'Price is Right' contestant wins trip to Manitoba, turns it down

Lee Norton of Rollinsford, N.H., was a contestant on the Dec. 4, 2018, episode of the CBS game show “The Price is Right,” where he won a trip to Winnipeg. Screenshot from @JohnDoyle603/Twitter via CBS.

UPDATE (Dec. 17, 2018): It seems as though the U.S. man who won a winter trip to Winnipeg won’t get to see polar bears after all. Lee Norton reportedly confirmed to CTV News that he turned down the trip due to high taxes on the Canadian getaway. 

Original story continues below:

The capital of Manitoba, which is known as the “Gateway to the West,” was featured in a prize for the long-running CBS game show, “The Price is Right.”

Contestants were promised “a winter they will never forget” with a chance to “watch polar bears in their natural habitat in beautiful Canada.” The winner of the Dec. 4 showcase would receive a six-night stay in the executive suite at the Fort Garry Hotel, a landmark Winnipeg attraction, plus a one-day side trip to Churchill, Man.


There’s plenty to like about the city. You can watch a Winnipeg Jets hockey game at Bell MTS Place, or enjoy a brisk stroll at the historic downtown intersection of Portage and Main. How about some shopping and eating at the Forks, or paying a visit to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights? The Assiniboine Park Zoo has polar bears on display and Saint Boniface Cathedral is consistently described as “beautiful.”

If none of these activities fancy your interest, Tourism Winnipeg has a list of 101 things to do on their website.

However, if you’ve been to Winnipeg, you’ll know why some call it “Winterpeg.” Winters can get frigidly cold in the city.

Less than two weeks before Christmas, the forecast calls for the mercury to dip to -15°C with a low of -19°C, and it’s expected to feel like -21°C, according to the Weather Network. Add seven centimetres or so of snow that is expected to fall in the four days leading up to Dec. 25 and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a bone-chilling holiday.

The video showing a trip to Winnipeg as a grand prize was posted to Facebook by Karen Tusa, a Winnipeg woman with the Twitter handle @Floridagirl2010. She was thrilled to see her recording of the show go viral with more than 120,000 views in just over four days.

Here’s how people reacted to the prize on social media.

Geez, I hope he brings some warm clothes and a few cans of bear mace,” Mark Patten wrote on Facebook.

Annie Alpaca said: “It’ll be ‘a winter he’ll never forget’ alright!”

“The worst prize you could possible win,” Austin Melnyk responded. 

Aside from others insisting there weren’t wild polar bears roaming the streets, Amber Joy Rogan articulated what makes Manitoba so special.

“People from all around the world come to Winnipeg to then travel to Churchill to see the Polar Bears…. it’s actually a very sought after experience… Manitoba has some very beautiful and amazing things to offer and places to see!”

The winner of the trip was Lee Norton of Rollinsford, N.H., who appeared excited to learn about the Canadian adventure. He also reportedly won US$43,390 worth of prizes, including a new motorcycle and an SUV, so it’s safe to say he had a great experience on the show.

“It was so friggin awesome,” he told Fosters.com, a local website owned by GateHouse Media.


With files from The Canadian Press