price Is Right," stands next to his friend Dimitrios Koulouris in front of the The Big Wheel. | Supplied photo
Updated: May 1, 2014 7:13AM
Keith Hovorka and Dimitrios Koulouris weren’t having much luck at the tables during their annual trip to Las Vegas in February.
The pair have visited Sin City during the Super Bowl for the past 30 years but this year decided to do something unusual.
“Since we had an extra day, instead of gambling and losing money, we thought we’d take a drive over to Los Angeles and see the ‘The Price Is Right,’ ” said Hovorka, 50, a retired Berwyn cop living in Orland Park.
To his surprise, Hovorka was selected to “come on down” and be a contestant in a Feb. 4 taping of the television game show, which airs on CBS.
Hovorka said the tickets they bought guaranteed them a seat during afternoon taping of the show. For four hours, they waited in line, filled out forms and gave their personal information before speaking with a “The Price Is Right” producer.
A group of 20 people were questioned by the producer, who then picks the contestants for that show.
Having been a lifelong fan of the show, Hovorka knew he needed to stand out in the crowd to get his chance.
“If you sit there and do nothing, you’re not going to get called,” he said. That’s when he decided to duck under a barrier and run screaming down the line of people while giving out high-fives.
“I think that’s what did it. Had to do something crazy,” Hovorka said.
Koulouris, who was seated in the audience during the taping, was shocked to see Hovorka up on stage.
“I couldn’t believe when they picked my friend to be on the show,” the Oak Brook resident said.
Hovorka ended up being the second person called to the front, where four contestants bid on the price of a product. The contestant with the closest bid that doesn’t exceed the retail price wins the product and moves on to other contests.
At the end of the show, two contestants compete for a showcase of prizes, which can include boats, cars or vacations.
Hovorka, who regularly watches the show with his wife, Valentina, was accustomed to the bidding process long before the taping. The husband and wife play along when the show is on.
“We always compete between each other,” he said.
Hovorka doesn’t remember the first product shown but said he didn’t win. For the second product, he bid $1 and won.
“At that point, I didn’t care,” he said. “I was so excited to be there.”
Hovorka said he signed an agreement with the producers of “The Price Is Right” saying he wouldn’t disclose how far he got in the contest.
Viewers can see what the Orland Park man won by watching Channel 2 at 10 a.m. April 2.