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LAYTON CONTESTANT FINDS PRIZE IS RIGHT - $38,358

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A Layton woman shook off her first-round jitters during a recent appearance on the television game show The Price Is Right and went on to win $38,358.

Michelle Bonzo Jensen, who teaches fourth grade in Layton, won the prizes during a studio visit June 21. The show is to be aired on CBS Sept. 20.Jensen was in Los Angeles with her husband, Kirk, and friends Darin and Diane Craig of Idaho Falls. Jensen knew just 300 people could appear on the show, and after getting in line at 5:30 a.m., she was number 217.

That was only her first stroke of luck. After waiting another eight hours and undergoing interviews, Jensen was picked as one of four contestants to compete for prizes and money.

When the game show's announcer called, " `Susan Jensen, come on down,' " she hesitated. "For a split second I didn't realize he meant me," said Jensen, who doesn't use her first name, Susan. "It's hard to think and hear up there with everyone yelling bid prices."

Jensen lost the first-round bid on a sailboat, but in the next round, contestants were asked to bid on a British translating computer. "I didn't even know what it was," she said. "Trying to bid and get on stage, your mind just turns to Jell-O."

On the advice of her husband and the Craigs, she bid $1. The price was $400. But the other three bids exceeded the price, and Jensen won.

"There I was, up there with the famous Bob Barker - I was so excited," Jensen said.

Jensen played the Price Tag Game and had to pick two out of four items that totaled $3,062. She won all four, including a refrigerator and television, worth $5,172.

Then, in the spinoff to determine which contestant competed in the showcase, Jensen won $10,000 and the chance to bid on two Dodge Colt GL sports cars, two recliners and two color TV sets.

The Southern Utah University graduate was trying to add all that up in split seconds with help from the audience and her backups. "At first I wanted to bid $22,500. Then someone shouted $23,000. Finally, I said $22,000!" The bid was $22,186. The other bidder went over and Jensen won it all.

Jensen said the only downside is that she must sell some of her winnings to pay federal taxes on them. "It helps that $11,000 was cash," she said.