What happens when “The Price Is Right,” but the prize is wrong?
Stephen Witka would know. The California resident appeared on the popular daytime game show in mid-November and won a six-night trip to Prince George, B.C., including accommodation at the Prestige Treasure Cove Hotel, a $500 credit for a local pub and a limousine tour.
However, the stunning sights of Prince George were not on display when Witka’s price was announced — instead, it was the arguably more picturesque Lake Louise with its snow-capped mountains and bright blue water.
Lake Louise is located 600 km from Prince George. PSA to our American friends: They’re not the same. That’s like someone winning a trip to New York but seeing a picture of Toronto.
The flub seems to be the latest example of our neighbours south of the border failing to grasp Canadian geography. In 2014, Apple got Ottawa and Toronto mixed up when telling people when their new iPhones would arrive. And a few years ago, Buzzfeed got its American staff to label a map of Canada, and it did not go well.
After the episode featuring Witka aired, many people — including Prince George residents — took to social media to question why Prince George would even make a good “The Price Is Right” prize in the first place.
“Omg, those poor people lol,” one northern B.C. resident wrote on Facebook.
Many detractors pointed to the area’s high crime rate and relative lack of activities. The most recent Statistics Canada data from 2017 ranks Prince George as Canada’s 10th most dangerous community, based on a measurement of both the volume and seriousness of reported crimes.
But plenty of people and groups also took to social media to defend the B.C. city.
“COFI already knows #PrinceGeorge is a beautiful forestry community that’s worth visiting. Our #COFI2020 convention will be in PG — please join us in April!” the BC Council of Forest Industries wrote on Twitter.
The general manager of Prestige Treasure Cove Hotel told CTV he’s been in touch with Witka and is encouraging the winner to visit in the summertime in order to best appreciate the city.
“We’ve been kind of pushing him to come in the summertime because there’s more to do,” said Connor Bull, citing the area’s hiking and fishing opportunities. “His reaction has been nothing but excellent.”
A local casino has even offered to fund a private helicopter trip to take Witka to Lake Louise so he can see those snow-capped mountains, just as promised.
Who knows? With all this pampering, maybe Witka really will fall in love with Prince George.