The Prize is Right: Crestfallen TV game show winner gets VIP upgrade thanks to NH Chambers

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From left, Lake Sunapee Region Chamber President Ashlee Rowley, Concord Chamber President Tim Sink, Catherine Graham, Greater Salem Chamber President Donna Morris, Greater Claremont Chamber President Elyse Crossman and Greater Nashua Chamber President Wendy Hunt. Photo/Ryan Lessard

CONCORD, NH – A group of five different regional chambers of commerce presented a game show contestant with about $6,500 worth of gift certificates, access to local attractions and a lunch with the governor at the State House on Tuesday. The idea was to assemble a special VIP package for a Massachusetts woman who was visibly crestfallen on national television when she learned she won an all-expenses-paid five-night stay at – the Hotel Concord.

When Catherine Graham of Marshfield, Mass., won the trip to New Hampshire while playing a round of “Side By Side” on the classic game show The Price is Right, she couldn’t hide her disappointment.

After the episode aired on Feb. 1, Boston CBS affiliate WBZ interviewed Graham, who recalled to them her hopes of a trip to Tahiti or Bora Bora being dashed when she saw the destination was less than 100 miles away from her home. But Graham took it in good humor and said she loved New Hampshire and visits the state frequently.

This gave Donna Morris, the president of the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce, an idea: Let’s put the state’s best foot forward and throw Graham the time of her life.

“I felt that we needed to remind her how awesome New Hampshire is,” Morris said. 

After presenting the VIP package to Graham in the State House visitor center, Morris asked Graham if she had anything she wanted to say. “Live free or die,” Graham cheered.

The package includes tickets to Canobie Lake Park in Salem, the Fishercats Stadium, Currier Museum of Art and Millyard Museum in Manchester, LaBelle Winery in Amherst and Derry, a Mount Washington cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee, the Capitol Center for the Arts and Red River Theatres in Concord, and various other entertainment venues, restaurants and ski resorts.

Graham told Manchester Ink Link she is a frequent guest at The Inn at East Hill Farm in Troy and comes often to ski at Cranmore Mountain Resort in North Conway and Loon Mountain in Lincoln.

“I’m always in New Hampshire. Love New Hampshire,” Graham said.

Graham, 61, and her husband, Paul, raised four kids in Marshfield. In recent years, her vacation travel has been limited to New Hampshire and Maine mostly because of the pandemic.

She said she is a lifelong viewer of The Price is Right and always wanted to be on the show. The opportunity to go on the show presented itself after her daughter moved to Agoura Hills in California.

When looking on a community Facebook group for things to do during a visit, Graham stumbled upon a call for contestants and applied. She did a Zoom interview in October and they invited her to join a taping as an audience member in December. During the taping at CBS Studios in Burbank, she was selected from the audience to compete as a contestant. 

Graham also won $1,000 spinning the wheel.


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Ryan Lessard

Ryan Lessard is a freelance reporter.