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Price is Right for lucky Del Webb resident

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Price is Right for lucky Del Webb resident

Lou George of Del Webb in Manteca celebrates his big win on "The Price is Right" game show with his three-generation family. Next to him are grandchildren Makenzie Martin, Lexie Gomez and Kyle Mart...

ROSE ALBANO RISSO/The Bulletin


POSTED January 28, 2009 1:28 a.m.
The words across the front of Lou George’s aquamarine T-shirt said it all: “We Know the Right Price.”

There were more than a dozen others, including his wife Sandy, sporting the same shirt at the party Tuesday morning in the clubhouse at Del Webb in Manteca, the retirement enclave on North Union Road where the Georges live. But he was the only one wearing a shirt that was autographed by Hollywood comedian and show host, Drew Carey. And that’s because Lou was the big winner in “The Price Is Right” show aired at 10 o’clock that morning, which was the reason the party was held in the first place.

The retired Bay Area businessman and service station manager all together won the program’s showcase package plus the other preliminary prices which included a $25,000 2009 Prius car, a Roth motor scooter, a Dell laptop computer, True Religion clothes worth $2,400 (a pair of pants could set you back as much as $328 at Nordstrom), a custom-made secretary desk, and a set of outdoor furniture worth $8,000.

The clubhouse’s multi-purpose room where the party was held was packed with friends and neighbors of the Georges who live at Del Webb, plus members of their three-generation family from Tracy including three grandchildren who took a special lunch-time off at their school to watch the show on a giant high-definition television screen and cheer for their lucky Grandpa. Among the guests were some members – “20 very close friends” - of the group that took the trip last November to Los Angeles to attend a taping of “The Price is Right.” The activities director at Del Webb schedules monthly field trips for residents, and this was just one of those outings. For this special trip, the Del Webb group had the special T-shirts made.

Lou was actually the first one called by Carey to “Come on down!” and compete in the price-guessing game. But he did not get called to the stage to join Carey until the third round when, finally, the third time proved to be the charm for Lou when his guess for the price of a Dell laptop computer was the closest to the actual price.

In the final showcase that pitted just Lou and the other contestant, his competitor’s showcase guess was actually closer to the actual amount than the one given by Lou for his own showcase. But Lou ended up the winner because the other contestant went over the actual price, which automatically disqualified him for the grand prize.

The room erupted in cheers and applause as Lou continued his lucky streak throughout the hour-long show. An exuberant Lou responded by alternately pumping his fists in the air, raising his arms a-la Rocky Balboa and, at one point, ran up to the front and performed an extemporaneous cheerleading routine, sans pompoms, complete with split jumps and hands-in-the-air gestures to the delight of his audience as well as the Channel 13 television crew that came down to cover the event.

Friends and neighbors were all excited for the Georges, especially Lou.

“It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. I think it’s awesome. He’s just a good person here. He’s always helping people. If you need something, he’s there – he and his wife,” said neighbor Ron Kackley who went to the party along with wife Ann.

The Georges’ three grandchildren present were just as excited as their “bubbly” Grandpa. “Bubbly” was the word used by John Smiley to describe his incredibly lucky neighbor.

“I thought that was just amazing. I can’t believe he won!” gushed granddaughter Makenzie Martin, 11.

“I felt so happy for him. He’s so awesome!” piped in her 10-year-old cousin, Lexie Gomes.

Cousin Kyle Martin, 9, wholeheartedly agreed. “I’m so happy for him!” he said grinning from ear to ear.

The cousins all attend Tom Hawkins Elementary School in Tracy. Their Grandma jokingly “declared” Tuesday as “No School Day” for them in honor of their grandfather. But that was not the case. After the show, they all had to go back to school.

Unable to attend the party were their two teen-age cousins, Nicole and Gabrielle George, who could not get away from their busy schedule at Tracy High School.

But perhaps the most excited person in the group that went to the game show – outside of Lou, that is – was his own wife.

“I couldn’t talk until Friday” following their return from the show the weekend before, Sandy said laughing.

“We were all so hoarse when we came back from screaming and hollering. It was awesome!” she said.

She had every reason to be excited too. During the drawing that took place after the taping of the show, she ended up winning $100 in cash and a DVD of that episode of “The Price is Right.”

“Wasn’t that unbelievable?” Sandy said in disbelief.
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