Selma resident a contestant on ‘The Price is Right!’

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

“Rena Kimbrough! Come on down! You’re the next contestant on ‘The Price Is Right!'”

She couldn’t believe it.

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Her prayers had been answered. Two days of camping outside CBS’ television studios had paid off.

“I said, ‘Lord, please let them call my name!’ And they called my name!” said Rena, 36, a cafeteria manager at Cedar Park Elementary in Selma.

“I jumped up and my husband said, ‘That’s your name! That’s your name!’ Then he jumped up to hug me and I pushed him back and ran and took off down the aisle. I forgot all about he was with me. It’s too good to be true!”

Anyone who’s met Rena Kimbrough knows of her lifelong addiction to ‘The Price Is Right,’ the classic television game show hosted by Bob Barker. Rena and her husband, Charlie Kimbrough Jr., flew to Hollywood, Calif., last week “strictly for ‘The Price Is Right,'” she said.

Although Rena only walked away with a set of inflatable river rafters, excitement remained evident in her voice. When she took her spot on contestant’s row, “I told (Bob Barker) I was from Selma, Alabama and I’d been trying to get on the show.

I was so nervous. I was trembling. And he was like, ‘Well, don’t worry. We’ll get you through it.'”

Rena placed a bid of $601 on the river rafters which earned her a spot on stage next to Barker, whom she gave a hug and a kiss. Playing a game called Now or Then, Rena had to determine whether the price of six grocery items were current or from a previously selected year. Rena could have won a new living room suit, but she believes being a Southerner put her at a great disadvantage.

“I did lose the prize on stage because California prices are way different from Alabama prices. So Duncan Hines cake mix is 88 cents at home and it was like two dollars there,” she said.

But all was not lost just yet. Rena still had to spin the Big Wheel. She earned 65 cents on her first spin and decided to spin again after consulting with her husband in the studio audience.

“I wanted to stay and my husband was like go ahead, go ahead.

When you’re up in the bright lights and next to Bob Barker, you just don’t know what to do,” she said.

“So I spinned again and ended up going over. I didn’t make it to the showcase showdown.”

Rena credits Barker for leading her through the game show experience. She won’t be returning to the Queen City in a brand new car or thousands of dollars in her pocket, but meeting the veteran game show host was a prize in itself.

“He’ll coach you through. He’s a pretty nice guy. We talked during commercial. He asks questions and let’s you get personal with him,” she said.

Rena’s stint on the ‘The Price Is Right’ will air Monday at 10 a.m. on CBS – a testament that dreams do come true.