Manuela Arbelaez said she was terrified that she would lose her job as a model on The Price Is Right after making a mistake that cost the show $21,960, but instead the show is basking in the attention and the Colombian-born beauty has become a viral sensation.
On Thursday’s show, Arbelaez accidentally pulled the wrong card, revealing to an excited contestant the price of a car she was trying to win. The show had no choice but to award the prize to the contestant, and Arbelaez hid her face in embarrassment after the nearly $22,000 blunder.
“I was mortified!” she said. “I was mortified because I thought A) this is my last day at work, B) it’s going to get taken out of my paycheck every week.”
Now, Manuela Arbelaez is explaining how it all went wrong, telling Inside Edition‘s Jim Moret that she thought the game was over when the contestant had an incorrect guess.
“I thought [the contestant] only had one chance to guess the price of the car, and after I heard the buzzer, I’m like, ‘All right, game over.’ When someone loses our natural reaction is to reveal the remaining tags to show the audience and the viewers the correct price.”
Arbelaez went on to explain that the show’s producers understood the mistake, and host Drew Carey also helped lighten the mood by joking about the incident almost immediately.
“Congratulations! Manuela just gave you a car!” he joked. “Way to go! The game is over, folks.”
Manuela said the support meant a lot to her.
“Drew could not have been more supportive, same with the producers… They thought it was the funniest moment and they embraced it.”
She went on to explain that she wasn’t the first model to make a mistake — though her’s was the most expensive.
“There was an occasion when a girl crashed a car into Door 3 and another gave away a trip to Disneyland,” Arbelaez recalled. “There have been small things like that over the years, but I think my mistake was the most expensive in the history of the show.”
The moment certainly got Manuela Arbelaez a lot of attention. Video of her blunder went viral, leading to media coverage across the country. By the weekend, her name was one of the most popular search terms on Google.
But with her job safely intact, Manuela Arbelaez said she’s able to keep a good perspective about the incident, saying, “At the end of the day, we’re only human and I obviously made a very expensive mistake. But I made someone very happy!”
[Image via CBS]