VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) — “Come on down!”
This simple request ended with a big pay-off in a showcase showdown for a Vandenberg Fire Department member and his family.
Tech. Sgt. Armando Galaviz II, the VFD North battalion chief, attended a showing of “The Price is Right” in August and won the grand prize worth more than $33,000.
The episode, which aired Jan. 2, featured rap artist Snoop Dogg and was part of a celebrity series.
Galaviz, his wife Sarah, and his parents had tickets to attend the showing together, but a time conflict left his wife at home.
“I almost didn’t go because my wife could not attend,” Galaviz said. “But she encouraged me to go anyway.”
With his wife’s blessing, he and his parents made the trip to “The Price is Right” studios.
“I had a feeling that I was going to get chosen during the auditions; everyone was commenting on my uniform,” said the Southern California native. “Sure enough, we sat down, and I was the first one called.”
Galaviz bid on two PlayStation Portables that included games and accessories.
“I was waiting for someone to underbid me,” he said. “Luckily, no one did, and I got on stage.”
His next challenge was to play “Lucky Seven,” a game in which the contestant is given seven $1 bills and asked to guess the price of an item. The contestant loses $1 for each digit of difference between his guess and the correct digit. If the contestant guesses the correct price before running out of money, he wins the prize.
“I lost the first game, but was able to sit in the front row until I was called up to spin the wheel,” Galaviz said. “I started cutting it up with the other contestants and had a really good time.”
Galaviz, who has attended other shows with his family, was excited to find himself at the final stages of the game.
“I started spinning the wheel, and all I thought was to start giving shout outs to Vandenberg fire, Vandenberg Air Force Base and family,” he said. “I ended up winning the spin with a 75.”
A 75 was enough to get the sergeant to the showcase showdown, the final event of the show.
“I wished the other contestant best of luck,” Galaviz said. “When it was my turn, everyone from the crowd was yelling and it was super distracting. If people could get out of their seats and get on stage, I am sure they would.”
With all the distraction, Galaviz came up with a bid of $33,000, which was the winning amount for the grand prize of the show.
“At first, I was in shock, I was like ‘there is no way,'” Sarah said about finding out her husband had won. “His parents told me because he had to sign a disclosure agreement; I thought they were just joking with me.”
After the shock wore off, reality set in for the Galaviz family.
“I thought that he would get on the show because he was wearing his uniform and he has a great personality,” she said. “But I didn’t think he would actually win anything.”
Along with the two video game systems, the sergeant also won a three-day vacation to New Orleans with backstage passes to hang out with Snoop Dogg at his concert and a Chrysler 300 limited-edition sedan.
“It was a definite blessing for us,” Sarah said. “We are going to be debt free and able to do what we want when we want.”