- Anne Arundel County Public Schools
- February 22, 2019
Teacher from Edgewater Wins Big on 'Let’s Make a Deal'
Edgewater resident Amy McGee appeared on CBS’s “Let’s Make a Deal” this week on a special Teacher’s Edition. McGee teaches English as a second language at Annapolis Elementary School.
She and her husband stayed home from work Wednesday morning to watch the show, which was taped last July. Until the show aired, McGee could not reveal what she had won or lost.
“Let's Make a Deal” involves selected members of the studio audience making deals with the host, Wayne Brady. A “trader” is offered something of value and given a choice of whether to keep it or exchange it for a different item, hidden from view. The trader does not know if he or she is getting something of greater value or a “zonk,” a prize purposely chosen to be of little or no value to the trader.
Audience members dress up in outrageous costumes in order to increase their chances of being selected as a trader.
“Growing up, my family used to watch the show. I work part-time, so I’m home sometimes and get to watch it,” McGee said.
Just for fun, while planning a summer trip to southern California, McGee searched the internet for tickets to the show in Los Angeles.
“I saw online that there was a special show, a teacher’s edition,” she said.
She booked the ticket, but only one. Every audience member was a teacher, so the rest of her family went to the beach while McGee went to the taping in a bright pink flamingo costume and a sign that read: “Teachers are like flamingos — sometimes they have to put their foot down.”
“The sign was my funny way to tie-in the flamingo costume to teaching,” McGee said.
The morning of the show, the teachers met at a hotel before being transported to the studio in Van Nuys, a neighborhood in Los Angeles. They each got name tags, and questionnaires to fill out. Group activities to warm up the audience followed, with producers chatting with people, determining who Brady would call as traders.
“They were looking for bubbly, grateful people, people who love the show,” she said in hindsight. Little did she know that she would be the first to be called to make a deal.
“I was caught off guard, I did not know they would pick me,” she said.
After Brady thanked the teachers, especially those who flew in for the show, she competed with Ronald, a teacher from Illinois, dressed as a big baby. Ronald was offered a choice of $900 in cash or a small box. He chose the cash, so McGee won the contents of the box: a suite of Apple products: an iPad, an iPhone and an Apple watch, worth $2,897.
Next, Jackie, an elementary teacher in a ladybug costume, was offered $700 or a tiny box. She took the cash, and McGee got jalapeno eye cream — zonk! Then McGee got to choose between the eye cream and the Apple suite, and a backpack. She chose the backpack, which held a lunchbox with candy, an apple, an all-expenses-paid trip to Aitutaki — one of the Cook Islands in the South Pacific — and $2,000 in spending money.
For the Big Deal of the Day at the end of the hour, McGee was the first to choose whether to keep her winnings or trade it in for what was behind doors one, two or three. She kept the trip and the cash. The prize behind the door was a Dodge Journey.
After the show aired, she said, “I was so happy and thrilled with what I won; I didn’t want to take the chance (of losing it). I’m happy for the guy (Tyanta, a special education teacher in a spacebird costume) that did win. Talking with him afterward, he was crying. I’m so glad he won the car.”
Meanwhile, her family had no idea what had happened inside the studio. They waited for her in the lobby, while others were coming out of the hotel after the taping. McGee held back, signing contracts, including a non-disclosure statement.
“They were excited waiting for me, they heard I won big,” she said. But she couldn’t tell them.
McGee will be able to make arrangements for the trip now that the show has aired. That day, she left with nothing, except an apple, which her daughter, Kate, enjoyed.
Overall, she said, “It was worth doing. It was so much fun!”