Tacoma woman wins biggest ‘Price is Right’ prize but faces huge tax bill

Dec 30, 2013, 2:09 PM | Updated: 5:47 pm

Santa was especially good to a Tacoma woman, who just became the biggest winner in the history of The Price is Right television show. But the tax man will be taking a big chunk of her prize.

Sheree Heil was already pretty excited to just to make it onstage, beating out a handful of other contestants with the winning bid on a $2,300 collection of Prada shoes.

“My whole family loves the Price is Right and it’s been a dream of mine to go to that show. I just acted a little bit crazy and the next thing you know they call my name,” she said in an interview Monday. “I didn’t care if I won or lost. I just wanted to spin the big wheel.”

She could never have imagined the prize she’d be playing for: an Audi R8 sports car she didn’t know was worth $157,000.

“My adrenaline was flowing so high. I was pretty much oblivious. It was like a fog,” she said.

It was a nailbiter as Sheree had to pick from a number of price tags without going over the total price. Tension mounted as host Drew Carey told her she could walk away with first $4,000 then $8,000, or risk the money and go for the car with her last pick.

“I wanted to stop after the $4,000. That’s just a lot of money,” she admitted. But when she looked out into the audience, her son implored her to keep going.

She rolled the dice, and went crazy when Carey revealed she won the most expensive prize the show has ever given away.

There’s just one caveat: Sheree will have to pay sales and income taxes on her new ride. And that bill alone is pretty daunting. “I just got a letter from CBS today telling me the California taxes alone are nearly $12,000.”

A Jalopnik reader estimates the federal bill will be around $34,453.25. And she’ll have to cough up an additional $14,915.00 sales tax to Washington state for a grand total of over $61,000.

“I have a brother-in-law who’s a tax guy, so I’ll let him figure it all out,” she laughed.

The biggest challenge for Sheree has been keeping her mouth shut. She taped the episode back on Dec. 9th and was sworn to secrecy until it aired Monday.

“It’s been terrible for me because I love to gab.”

Now she’s got plenty to talk about, and can’t wait to go to work and see her friends.

“They basically shut down the operating room to watch the show,” she said. “This was a dream come true that turned into the thrill of a lifetime for me.”

So will the humble nurse at Allenmore Hospital be cruising around town in a $157,000 ride? She says she hasn’t given it much thought since the car is still on order. But don’t be surprised to see a brand new Audio R8 for sale on Tacoma Craigslist in the not-too-distant future.

Local News

Hinman Glacier...
Associated Press

Washington’s Hinman Glacier gone after thousands of years

The largest glacier between the high peaks of Mount Rainier and Glacier Peak has melted away after a long battle with global warming.
8 hours ago
Tyre Nichols 900x506...
Graham Johnson, KIRO 7 News

Local law enforcement officials, community leaders continue to lament death of Tyre Nichols

Anger and heartbreak over the police killing of Tyre Nichols in Memphis is felt around Puget Sound this weekend.
8 hours ago
Pierce County substation...
Associated Press

Man accused in holiday substation vandalism released from custody

One of the two men charged with vandalizing electrical substations in Washington state over the holidays to cover a burglary was ordered released from federal custody Friday to seek substance abuse help.
8 hours ago
(Photo from KIRO 7)...
Jake Chapman, KIRO 7 News

Thurston County community continues to remember victims of deadly house fire

Tumwater District Stadium was packed Sunday night as family, friends, and most of the community came out to pay tribute
8 hours ago
Cold Seattle...
Bill Kaczaraba

Frigid, but sunny start to the workweek in Puget Sound

It will be a frigid, but sunny start to the workweek in Puget Sound with highs only in the 30s.
1 day ago
Lynnwood protests...
Bill Kaczaraba

Opioid center protesters admit they lost the war

A few dozen protesters fighting against a new opioid treatment center admit they lost the war over the location in Lynnwood, but will continue to fight for children's safety and transparency of the process.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Tacoma woman wins biggest ‘Price is Right’ prize but faces huge tax bill