Kathy Rebber no longer has to keep her big secret.
Anyone across the country who watched Wednesday’s episode of “The Price Is Right” knows she’s a big winner.
Rebber, who lives at Lutheran Lake northwest of Waymansville in Bartholomew County, won $61,673.91 in prizes when she was on the show Feb. 6.
The show aired Wednesday on CBS.
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Those prizes included a new Ford Focus sedan, a new Bayliner boat, a trip to both Hawaii and Alaska and more.
Rebber, wearing the Race a Rat shirt she had custom made for the show, had a watch party with more than 50 friends and family to see her win. The show bars her from telling anyone, so no one at Wednesday’s party knew until the end of the show when she won a double showcase.
Keeping it a secret during the party is something Rebber said was difficult.
“It was God-awful keeping this a secret,” she said, laughing. “I’m a talker, and it has been bubbling out of me for two months.”
It was especially difficult when she won an Acer laptop over a Chevrolet Aveo during the first game of Any Number, where she had to pick one number at a time, zero through nine, until the price of one of three items is revealed.
“It was horrible sitting here with all of them knowing I was going to win all this,” she said. “When I lost the first game, they were looking at me like they were feeling sorry for me when I knew I won the double showcase.”
Rebber was the second person to spin the Big Wheel.
She spun 25 cents on the first one and 70 cents on the second one for a total of 95 cents, ending the game for the first contestant, who spun 65 cents. Then the third contestant to spin went over, so Rebber earned a spot in the Showcase Showdown.
The other contestant bid on a bedroom suit, a trip to Hawaii and a boat.
She bid on the trip to Alaska and the Ford Focus.
The first contestant bid $3,700 lower than the actual retail price of his showcase, and Rebber was only $125 lower than the actual retail price of hers. Since she bid $250 or less than the actual retail price, she was a double showcase winner.
Winning everything didn’t register in her mind at first.
“The producers told us that if you lose, you walk off the stage, but if you win, you run toward your prizes,” she said. “When I won, I just couldn’t react. The producer kept yelling, ‘You won the prizes. Go run toward them,’ and I just sat there and finally ran up.”
Her friend, Jamie Marshall, attended the party and didn’t realize immediately that Rebber won all of the prizes.
“I was confused because when I was a kid watching the show, I thought you had to be within $100 to win both showcases,” she said. “So at first, I was disappointed she didn’t win a boat because she lives on a lake, and then I went crazy.”
She doesn’t have the items yet. She first has to pay California sales tax on the winnings, and she received the paperwork Tuesday evening.
“As soon as I pay the taxes, then I will start getting the items I won,” she said. Income tax will total $4,317.25.
The more than $61,000 in prizes also is considered income.
“And I’m retired, so it bumped me up a few brackets, but it’s all good,” she said.
Rebber said she was told she would be contacted by a dealer, where she will receive the car and boat.
Winning the car came at a good time, as Rebber was planning to look for a new one soon in anticipation of her second grandchild being born.
“I actually do need a new car and was going to look to get one, and then this happened,” she said.
The furniture and other items will ship soon, too, and the trips she won have to be taken within a year.
The 64-year-old, a retired Mount Healthy Elementary School physical education teacher, said she has been a frequent viewer of the show, always watched with her mother and has always wanted to attend. In February, she got her chance when she visited her friend, Cheryl Orr, in California, and the two made plans to attend the show.
Orr watched along with all of the other family and friends by using Facetime on her cell phone.
Rebber’s friend, Sara Clark, attended the watch party and said the anticipation of the Showcase Showdown was more like the end of a championship game than a game show.
“It was like watching a ball game with that last intense moment and waiting for it to be over, not knowing who won until the final shot,” Clark said.
“I was so excited, I couldn’t stand it,” friend Connie Mitchell said.
Clark said the moment Rebber won, the cheers were so loud, she couldn’t hear anything but people cheering.
“You couldn’t even hear what was going on the television, people were so loud,” Clark said. “People were yelling, screaming, whistling, and it was just crazy, and I knew it would be like this with this crowd.”
Rebber agreed that the house was loud. Both floors of the home had groups watching.
“You couldn’t hear downstairs,” she said. “My ears are still ringing.”
Pat Papin also attended and said it was fun seeing his friend win so many prizes.
“I think this is awesome,” he said. “When I saw her on television just now, that was the first time I’ve ever seen her nervous in my life.”
Papin and Rebber have been friends for more than 40 years. He was friends with her husband, Tom, through school, and she taught scuba diving lessons in the 1980s and was Papin’s instructor.
Even though Rebber was impressed she was able to keep it a secret, her friend, Tammy Wright, wasn’t surprised she was able to keep it in.
“She is really good about keeping secrets,” she said. “Being one of her best friends, I didn’t even try to pry it out of her.”
Rebber said she was glad she had a viewing party because it made the moment that much better.
Friends and family came from as far as Pennsylvania and Fort Wayne.
“It wouldn’t have been the same if my friends and family weren’t here,” she said. “So many showed up.”
So what’s Rebber’s favorite of the 11 prizes?
“Gosh I don’t know — the boat, the car and the trips,” she said. “I guess that’s almost everything.”
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What Kathy Rebber won on “The Price Is Right”
Hathaway ricochet shuffleboard table
Acer Aspire laptop
Zuo Mod bedroom collection (queen bed, two nightstands, a six-drawer dresser and a high chest)
Maxim Fine mattress
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, trip for two
Five-night, oceanfront view stay for two at Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay
Two spa massages
2018 Bayliner Element E16 deck boat with trailer
Fairbanks, Alaska, trip for two
Five-night stay at A Taste of Alaska Lodge
2018 Ford Focus sedan
Total value: $61,673.91