“I was so excited my thinking process wasn’t working very well,” Josie said. “I guess I thought people wouldn’t know where Lindsay is.”
Host Drew Carey didn’t know where Tulare was either, and after he told the audience to look it up, Josie said she was kicking herself she didn’t say Lindsay. Josie appeared on the Feb. 25 episode of the longest running game show in TV history. And after being called to “Come On Down,” Josie came on home with $26,000 and a gift for her mother Carol Fonseca. She said the experience of being on a game show she grew up watching was exciting, and it showed.
“I was freaking out,” she said. “I got excited over every little thing.”
Josie was by far the most animated contestant on stage. At one point, Carey pointed out the fact after she won $25,000 spinning the wheel, hugging fellow contestants, jumping in the air and placing both hands on her face while screaming.
“Wow, that was worth the reaction alone,” Carey quipped.
“I didn’t realize how weird my reactions would be on TV,” Josie said.
The No. 1 was a recurring theme for Josie. The show began with Josie and three other contestants being the first called to the stage. In her first guess of the retail price of a 42-inch flat screen TV, Josie guessed $1 over the $699 price. Each following guess, she guessed $1 more than the highest guess, even apologizing for the strategy on two occasions to two different contestants.
“People don’t really like when you do that but it got my mom a knife,” said Josie, referring to a 12-piece Wusthoff knife set worth $962. “It’s something she’s been wanting.”
Josie eventually made her way to the wheel where she couldn’t turn it all the way and hurt her arm in the process.
“I didn’t realize how heavy the wheel was,” she said. “I always wondered why people had such a hard time spinning it.”
Her do-over spin got her $1,000 and a chance for a third spin. That spin was worth $25,000 and a trip to the Showcase where she fell just short of an SUV and a trip.
“I didn’t care at that point,” Josie said. “It was just amazing.”
The episode was actually taped on Dec. 11, when Josie waited for more than four hours in line along with her mother, best friend Kayle Da Costa and Kayle’s mother Monique Da Costa of Tulare. While waiting in line, Josie said she practiced for the interview by having her group ask her questions in mock interviews. Josie said anyone thinking of going on a game show should be patient but bring something to do to pass the time in line.
“I just had a feeling I was going to get called up, so I decided to stay just a little longer,” said Josie, was still 20 years old at the time.
A few minutes later, Josie was called up for an interview. After the brief interviews, seven people from the line were picked to “come on down,” including Josie. Josie said she was excited to meet the host, comedian Drew Carey.
“He’s really clever and quick on his feet,” Josie said. “He never misses a beat and was really easy to talk to.”
But she was even more impressed with the people she met after the taping at Television City in Los Angeles, including “Extra” hosts Mario Lopez and Maria Menounos, TV psychologist “Dr. Phil” McGraw and teen heartthrob trio Emblem 3. Fresh off their “X Factor” rise to stardom, the boy band recently signed a record deal with Syco Music and Columbia Records to release their debut album sometime this year.
“They were so nice. They talked to me for a few minutes and I didn’t want it to end,” Josie said. “They are absolutely fantastic and it was an amazing experience.”
Fonseca grew up in Southern California and moved to Lindsay with her family six years ago as a freshman in high school after her father bought a local dairy. She is currently attending Sierra Valley College of Court Reporting in Fresno.
Josie said she will use the money to take a trip with friends or family, but put away a good chunk of change for when she moves out on her own.
“I want to be smart and do things like building my credit,” she said. “I want to be smart about it. I definitely don’t want to blow it all on clothes.”
Josie said she is already planning her appearance on another game show.
“I’ve already started working on my audition tape for Survivor,” she said.
If Josie has inspired you to try their luck at game shows, they can watch a taping of the show at Television City in Los Angeles for free. Contestant hopefuls can get complete information and obtain their show tickets online at http://priceisright.com/tickets. In addition, viewers can call the CBS Ticket Office at 1-855-44-PRICE (1-855-447-7423) Monday-Friday, 9:00AM-5:00PM PST.