George Fletcher of Bay Shore was a lucky winner on the TV show "The Price Is Right." Fletcher appeared on the show in April and won a total earnings of $67,752, including a pair of cars. NewsdayTV's Steve Langford reports. Credit: Newsday/Howard Schnapp; Courtesy: Fremantle Productions

Come on down, George Fletcher of Bay Shore. You're the winner of the April 18 episode of "The Price Is Right" — with total earnings of $67,752, including a pair of cars.

Fletcher, 56, grew up in Medford and is a planning executive with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority who — yes, literally — makes certain the trains run on time. He is also a true-blue "Price" fan who has studied the show — and apparently everything that makes up the Consumer Price Index — for decades. He first appeared on the program in 2002 when he lost in the all-important "Showcase" round that closes out each edition of the long-running daytime game show.

Not about to make the same mistake twice, he aced the April 18 "Showcase" (and a second car) but also earned some bragging rights, or in his own words, "I wasn't going to be the guy who had the first two overbids on his 'Showcase' " since "Price's" launch in 1972. 

In the April 18 edition, Fletcher was the first to be called to the podium — that iconic "Come on down!" moment — and quickly got down to business, by winning a round of "Card Game," in which a contestant picks cards from a deck, each assigned incremental value applied to the cost of a car. 

Fletcher stopped when the cost spread was $23,900 to $25,900 and — bingo — the list price of the pared-down, no-frills 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SUV was $25,820.00. As Fletcher joked in a recent phone interview, "If the car had had mud flaps, I woulda lost." 

As the show's top prizewinner, he had earned an invite to the podium of "Showcase." That's when things got interesting.

A deceptively simple part of this game show, "Showcase" requires that the eventual winner underbid on a suite of prizes. The contestant who overbids automatically loses.

The first set of prizes included a pair of Kawasaki motorcycles and an exotic trip. Fletcher passed on guessing, forcing the contestant seated next to him — who had also appeared on the program before, in her case 42 years earlier — to make a guess. 

A bad one as it turned out: She overbid by $600.

George Fletcher competes on "The Price Is Right" with host...

George Fletcher competes on "The Price Is Right" with host Drew Carey in the April 18 episode. Credit: Fremantle via CBS

Next, Fletcher got his turn. His potential winnings included a fully loaded 2023 Mazda CX-30 and a new kitchen. 

And … drumroll … he bid $32,300, or well below the retail price of $39,802. 

In a recent interview, Fletcher admitted that he didn't need to know all that much about the intricacies of car pricing, but just enough to know how many accessories are attached to prize cars. He also knew not to overbid. When he lost that "Showcase" in 2002 — and a chance to win a Pontiac — "I overbid by $222.00, [so] this time I was being conservative and gun-shy."

But seriously Mr. Fletcher, how do you know so much about the cost of stuff? 

"I DVR the show every day. I'm a huge fan and always have been, and watch when I'm futzing around in the kitchen," he said." But when it came to the point where I would be going back to the show — it taped this past February — I spent a couple months really paying attention and getting the feel for cars and what kind of price range they're in." 

Most of the cars featured on the show are "middle-of-the-road, which is what 'Price' is all about — we're just regular folks." Nevertheless, during the Bob Barker era (which ended upon his retirement as host in 2007) "Price" cars were exclusively American. Since then cars from everywhere are featured, making the game (and price points) trickier. 

And what, by the way, is Fletcher going to do with two cars anyway? (He'll take ownership later this summer.) "I'm still trying to hash out what to do. There's a big tax liability so I'll probably sell the other one. I'm just so grateful and thankful that, in the end, I'll have a new car and kitchen with very little cash outlay." 

Top Stories

Newsday LogoCovering LI news as it happensDigital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months