Panama City man wins big on game show

Local News

Photo courtesy of ABC

FORT IRWIN, Ca. (WMBB) — A Panama City native won more than $300,000 in cash and prizes on the television show Press Your Luck.

Jason Johnson, a Jag attorney in the U.S. Army, said he filled out a casting application on a whim after spotting the casting announcement on Twitter.

“I used to watch Press Your Luck when I was a kid and they just rebooted it last year with Elizabeth Banks,” Johnson said, “So when it came back on I was excited.”

Johnson said it only took a few Skype interviews before he landed his spot on the show.

“They called me to be on the show and I was moving to California anyway on a PCS move,” Johnson said, “I filmed it right before I came onto the post.”

Johnson said it was hard to keep his winnings a secret for so long — he filmed the episode back in January.

“We kept it hush-hush, they watched it last night,” Johnson said. “They were just jumping all over me and hugging me and telling my wife how pretty she looked on t.v.”

Johnson said he didn’t think he had a chance at making it to the bonus round until he hit the Cadillac.

“Once I hit that it brought me up to $44,000 in cash value which put me ahead by far,” Johnson said.

Johnson said it was the last two spins that sealed the deal.

“I ended up getting two prizes, Johnson said. “I won a trip to Dollywood at the very last spin.”

Johnson said the experience as a whole was super exciting, especially meeting celebrity host, Elizabeth Banks.

“Elizabeth Banks was, she’s amazing, she’s so nice and so personable, Johnson said. “You always wonder how celebrities are and she was amazing.”

Johnson said his show was filmed in the same building as Dancing with the Stars and the Masked Singer.

“While we were doing wardobe and getting dressed and stuff, you could actually hear the Masked Singer music off to the side,” Johnsons said. “I never realized just how big the sound stage was.”

Johnson said he and his family plan spend some of the money on a family vacation after COVID-19 settles down.

“After we first filmed the show, I was able to take my kids to Universal here and then COVID hit and we’ve been on total lockdon.” Johnson said.

Johnson said he’s had a few people call him out for not social distancing on the show.

“It looks weird now because there is a lot of interaction with the audience,” Johnson said. “I’m giving them high-five and hugging the host.

But Johnson said because the show was filmed in January, it was long before COVID came out in the United States.

“A lot of people think the show is live,” Johnson said, “but that’s not the case.”

In total Johnson took home a Cadillac CT5, a Ford F-150, a Yamaha Fishing Boat with Rods and Reels, a trip to Dollywood, a bedroom makeover, and $147,000 in cash.

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