The price of parents weekend is right

The Student Events Team brought a family game show to Minnesota State’s campus to celebrate family weekend with friendly competition. 

Based on the original American television show that launched in 1972, “The Price Is Right” was replicated in Ostrander Auditorium Saturday evening, allowing MSU contestants and their families to guess the prices of retail items for a prize. 

The Student Events Team Maverick Traditions Chair Henry Bowing-McDonough facilitated the night of feuding and fun.

“‘The Price Is Right’ was enjoyed by many generations over decades, and it remains to be a really popular TV show,” Bowing-McDonough said. “I think putting it on family weekend is kind of a cool way to cross generational lines.” 

For five years annually the game show has been a tradition for family weekend at MSU. Initially, the idea originated from MSU Alumni, former members of the Student Events Team and brothers, Lucas and Alex Arndt. 

“They flushed out a really complete, stellar event, and it landed really well with the Maverick audience,” Bowing-McDonough said. “Year after year they come back with their sets and with some new ideas and some innovations, and we keep the old stuff that works the best.” 

Once entering the set, there were two lines to check tickets and receive a nametag. Next to these lines, a bucket was available to enter names for contestant selection.

“About two minutes before the show starts, they kick the bucket and they randomly select the contestants,” Student Events Team member Jaxson Karline said, who ran the event in 2022. 

Prizes for the event ranged from smaller food items such as mug brownies, Little Debbie cakes and Twinkies. On the higher end, there was an air fryer, TV, headphones, speaker, area rugs, and more, adding up to over $1,500. 

“Prize purchasing and cataloging what I’ve been buying, and at what price has been really taking up a lot of my energy regarding this event,” Bowing-McDonough said.

Despite the workload, contributions from the Arndt brothers helped smooth the process for event preparation. 

“It’s a load off of my shoulders, to work with them and to be able to work with such a dedicated couple of event planners,” Bowing-McDonough said.

With “The Price Is Right” as television’s longest-running game show, generations have been able to watch the show for decades. With families from separate generations present, the mock show was able to recreate a series parents and children potentially watched together. 

“It’s a cultural reference that most people who regularly watch American TV are going to at least be familiar with on a base level,” Bowring-McDonough said. “Bringing that to the Mankato campus, they can reconnect in that way.” 

With the help of Bowing-McDonough, the Arndt brothers, and the Student Events Team, this event will continue to be an annual tradition for MSU families for years to come. 

“Parents and kids don’t see each other very often during the academic year, and so coming together and having the chance to win stuff like this and team up and work together or even have some friendly competition, I think is really cute, it’s fun,” Bowring-McDonough said. “It’s just a freeing way to spend some time, especially now that it’s getting cold.”

Write to Mercedes Kauphusman at mercedes.kauphusman@mnsu.edu

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