Arlington woman gets on 'Price is Right' - thanks to a Tarrant County judge

ARLINGTON -- Sitting in a Fort Worth courtroom one Monday in September, Kathryn Maynard tried to lie low and not call attention to herself.

She was flying to Los Angeles the next week, and the last thing she wanted was to get picked for jury duty.

But keeping a low profile isn't exactly Maynard's style. And soon enough, a defense attorney asked her whether she had to be someplace in the next week or so.

"I said, 'Well, yeah, I have to go to The Price is Right on Monday and win my husband a car,'" Maynard said. "Of course, everybody starts laughing."

Maynard -- Juror No. 23 -- was selected anyway to serve on a capital murder trial in state District Judge Mike Thomas' court.

"There are 70 of us standing there and Judge Thomas says, 'If we don't call your number, thank you, you may leave," she said. "He goes through the list of numbers and then he says: 'Juror No. 23, come on down.'

"I looked at him and said, 'Seriously, are you kidding? He said, 'Juror No. 23, have a seat.'"

Although she had no way of knowing it then, that moment was the start of a lucky ride that Maynard, 54, has been enjoying ever since.

"I never had so much stinkin' fun in my life," she said.

'You have to pick me'

Fortunately for Maynard, the trial lasted only four days. And on Sunday, Sept. 19, Maynard, a sales specialist for The Hertz Corp., was on a plane to Los Angeles, where her job was to entertain 21 Continental Airlines reservation agents.

Their agenda included watching a taping of The Price is Right, which is hosted by comedian Drew Carey.

The next day, Maynard said, she was with her group outside the CBS Studio Center, dressed in a bright yellow "Drew Carey, You Rock" shirt and an "I love Drew" hat when a Price is Right producer started interviewing people in line.

"He comes to me and I look at him and say, 'Listen, you have to pick me to be on your show. There is a judge in Fort Worth, Texas, who thinks I was fibbing when I told him that I was going to The Price is Right to win my husband a car.'"

She showed him her No. 23 juror badge, which she had pinned to her shirt -- next to her No. 234 game show contestant badge.

Maynard pointed out to the producer the number 23 on both badges.

"It's a sign from God," the producer quipped.

Shortly after taping began, Maynard heard the words she had been hoping for: "Kathryn Maynard, come on down. You're the next contestant on The Price is Right."

"Everyone in my group goes stinkin' nuts," she said.

Staying lucky

Maynard took her place on Contestants Row and soon won her way onstage.

She had bid $500 on beauty products and the actual retail price was $523, making her the contestant who bid closest without going over.

"There is my 23 again," Maynard said. "Are you a believer yet?"

In the next game, Maynard said, she won home office furniture after correctly guessing its price. Then she spun the Big Wheel, which contestants can spin twice to get as close as possible to $1 without going over.

Maynard spun 70 cents and then 30 cents, but the second spin didn't go all the way around so it didn't count. She spun again and got 30 cents again.

"Everyone is going ... nuts," she said. "Not only did I win, I get $1,000."

Next up: The Showcase Showdown.

Because she was the show's top winner, Maynard had the choice of bidding on the first showcase -- a trip to the Amazon -- or passing it to her competitor.

Maynard passed. Her competitor bid $21,000.

The next showcase featured a trip to New York, a makeover by Christo, a $1,000 shopping spree, a photo shoot with photographer Nigel Barker and, you guessed it, a new car. A red Lexus hybrid, to be exact.

"Everyone goes stinkin' nuts," Maynard said.

Maynard bid $41,000 on the showcase.

The Price is Right prohibits Maynard from publicly disclosing the outcome of the show until it airs at 10 a.m. Friday.

She is having a viewing party at her Arlington home that morning. Some of her friends from Continental are flying in for the occasion, and a few of her fellow jurors are expected to be there. She has also invited Judge Thomas.

But no matter what happens, one thing is certain: It's going to be stinkin' nuts.

Melody McDonald,