22: My Husband the Winner

22: My Husband the Winner

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Positive

My Husband the Winner

Let perseverance be your engine and hope your fuel.

~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

My husband Steve has always been a positive guy. I’m more the “prove it to me” type. Back in 1999, we ran an in-home day care and I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. There was a game show on called Greed. After he watched it a couple of times, my husband decided that he could do way better than any other contestant/group he had seen and it became his mission to get on this show.

He searched both the Internet and the newspaper ads to find out how to get on. It didn’t take long before he got himself an audition. This meant taking off an entire day of work. Our son Adam stayed home from high school to help me.

My ever-lovin’ got through the first round and was asked to stay for a possible taping that day. He didn’t make it, but was told he’d be called soon for another “possible” taping.

Given my health and the fact that our son took off from school, we discussed the matter, and while my husband didn’t like the idea of giving up on his dream, he agreed that if he didn’t get to do a taping the second time, there’d have to be a “promise” instead of a “maybe” to go a third time.

He was called and off he went — this time our daughter Sarah arranged her work schedule to be my designated helper for the day. Again, he left at 6:30 a.m. (something I couldn’t even get him to do during the normal workweek) and he returned well after dark.

The outcome — he was in the group that was supposed to be up next when they stopped taping for the night! They asked who’d be able to come back for a “possible” taping. Steve was so intent on proving he could win that he said he’d absolutely be there. After hearing this, I was a tad angry. We had agreed, but his positive feelings about winning had somehow dimmed his memory!

A few weeks later, the producers called and gave him a choice of taping days. He explained the situation and they said they’d do their best, given this was the third time he was making the drive and taking time off from work. Our kids split the difference on helping me for the day.

It was “college week” on the show, and fortunately for my husband, the last group of college kids crashed and burned early. The outcome — he was made team captain. Three men, two women. The other two men were “taken out” by the two women, so the women were slated to receive the share that the men they booted off would have received.

Neither woman wanted to boot my husband because he had “cleaned up” their mistakes and got them to the $500,000 level! So the three of them went on to compete.

Then came the category — JAMES BOND MOVIES.

Did I mention Steve is a movie fanatic? The women gave wrong answers, which my husband corrected. Then he answered his own question and then the spare one.

Yes, he swept the $500,000 category. The women wound up getting $200,000 each while the man who made sure they won went home with $100,000!

He called me on his way home. I asked if he had a good time and how he did. “Did you at least get $10,000?” He said no. I told him I was glad he had fun anyway. He asked me to add a “0” to the number. “Why? Adding a ‘0’ won’t change anything. One ‘0’ or two still comes to the same nothing.”

“No, I mean add a ‘0’ to the $10 grand.”

“You’re kidding.” He assured me he wasn’t! We were sworn to secrecy until the air date. We didn’t even tell our kids.

It couldn’t have come at a better time. My health was fading fast. Steve got the first payment several months later and then we had six years of annuity payments. That money saw us through closing our business and re-inventing ourselves in new careers.

We were still treading financial waters when our daughter announced her engagement. The last installment was what we used to host her wedding and reception.

If it hadn’t been for his positive mindset and perseverance, I honestly have no idea how we would have made it through those years. Thank goodness he’s the man he is and that his love of movies is as strong as his love for our family.

~Carine Inez Nadel

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