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South Kitsap resident comes away with the ‘Big Deal of the Day’
Port Orchard woman nabs ‘Big Deal of the Day’
For the past several years, Port Orchard resident Rachel Denny has been a huge fan of the game show, “Let’s Make A Deal.”
In February, Rachel received a surprise birthday gift from her boyfriend Craig Parker. Craig planned a trip to Los Angeles so the two could appear on the game show on Feb. 7.
There was a slight chance to be a contestant.
But never in her wildest dreams did Rachel think she would be a contestant, much less win the “Big Deal of the Day.”
Rachel, 23, left Los Angeles as the show’s top winner.
“I loved it,” she said. “It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.”
For the show, which was recorded in February, Rachel dressed up in a “birthday cake” costume which her mother made.
“I thought it would be a good way to celebrate my birthday to dress up like a cake with my age on front,” she said.
Rachel and Craig were joined by friends Justin and Chelsie Ebrecht at the show.
Once at the show, audience members act crazy and wait patiently, hoping to catch the eye of the show’s host — Wayne Brady .
“Once we got in the show, I never thought Wayne would pick me,” she said. “I was having a blast watching the show.”
On the show’s episode, which aired June 5 on CBS, Rachel was the the final contestant selected.
“At that point, I’ve been yelling and screaming, and dancing and having fun,” she said. “My voice was almost gone.”
Brady’s selection of Rachel as a contestant brought a wide variety of emotions.
“When Wayne said he spies with his little eye a birthday cake, my heart started beating and I didn’t know what to do with myself,” Rachel said. “It was such a surreal moment. I didn’t believe it at first. All I could do is jump and run to Brady and give him a big hug. He was so nice.”
One she settled down, Rachel told Brady she was a teacher and had just recently graduated from Washington State University.
The game of choice for Rachel was called “The Daily Tabloid” with a clue of what was behind Door No. 3 or the small box.
Show announcer Jonathan Mangum said he needed change.
“Since I have watched the show, I knew change probably meant a makeover or bedroom,” Rachel said. “I decided to go with Door No. 3, after I asked Craig and Chelsie. It was a split-second decision, I went with my gut feeling to go with the door.”
As a result, she won a Fred Segal Salon luxury makeover experience and vanity set worth more than $5,400.
“It was awesome,” she said.
Since Rachel was the final contestant before the show’s “Big Deal of the Day,” she had planned to sit down and watch the final portion of the show.
Brady told the audience the “Big Deal of the Day” was worth $26,472.
There were two contestants who won bigger prizes than Rachel, but they decided to keep their original winnings and bypass the chance to win the “Big Deal.” One of the contestants won a trip to Hawaii and the other a car.
Both contestant said “no” to trading their prizes for a chance at the “Big Deal.”
Brady came down and asked Rachel if she was interested in the “Big Deal.”
“I'm going for the big deal,” screamed the 2008 South Kitsap High School graduate.
Rachel was on stage awaiting her options. Behind Door No. 1 was the “Let’s Make A Deal” vault.
“There’s always money in there, but you don’t know how much,” she said.
Rachel said before the show, she was thinking it there was money it’s a sure thing.
“I just went up there and did what I felt,” she said. “I went with my heart.”
She said she didn’t think the vault would contain the big deal.
Rachel told Brady she was going for the vault.
“I was going to be thankful, no matter what happened,” she said.
She won the $26,472 that was inside the vault.
“I couldn’t control myself,” Rachel said. “I started crying and my knees felt weak.”
She made the right choice. Behind Door. No. 3 was a vacation getaway worth more than $6,000 and Door No. 2 contained a washer and dryer set valued at $2,200.
Rachel said she will use the money to pay towards her student loan for college.
“It going to help me out as I go to the next stage of my life,” she said.
The day after the show, Craig proposed marriage to Rachel.
“That was part of the planned trip,” she said.
Rachel and Craig are planning a Sept. 2 wedding.
She said the whole experience was the coolest part for me,” she said. “The show was such much fun. I couldn’t ask for a better experience.”
To watch a rerun of Rachel on Let’s Make A Deal, go to www.cbs.com/shows/lets_make_a_deal/video/xE43SHfcPT17eBraoFrIw_5G7EBMfUEJ/let-s-make-a-deal-6-5-2013/