EUREKA - For Katy Daniel, the price was right, and she picked up her brand new car from Sam Leman. Daniel, a 19-year-old Illinois College student from Morton, won the new car during the showcase showdown on "The Price Is Right" game show on March 13. The show aired March 31.

Daniel picked up her 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix from Sam Leman in Eureka last Friday. It isn't exactly the car she saw on the show. This one is even better because she got to choose the color and interior: black paint and black leather.

To win the new car, everything had to fall into place just right, and it did.

Come on down

Daniel had no idea she would be on the show. In fact, she didn't even know she would be in the audience. Her college softball team participated in a tournament in Orange County, Calif., that week.

"We had a day off and our coaches surprised us with tickets to ‘The Price Is Right,'" said Daniel.

Every member of the studio audience went through a short interview process, including their name, age and where they live.

Once the show began, Daniel was in the audience seated with her team. She wasn't called down until the third round in the first half of the show.

"I had absolutely no idea that I would be on the show," said Daniel. "I looked over at my friend before the next round was going to start and said, ‘I don't even know how to play any of these games.'"

Just then, as the camera scanned the audience, the announcer called out, "Katy Daniel … come on down!"

You're the next contestant

"I was really nervous and trying hard not to show it," said Daniel. "Because I just came down I got to bid first."

The item for bid was a chandelier. She won on her first try.

"I guessed $500 for my bid and I ended up winning that to get up there," said Daniel. "The retail price was like $520."

So, just moments from being in her seat, Daniel was on stage with ‘The Price Is Right' long-time host Bob Barker.

"He is nice, but he is kind of intimidating at first because I didn't know how to act around him," said Daniel. "But, he was a very nice guy."

She played the Cliffhanger game. She had to guess the price of three prizes, and every price she got wrong sent the yodeling Cliffhanger up the mountain. She missed a trip to Rio de Janeiro by $1.

But, everyone gets at least two chances to win. When it came time to spin the wheel to get into the final game n the Showcase Showdown n Daniel got 40 cents, and followed it up with a 50-cent spin. The object is to get as close to $1 without going over.

"Actually, somebody went after me and it was an older lady," said Daniel. "She spun the wheel and got $1, but it didn't go all the way around so it didn't count. I got so lucky!"

The Price Is Right

In the Showcase Showdown, contestants bid on two groups of prizes n called showcases n and the closest without going over wins their showcase.

The first group included a queen-size brass bed, an Apple Macintosh computer and a 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix. Her opponent declined to bid on the showcase, passing it to Daniel, who bid $25,000.

The second showcase included two jet skis, a big screen television and a drink maker.

"Guys probably like jet skis and stuff like that so I bet he was glad," said Daniel. "But he bid $7,000 on the whole thing. He probably thought I had overbid mine."

She didn't. The total cost was $32,097.

"My whole team got to come up on stage with me at the end of the show and got to meet Bob," said Daniel.

Getting the prizes

Audience members winning prizes on ‘The Price Is Right' are also required to pay federal taxes, California taxes and taxes for their state of residence.

"They give you some money from ‘The Price Is Right' to help, but it doesn't cover everything," said Daniel. "My parents paid the taxes, so I have no idea how much it was."

Daniel also had to wait until a California Pontiac dealer contacted her with options, allowing her to go online and pick out a paint color, interior and a few options.

"It had to be shipped to a Pontiac dealership, so we picked Eureka," said Daniel. "I've driven it a little bit, but I am trying to keep it clean."

Her old car, a 1997 Honda Civic, doesn't compare to the new wheels, she said.

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