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The Major Price Is Right Prize That Was Given Away Accidentally

Somehow, just about every American adult has a childhood story about being home from school with an ailment or sickness — real or concocted — and watching "The Price Is Right." In most cases, so many people having such an oddly specific shared experience might raise an eyebrow or two. However, the "Price Is Right" phenomenon makes perfect sense: the iconic game show has been a daytime television staple dating back to the Richard Nixon administration. 

That said, there's more than longevity at play where "The Price Is Right's" pop-cultural impact is concerned.  The show has also perfected its format, which involves contestants trying to guess the prices of a variety of products in myriad cleverly-designed games. The program has also benefited from the presence of a pair of popular hosts in Bob Barker — who served as master of ceremonies from 1972 until 2007 — and comedian Drew Carey, the host since Barker retired.

While its tried-and-true formula and veteran host have remained firmly in place for decades, though, there have nonetheless been a handful of times where the show has gone off the rails. Case in point: the time a car with an MSRP approaching $22,000 was given away for free due to a model's mistake. 

Manuela's Mishap

During an April 2015 episode of the game show, a contestant named Andrea was playing a round of "Five Price Tags." Under normal circumstances, five different price possibilities for a new car are briefly shown, and the contestant is given an opportunity to guess the correct price — and win the car — by correctly declaring whether the prices given for four smaller prizes are true or false. On this occasion, however, model Manuela Arbeláez turned over Andrea's first incorrect guess at the price of a Hyundai Sonata SE, then proceeded to reveal the winning price by mistake, as reported by the Daily Mail.

With the game broken, the decision was made to give Andrea the car, which made for an incredible TV moment. However, Arbeláez was mortified by having given away a brand new Sonata for free. She even tried to hide behind the game display. Thankfully, Carey and co. had her back in spite of the mishap. "For those of you asking: the producers and @DrewFromTV couldn't have been more supportive and understanding. I'm not in trouble," she tweeted after the episode aired.

She continued to poke fun at herself in a later tweet, writing, "Hey @Oprah now I know what it feels like to be you! Whenever you feel like giving cars away on the show let me know." Arbeláez, who was the first-ever Hispanic model to join the "Price Is Right" cast, is still on the show today.