Lucernemines native Christopher Catalano made the most of his obligatory 15 minutes of fame.
Catalano, 24, appeared Tuesday on “The Price Is Right” after getting tickets to the long-running game show in anticipation of a trip to Los Angeles earlier this month.
He made it all the way to the showcase showdown — the culmination of each program — only to be outbid by his opponent.
Catalano was within about $3,200 of winning a trip to France, a watch and some other prizes. But the woman who beat him came within $2,200 of the actual retail price for her prizes, which included a trip to Italy.
“I came close,” he said Tuesday afternoon by telephone from Philadelphia, where he now resides. “I was disappointed to lose, but it was cool to go that far. It was fun either way.”
He mastered the big wheel that contestants spin to determine who gets to the showcase showdown by giving it a manly whirl and landing on 95 cents on his first spin.
“It’s pretty heavy. I didn’t want to look like a weakling on national TV,” he said.
Catalano, the son of Karen and Dennis Catalano, was one of the first contestants chosen but had some trouble getting up on stage, so he got a lot of camera time. His chance came in the second half of the show.
The studio audience, he said, is loud and the action is fast-paced. He learned quickly to listen to the audience for guidance on what to bid. But after a few rounds of bidding, he was feeling more comfortable and found himself just enjoying the experience.
“You have to react quickly,” he said.
Though he didn’t win the big prizes, he didn’t go home empty-handed. By successfully making his way off of contestants’ row and winning the game he played, he won a set of nine purses, a deluxe refrigerator and two patio heaters.
Catalano said he plans to donate the refrigerator to his workplace, a health care industry management consulting firm in Center City.
“It’ll be a good conversation piece, how it got there,” he said.
The purses? Well, he said, the women in his office back in Philly have suddenly become noticeably more friendly.