Two Penn students won $5,000 each on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Wednesday.
Wharton freshmen Victoria Sacchetti and Katrina Arman beat out thousands of fans to have the opportunity to compete in an obstacle course challenge for the prize.
“There must have been two or three thousand people waiting [there],” Arman said. “We were all cheering and making as much noise as possible.”
DeGeneres tweeted on Monday, March 20, that her crew would be on Walnut Street Wednesday filming a surprise segment. Sacchetti and Arman were not thinking of going to Center City for the event, but their sisters in Alpha Phi convinced them to.
“We’ve been really stressed with school lately, so a bunch of us in [Alpha Phi] decided to go down,” Sacchetti said. “More than being on the show, it was just a really good bonding experience with the sisters.”
The fans waiting in Center City were all dressed in costumes of famous duos. With only a couple of hours to prepare, Sacchetti and Arman borrowed a narwhal and shark costume from a friend.
They quickly labelled themselves as “Left Shark” and “Right Shark”, referencing costumes made popular at Katy Perry’s 2015 Super Bowl Halftime Show.
Then, the two “started singing [Perry]’s biggest hits and attracted the attention of [DeGeneres]‘s crew,” according to Sacchetti.
“Basically, they chose five finalists and said ‘Whoever is the loudest and most enthusiastic will be chosen for the obstacle course,’” Arman said.
Sacchetti and Arman competed against a couple dressed as The Black Eyed Peas in a challenge promoting Capital One that involved carrying a large cup of coffee while going through various hurdles — including spinning around a dizzy bat and stepping through multiple tires. Arman and Sacchetti filled their large cup of coffee at the end of the course before the other team, winning $10,000.
“Before the race, they told us that the winners would get $10,000 and the losers would just get a sweatshirt,” Sacchetti said. “So, we were rushing the whole time.” As consolation, the losing couple ended up getting $5,000.
The freshmen plan to use the money to explore the world.
Sacchetti hopes to “use the money to travel to Spain,” a country she’s long aspired to visit. Arman is thinking of using the money to “take [her] three sisters on a vacation or take [her] mom somewhere.”
Sacchetti and Arman’s respective families were also thrilled with the women’s good fortune. Sacchetti video chatted her grandmother while the show was aired Thursday, as she is a “huge fan” of the show.
The two freshmen stressed how much closer their fifteen minutes of fame brought them with their sorority sisters.
“After we won, everyone in our sorority was so happy,” Sacchetti said. “I’ve never seen anyone so happy before.”
“They were all sharing it [on Facebook], and it was so sweet.”