PSU Vanguard Shield Icon

Hamline University student finds charity work pays

The right price for Jason Ross, it turns out, just made him $11,000 richer.

“I’m still in shock,” said Ross, a Hamline University junior whose winning run on the CBS television show “The Price is Right,” taped March 25, is scheduled to air nationally April 30. “I don’t think I’ll believe it until I see it.”

The story starts with the 21-year-old Ross in California during spring break recently with 27 other students to work on a Habitat for Humanity home, his third such trip for the St. Paul university’s Habitat chapter.

Talk about good karma and coincidental luck: The chapter didn’t list Los Angeles among its top three choices this year when applying via Habitat’s lottery system.

But get sent to L.A. they did. And so they worked. They sweated. They stayed in a youth hostel.

On a rare “free” day, egged on by a friend who got tickets to the show, Ross and some other students got up at 2 a.m. to stand in line to see if they could actually be contestants.

They made the cut. Then Ross, Mr. “Positive Energy” during an interview done before taping began (“I had nothing to lose. I’d been up since 2 a.m.”) heard his name – Jason, Jason Ross, come on down!

The rest is a Bob Barker blur.

“It was such a fluke, this whole thing,” said Jennie Robinson, Hamline’s director of residential life. She was on the trip but not at the taping. “Usually trips are a lot less glamorous.”

The school’s student affairs staff plans to hold a viewing party for Ross in the campus student center when the show airs. The check, meanwhile, is in the mail.

Ross, an international business major, wants to invest his winnings in a mutual fund, stash some of the rest in his savings account and maybe, just maybe, send Habitat a check.

“I’ll donate whatever else I have left over,” he said. “I have to pay off some bills, as well.”