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This is why a 3-day, $7,000 trip to Delaware was a winning prize on 'Let's Make a Deal'


Ryan Cormier   | Delaware News Journal
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Envision you're on a nationally televised, legendary game show and win.

Now imagine your grand prize is a three-day trip to Delaware. Wilmington, to be specific.

That's what happened to a woman named Kirti on Wednesday's episode of "Let's Make a Deal" on CBS.

The anesthesiologist, whose hometown was not revealed, had just successfully dodged a "zonk," the show's unwanted booby prize, when her real prize was announced.

The mother of two boys smiled and clapped as announcer Jonathan Mangum revealed the trip to the First State.

"It's a trip to Delaware!" Mangum said as a strumming harp sound effect played, along with a prerecorded, overly aggressive applause track. "You'll spend three splendid nights at the Hotel du Pont in Delaware. Experience unparalleled luxury, classic fine dining at Le Cavalier at The Green Room and a picturesque river walk."

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The trip also included "access" to Longwood Gardens, which is in Pennsylvania, and was listed as $7,462.

So why is Delaware suddenly a game show grand prize?

Has President-elect Joe Biden and the attention his election brought to Wilmington now paying off?

Not quite.

"The answer isn’t as exciting as you might think," a show representative told Delaware Online/The News Journal.

"Due to the pandemic, the show is only doing domestic travel, allowing us to celebrate all the amazing places this country has to offer," she added. "In addition to the trip to Delaware in [that] episode, we also gave away trips to Montana, Florida and Oregon."

The Delaware trip as a grand prize struck the funny bone of Newark comic book artist Eric Rowsey, who happened to turn on the show while eating breakfast.

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He posted a hastily made recording of the moment on his Facebook page, where he has almost 900 friends. In two days, it has attracted 170,000 views, nearly 4,000 shares and more than 1,000 comments.

"When I saw that someone won a trip to Delaware worth over $7,000, I laughed," says Rowsey, who also owns the Suspended Animation comic book company. "I even contemplated getting a more level shot, but I figured, 'Who's gonna see this?'"

He wasn't the only one who thought the prize was unique, and his post quickly spread through social media with plenty of comments thrown in.

Many wondered why the trip wasn't to Delaware's beaches instead. Some joked the trip was actually a "zonk." Others just couldn't get over the oddity of the prize, which is reminiscent to the infamous "Wayne's World" deadpan, "Hi, I'm in Delaware."

For the most part, however, it was fodder for gags.

"I hope she got a gift receipt," one person quipped.

"Can I just take the $7,000 to Dewey [Beach] for a bender courtesy of ["Let's Make a Deal" host] Wayne Brady?" asked another.

"What did they do with the other $6,800?" someone else joked.

For Rowsey, the prize video became a totally unexpected, Delaware-themed viral moment. And it's left him still scratching his head.

"Of all the things I've tried to promote over the years, I would never had thought that a crooked video of a game show clip would be the most popular," he said. "Well, back to the drawing board."

Got a tip? Contact Ryan Cormier of The News Journal at rcormier@delawareonline.com or (302) 324-2863. Follow him on Facebook (@ryancormier), Twitter (@ryancormier) and Instagram (@ryancormier).