No zonk! New car is Millsboro woman’s Let’s Make A Deal curtain call!

MILLSBORO – Take it from Cassandra Winebrake, if you’re ever in southern California and have the time and opportunity, take in Let’s Make A Deal.

You just never know.

Cassandra Winebrake of Millsboro celebrates as she sits in the car she won on Let’s Make A Deal.

While some contestants got “zonked” and went home with nothing, the 24-year-old Millsboro woman was among the big prize winners on the Jan. 9 episode of the popular CBS game show.

She won a new car, valued at $14,975.

“It’s a Chevy spark LS 2017,” said Ms. Winebrake, who gave show host Wayne Brady and stage model Tiffany Coyne hugs before climbing in her new vehicle.

She could have gambled on a chance to win other prizes in the show’s Big Deal segment.

“I was asked first if I wanted to keep the car or go for the Big Deal, but I decided to keep the car,” said Ms. Winebrake, a server at Irish Eyes in Milton who is studying graphic design at Delaware Technical Community College.

Her game show adventure came on an August trip to California with her best friend Dayana Monge to visit a friend who lives near Los Angeles. Ms. Winebrake said they thought about going to the show because it “would be cool to just maybe be seen in the audience. My fiancé Mark Gardner and I always watch the show. I requested the tickets online – they were free and it was really easy – for Aug. 15.”

Interestingly, her Let’s Make A Deal adventure almost did not happen.

“The night before the show we actually were thinking about not going anymore because when we got to Los Angeles we realized Van Nuys was a little further away than we thought, and our Lyft fare was more pricey than planned. But the morning of the show came, and we thought, ‘Why not; we’re in California we might as well’ … and we went! And it was worth it!” said Ms. Winebrake, who dressed as a sumo wrestler for the show. “The line wasn’t long at all and we got right in, got our numbers, signed some stuff, and then it was time for the interview process. We interviewed in a group of about eight people and just told a little bit about ourselves. The lady interviewing us was incredibly nice and energetic. She made the whole process so much fun. She said they tend to pick people who are also energetic and smile a lot, so I made sure to do both of those things to the max!”

Cassandra Winebrake, left, of Millsboro gets the first curtain choice from Let’s Make A Deal host Wayne Brady.

Never did she think she’d be called as a contestant.

“It was definitely a surprise when Wayne called my name. I jumped up and ran down there faster than I could blink,” she said.

She had first pick on car prizes – real or zonks – hidden behind curtains. The other contestant hit the button first and traded her curtain for $2,500 cash. That curtain proved to be a zonk – a gag lime car.

So the drama was: What was behind Ms. Winebrake’s curtain No. 2?

“Curtain No. 2 was just the first one I thought of. When I picked it and realized I didn’t hit the button for the $2,500 before the other girl I thought ‘uh oh, I really hope there’s something behind that curtain because I just missed out on that.’ But when they opened it and I saw that car I couldn’t believe it. It felt like a dream,” Ms. Winebrake said.

Let’s Make A Deal contestant Cassandra Winebrake of Millsboro reacts to an offer during her appearance on the Jan. 9 episode.

“My best friend was the only one standing up, jumping up and down in the audience. She had me cracking up watching the episode,” Ms. Winebrake said. “I was so happy I hugged Wayne Brady, ran down to the car, hugged Tiffany – she’s so nice and cute – and got in the car. It’s such a cute car and just the right size for me … when I’m not wearing the sumo wrestler suit!”

Obviously, her trip California is one she’ll never forget.

“I’m so grateful for such an awesome opportunity. It was my first time at a game show and it couldn’t have been more of an incredible experience,” said Ms. Winebrake. “I definitely recommend going if you’re ever in that area of California. The whole thing is just so much fun. I definitely wasn’t expecting to get called up, or to win a car. I just thought it’d be fun to see us in the audience and see what a game show is like. But life is full of surprises and you never know what could happen until you try.”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.