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Tucson firefighter talks about being a contestant on 'Press Your Luck'

Posted at 10:34 PM, Jul 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-31 01:34:15-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — The odds of being on a game show are pretty slim -- let alone winning one. The opportunity is usually a once in a lifetime experience.

Jason Collins got to live out a lifelong dream of his of being a contestant on the game show 'Press Your Luck.'

"I had watched that show when it was back on in the 80's with Peter Tomarken with my grandpa," Collins said. "It's just a fun show."

So when he heard the show was airing on ABC this summer, he knew he had to be on it. He applied and went through a lengthy interview process.

He was a contestant in the episode that aired on July 24.

Collins is a Tucson native. He went to the University of Arizona and was a teacher for a few years, before joining the Tucson Fire Department in 2006. He's an engineer with the department's technical rescue team.

He describes the whole experience on 'Press Your Luck' as surreal.

"It's hard to even believe you're there when you're there -- let alone thinking back on it now," Collins said. "It's just like a dream. It's hard to even explain when you're actually there doing it. There are so many things going on, it's so much to take in. And you're there to play a game at the same time, so it's really overwhelming."

Of course, Collins wanted to win the game. But when he didn't, he says just having the opportunity to be on the game show he grew up watching was all he could have hoped for.

"No one gave too much of a hard time for ultimately losing the game," he said. "There's not much you can do with that game. It is mostly a game of luck. I could have hit the button a little better, but other than that, everybody says I did pretty good. So it was neat."

This wasn't the first time Collins was on a game show. He was a contestant on 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' a few years ago.