Kathy Stone couldn't believe it when she saw her name card flashed in front of the studio.
The stay-at-home Oxford grandmother had been initially reluctant to attend the taping of "The Price Is Right" with the other wives from her husband's work conference in California. Her mother had passed away at the end of January, and "The Price Is Right" had been one of her favorite shows.
But she went, after some encouragement from her husband, Danny, and found herself as one of the first four people called to "Come on down!"
The vetting process for the audience members was very thorough and took several hours, she said. When one of the staff members asked her if she was from Georgia, she whooped and cheered, "Yeah, Georgia!" She's not sure how they pick contestants, but thinks that might have been a factor.
She said when they called the names, the audience's cheering was so loud, she couldn't hear anything.
The excitement seen in the contestants was real, said Stone. "You are excited.
"You do cry real tears.
You do pee in your pants," she said.
In one of the challenges, she was able to exactly guess the price of an antique replica bar chest.
"I think that was my mother's voice that came out," Stone said. She had planned to guess $699, but instead blurted out $650.
That netted her an extra $500 in cash and a chance to win another $16,000.
"My mouth was so dry," she recalled, as she watched a tape of the show.
For the next challenge, she had to match products with their prices. She was able to link the correct price for the first two products, for which she won $4,000, but wisely decided the quit after that. The next couple products had the wrong prices and she would have lost all the money.
Still, she was so excited, she didn't realize she was screaming in host Drew Carey's ear as she hugged him. Carey mock staggered and grabbed his ear.
"You don't realize what you're doing," she said
She described Carey as very personable and down to earth and said he would chat with them during the commercials.
During the spin of the wheel, which she said was very heavy, she wasn't able to get a number closer to $1 than the other contestants.
"But I'm really happy with what I won," said the mother of two and grandmother of four.
The episode, which was taped Feb. 26, recently aired on Thursday. She said her phone was ringing off the hook afterward.
"My daughter would answer the phone with 'The residence of the famous Kathy Stone,'" said Stone, laughing.
She did have just one complaint about being on television.
"Television does make you look bigger," said the petite 57-year-old. "They made me look like a size 18 and I'm not!"
She said she hasn't decided what to do with the money, which she's required to pay taxes on, but that it would be put to good use. For the bar chest, she already has a central spot in the living room picked out so it can be a conversation piece.
"It was a dream come true," she said. "I wish everybody could do it."