NIU professor strikes big on ‘Let’s Make a Deal’


NIU communication instructor Aimee Barrows jumps in excitement on game show “Let’s Make a Deal.” The episode was filmed over the summer and aired Oct. 24. Barrows said she had to keep quiet about winning $1,000 for three months.

By Rachel Scaman

NIU communication instructor Aimee Barrows had to wait three months before she could tell anyone she won $1,000 on “Let’s Make A Deal” this summer.

Barrows teaches communication and speech at NIU and has always had a love for game shows, so it was obvious where she wanted to go when her mother offered to pay for a trip to a location of Barrow’s choice for her birthday.

“She thought maybe I’d want to go to Vegas, but I didn’t want to go to Vegas,” Barrows said. “So I said, ‘What I really want to do is go to Hollywood, to L.A., and try to get on either ‘Let’s Make A Deal’ or ‘The Price Is Right.’’”

After buying her priority tickets in April for “Let’s Make A Deal,” Burrows decided to bring her best friend. She went to audition for the show twice when she was in Hollywood, once by herself and once with her friend who flew in the next day.

“Then a producer comes down through the line, and they put you in groups of six or seven and ask you to show some enthusiasm,” Barrows said. “The idea is, they want to pick people who are really excited, happy and energetic.”

Priority ticket holders were ushered into a tent where they had to wait for about two hours, Barrows said. In this tent, there were cameras watching to see who was the most happy and energetic. Barrows said every contestant is picked in advance for each game.

Although she wasn’t picked to be on the show the first day, Barrows didn’t let that stop her. When she went back the next day, she knew what the producers were looking for.

“I was really almost obnoxiously happy and excited, and [my friend] is a little goofy so we were playing off each other,” Barrows said. “This time I was up dancing, chatting with people, just being really happy.”

Barrows said when she heard Wayne Brady, the host of “Let’s Make A Deal,” call her name, the rest was a blur.

“He knew my name, so you know it was not random,” Barrows said. “I was in shock, but I bolted down there. … I was in shock the whole time.”

The show was filmed in the summer and aired Oct. 24.

Barrows didn’t want to win anything except for money; she didn’t want a hot tub or a car or anything like that. She was offered $1,000 by Wayne Brady and immediately knew she was going to walk away with the money.

Barrows hasn’t received the money yet, but said she is going to use it to buy Christmas presents and pay off some debt.

“I took my cash and went back to my seat,” Barrows said. “I literally just sat there with my mouth open. My friend and I were like, ‘Oh my god did that just happen?’”