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'Price is right' for Pat
Patricia Butler of Ceres never expected to hear "Come on down!" while sitting in the audience of the "Price is Right" TV game show. She also did not expect to be called to contestants' row. She also did not expect to make her way onto stage to clutch onto the arm of emcee Drew Carey. And she certainly didn't expect to walk away as the winner of a brand-new Dodge Nitro.

But it happened.

Monday's viewers of the popular and long-running CBS-TV show saw the Ceres woman as she progressed from audience to contestants' row, and then to the stage where she played the Money Game. The game allowed her the opportunity to win the Dodge by choosing a combination of numbers to reflect the retail value of the vehicle, which was $22,731. Butler's picks of numbers off the game board had to reveal both the front half and back half of a car.

The idea to attend the Oct. 12 studio taping of the show was the idea of brother-in-law Gary Butler and his girlfriend, Sandra England of Ceres. Patricia's husband, Larry, was also in the audience.

"Out of 326 people I didn't think I would be picked," said Butler.

Butler said she was not called as a contestant just randomly picked from a hat. Before the show she and other prospective contestants were quizzed by a producer hunting for enthusiastic and energetic contestants. At one point she said she had attended the University of Life, saying "life is a joy." Butler's name was the third called out of the first four contestants.

"I was beyond nervous," said Butler, laughing about the experience.

She enjoyed meeting Drew Carey, saying he used his humor and exuberance to frolick the audience during commercial breaks.

"He is so cool. He has got a personality ... getting the audience going. He's not like some who feel they're better than you.

"When I was playing the game I was so shaken I was hanging onto his arm the whole time."

Butler signed a confidentiality agreement prior to the show and was obligated to keep her appearance a secret - that was until last week when the publicity department made an announcement.

"Do you know hard that was?," laughed Butler, the whimsical grandmother of two.

While winning put Butler into orbit, she will be required to pay the taxes on her total winnings of $25,846. The taxes amounted to seven percent.

She picks up the car this week after paying taxes, license and registration. She has to claim the winnings on her 2010 income tax returns.

Butler has been a Ceres resident since 1973.

The Price Is Right, the longest-running game show in television history, is hosted by Drew Carey. Formerly hosted by Bob Barker, the Price is Right was nominated for a 2008 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show.