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Delano woman celebrates 40th birthday as a game show contestant
Oct. 4, 2010
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By Starrla Cray
Staff Writer

DELANO, MN – Some people dread their 40th birthday, but not Cindy Scherer of Delano.

Scherer rang in her fourth decade in Los Angeles, participating in the game show, “Let’s Make a Deal.”

The show will air at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7 on WCCO Channel 4.

Being on a game show was on Scherer’s “list” of things to do before age 40.

So, for the past year, she applied online for several shows, hoping for the opportunity to fulfill her dream.

“Two weeks before my 40th birthday, I got an email saying that ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ needed contestants,” Scherer said.

Scherer, along with her friends Paula Moonen and Rochelle Lindberg, took a trip to Hollywood to see if Scherer would be chosen. All three of them dressed as Minnesota fishing girls, playing off the Minnesota parody of Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” song.

Scherer won the judges over with her bubbly personality and fun attitude, and the show was filmed July 30, just in time for her 40th birthday Aug. 3.

Now that she’s been on a game show, Scherer said she isn’t sure what her next adventure will be. She definitely hopes to be able to see her sons, Wally, 8, and Clete, 6, grow up, and she’s thankful for every moment she’s been given.

“Five years ago, I had breast cancer, and had seven surgeries in five years,” Scherer said. Having a serious illness opened her eyes to the blessing of good health.

“Life seems that much more precious,” she said. “I’m not going to be bummed, ever, about a birthday. So many people are sad when they turn 40, but I’m glad to be here.”

For Scherer, being a game show contestant was a “once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

She remembers playing many board games with her family growing up, and that’s part of what enticed her to try out for the TV equivalent.

Throughout the trip, Scherer and her two friends stayed with another girlfriend who lives in LA. The day of tryouts, they made the half-hour drive to Hollywood.

“On the way there, I was just so nervous for some reason,” Scherer said.

After they arrived at the studio, they filled out a little card stating why they wanted to be chosen for the show. Scherer and her two friends all put that Scherer’s dream was to be on a game show before her 40th birthday.

By doing that, Scherer’s friends were basically giving up their own chances of being selected, Scherer said.

Scherer was divided into a line of about 20 people, where each person auditioning was asked a different question.

“Right then and there, they pick who’s going to be on,” Scherer said. During the interviews, Scherer said she kept making comments in order to stand out.

“I was definitely pretty bouncy and excited,” she said. “I didn’t want to miss my chance.”

When host Wayne Brady announced that he needed three people for the show, Scherer, Moonen, and Lindberg all jumped up.

However, it turned out that Brady wanted three people who didn’t know each other.

“As he walked by, I pretended to cast out my fishing line and reel him back in,” Scherer laughed. That got his attention, and Scherer was put on stage with two other contestants.

One of them was a college girl dressed as a hippie, and the other was a man in a “zonk detector” costume. In “Let’s Make a Deal,” a “zonk” is an outlandish, fake prize.

In Scherer’s group, they could choose between $900 cash or a mystery prize. The other two people in the group took turns deciding if the third person would accept the cash or take a chance on the prize.

Scherer can’t say what she won yet, but affirmed that everyone in her group made good decisions.

“It was a really fun experience,” she said.

Filming took about four hours, and Scherer was worn out by the time it was over. She had thought about trying out for “The Price is Right,” which had auditions a few days later, but decided to relax for the rest of the vacation.

“My dream was fulfilled,” she said.

Now that she’s back in Minnesota, Scherer is enjoying time with family, including her husband, Ben, who operates Scherer Plumbing and Heating in Delano.

At the end of October, Scherer has another 40th party planned in Mexico with some of her high school friends of the same age.

For Scherer, turning 40 has truly been a celebration of life, friendship, and fun.

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