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761 Foundation benefit christens OHS auditorium

price is right, owatonna, 761 foundation, lucas arndt
Connie Ruth may have lost her first game, but she was the closest to $1 in the first group of contestants to spin the big wheel during Saturday’s “Price is Right” event in the new Owatonna High auditorium. The event raised funds for the 761 Foundation. Staff photo by Joni Hubred
Joni Hubred, News Editor

As the day for this year’s “Price is Right” fundraiser approached, Lucas Arndt’s nerves were a bit jangled.

Lucas and his brother, Alex, have been producing similar game shows for years. Held September 16, the 761 Foundation benefit is in its second year as the nonprofit’s only fundraiser.

Over the past 30 years, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.4 million in scholarships to students and $1.7 million in mini grants to teachers and principals for educational projects.

In fact, the nerves had nothing to do with the event. Lucas and Kristine Arndt’s were expecting a baby, due on–you guessed it–September 16.

Fortunately, Liam arrived a little early and instead made his stage debut to open the show. It was a big night for the venue as well; “Price is Right” was the first public event held in the new Owatonna High School auditorium.

“We were pretty pleased with how it went,” said Lucas Arndt, who is also a 761 Foundation board member. “We’re very thankful for the all the help we had to make it all work.”

As with the hit CBS daytime television show, the Arndts’ version of “Price is Right” starts with a group of four players who guess the price of an item. The one whose guess comes closest without going over plays a game to win another prize.

Players also got to spin the “Big Wheel” for a chance to win cash prizes.

Lucas said of the 16 contestants who signed up for the opportunity to play, nine won and seven lost. The event included a second chance raffle for the prizes that weren’t given away on stage, as well as bonus drawings for $50 cash prizes during the show.

In all, lucky winners took more than $10,000 in donated cash and prizes out the door at the end of the night.

His favorite part of the night, Arndt said, was being able to see reactions from the 200 attendees.

“The audience was very into the show,” he said, adding people were cheering and shouting out numbers as the contestants made their guesses. “It sounded like a crowd of thousands.”

The crowd was also very generous, he said. The final amount raised will be announced later this week.

One thing’s for sure: “Price is Right” will be back next year. For more information, visit

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