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'Price is Right' for McKeesport game show fan

| Monday, Oct. 1, 2012, 5:37 a.m.
McKeesport native Tom DeFelice, his wife Domita, his sister Lois Posonby and her daughter Amanda Posonby react as Tom is called to come on down to play 'The Price is Right.'

Game show enthusiasts and others will have a chance to see McKeesport native Tom DeFelice play for prizes on “The Price is Right” Tuesday.

The show airs at 11 a.m. on KDKA Channel 2.

DeFelice said one of the memorable things about his Hollywood experience was his interaction with host Drew Carey and announcer George Gray.

“Great people,” DeFelice said. “Drew Carey does such a good show. He entertains everyone during commercials. He said a lot of good stuff about (the late) Myron Cope, what a great announcer he was. He said, ‘As much as I'm a Cleveland fan, Myron Cope was the best sports announcer there ever was.'

Felice, 61, said he got the call to “come on down” while vacationing in July with his wife Donita DeFelice, sister Lois Ponsonby and her daughter Amanda Ponsonby. They were visiting his son, Air Force Master Sgt. Jason DeFelice, in California. Lois Ponsonby got tickets to the show online.

“That was our greatest vacation,” DeFelice said.

DeFelice, a card dealer at the Meadows Racetrack & Casino, and his family wore Steelers jerseys as they waited to get into the studio for a July 17 taping of the show, and were interviewed by the producers.

“I was the second name they called down to Contestants' Row,” DeFelice said. “I was all excited, giving everybody a high-five, running down. I didn't even hear my name because I was so excited. My wife and sister said, ‘That's you. That's you.'

“It was great. It's nice the way they do everything in rhythm.”

DeFelice said “The Price is Right” always had been a show that he wanted to be on.

“It started when I was small, watching Bob Barker,” he said. “The show was great all the time. Contestants won prizes and played great games.

“The game we loved the most was Plinko. I didn't get to do Plinko. I did the grocery pricing game, in which I had to get between $21 and $22 in order to win stainless steel refrigerators and a stainless steel stove. I got it right on the nose.

“To get up on stage, the prize for which you had to guess the price was pots and pans. I guessed $700, and it was exact price.”

DeFelice got to spin the big wheel to take part in the “Showcase Showdown.”

“That wheel is heavy,” DeFelice said. “That was a great thrill to be on the show, probably the biggest thrill I've ever had in my life. I never thought I'd get picked.”“The Price is Right” spokesperson Courtney Smith said some details, such as what happened after Tom DeFelice spun the wheel, that can't be revealed before the show airs.

“We don't want to spoil the outcome for anyone,” Smith said. “Once we get into his spin, it's ‘tune in to find out.' It's really exciting to share a fun story like this. People get a kick out of it.”

DeFelice, a retired U.S. Steel employee, credits his “Price is Right” success to his wife.

“I go shopping with the wife all the time for groceries and I always look at prices,” DeFelice said.

DeFelice said he met a lot of people at the game, including a man who attended at least 30 tapings and has yet to be called down to play.

DeFelice said if he could be on another TV show, it would be on CBS's “Big Brother.”

“I got an application at home that I'm going to fill out,” he said. “It's just so interesting. Everything that goes on, all the games they play, all the challenges. I like challenges.”

Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965 or