Plains native Griggs appears on 'Price is Right'
Plains native Debbie Griggs, who now lives in California, spins the "Wheel of Fortune" during a taping of the "Price is Right" game show in September. The show appeared on Oct. 6. (Photo courtesy Debbie Griggs)
Clark Fork Valley Press/Mineral Independent | October 13, 2021 12:00 AM
Some know her as the “Ghost hunting Grandma” while others’ association is through her work as a psychic.
But last week, Plains native Debbie Griggs became known as the small-town woman who made an appearance on “The Price is Right.”
Griggs was on television’s longest-running game show Oct. 6, much to the her delight as well as family members and friends.
“The Price is Right” first aired in 1972 and is in its 50th season. It was hosted by the legendary Bob Barker before comedian and actor Drew Carey took over in 2007.
“It was so exciting,” Griggs said. “It was a little bit of a bucket list thing for me and I’d been trying to get on the show for the last five years.”
Griggs said she and her husband Roy moved to Oxnard, California, about six or seven years ago. The appearance also helped the couple celebrate Roy's birthday on Oct. 5.
Her son, Kenny, a Plains native too, and his girlfriend, Katelyn Fields, live in Los Angeles. Along with Debbie, Kenny and Katelyn, all were on the show.
Prior to his being picked, Kenny interviewed with the show.
“They interview you and if they like you, they pick you, so Kenny got us on the show,” Debbie said.
The show is filmed in Burbank, a city about 12 miles northwest of Los Angeles. It is home to Walt Disney and Warner Bros. studios.
Oxnard is about 1 1/2 hours north of Burbank, so once the Griggs moved there, Debbie’s hopes of appearing on the show became more realistic.
She went to the show’s taping in September ready for what she hoped would be her long-awaited appearance.
“I wore a shirt that said “Price is Right is celebrating its 50th” on the front and on the back I had written “My 60th birthday is Nov. 2,” Griggs said.
Griggs’ hope to win a car weren’t realized, but she did bring home a diamond necklace and earrings.
She was the third person picked to play. It took Griggs a few misses on prizes such as an adult-size tricycle and a karaoke package before she made a correct guess on the jewelry.
Griggs won the set after guessing the value at $1,200. It turned out they were valued at $1,202.
Carey asked her how she was doing and Griggs responded “I’m doing great. I made it!”
She then had a shot at a car, a new Toyota Prius. The game she played was called “Pathfinder.” Contestants choose a path of numbers when guessing cash values of such items as a vegetable peeler, S’mores maker and others.
“It was a very hard game and there were a bunch of cameras and lights in front of me so it was hard to see the car,” Griggs said. “I guessed $24,000 for the car, but it turned out it was nearly $28,000. That surprised me it was that much.”
Griggs then had a chance to spin the famed “Wheel of Fortune.”
She was second to spin, but the numbers didn’t line up for Griggs. The goal is to not go over 100. Her first spin stopped on 45, but her second was on 80, eliminating her from the game.
“When I was spinning the wheel, Drew wished me a ‘Happy Birthday’ but it was so noisy I never heard him,” Griggs said with a laugh.
Griggs can’t apply for another crack at big prizes for 10 years.
“I’ll try again when I’m 70, but it was such a thrill to get on the show and I can’t thank my son enough for making it happen,” she said.
Kenny is working in the entertainment business in Los Angeles and is remembered well for his acting back in Plains.
He won a tongue twister competition in a state-wide Thespian Festival at the University of Montana in 2011 and in 2017, he and his fellow Plains High School actors and actresses were honored for their national performance of the play “Our Diamond” in Nebraska.
While Griggs enjoyed her time on the “Price is Right” she is still busy in her roles as the “Ghost Hunting Grandma” and “Psychic Debbie Griggs.”
“I’ve helped find 10 missing people and we just got done doing a lockdown ghost hunt at the Malvern Manor in Iowa,” Debbie said. “We’ve also done Joe Shepard’s bed and breakfast in Plains and we’ll head to Minnesota to do some more ghost hunts.”
To watch Griggs’ appearance on the “Price is Right,” go to https://www.cbs.com/shows/the_price_is_right/video/AfaGiTU1XIhjU3D1xVQNxZMLRKoiYYXD/the-price-is-right-10-6-2021/.