GOSHEN — America learned Tuesday what a Goshen woman has kept secret since June of 2019 — she was a $100,000 winner on Ellen’s Game of Games show.
Kayci Detweiler, an administrative assistant at an Elkhart nonprofit, competed on the game show in June but couldn’t tell anyone she’d won until it aired Tuesday night on NBC.
“I played three different games,” she said. They were See You Later Alligator, Know or Go and Hot Hands. “I won all three of those.”
One of the games she played involved solving a puzzle. There was a sentence made out of pictures. If the player got it correct, they got to choose one of the opponents to be flung up into the air.
“It was scary,” Detweiler said. “It was really high and fast. It pulled you back really fast. Kind of crazy.”
Of winning, she said, “I literally was flying high because I had just won. It was a fun ride to take. It was a blast.”
Host Ellen DeGeneres was amazing, she said. “I love Ellen. I watch her show all the time. It was a dream come true to meet her.”
It was in April of last year, during a trip to watch The Ellen DeGeneres Show in Los Angeles, that she had the opportunity to apply to be a contestant on Ellen's Game of Games.
She and some friends applied for the game show and “that got the ball rolling,” Detweiler said.
A bit later, while at home in Goshen, she was on the phone with a friend when she saw she was getting a call from Los Angeles. She thought it could be a phone call from the game show so she checked her voicemail and called back. That’s when she was asked to be a contestant.
“I flipped out I was so excited. I couldn’t believe it,” she said.
First, she told her mom.
Allowed to take one person with her, she enlisted her friend, Elizabeth, to be her support person. Elizabeth was allowed to be in the audience for the filming.
“I never thought I would go on a game show,” Detweiler said. “It was crazy.
Winning the show was so unbelievable to her, “I blacked out a little bit. … It was excitement and disbelief.”
The $100,000 was given to her while she was in Los Angeles, but, other than her parents and her friend, Detweiler could not tell anyone about her newfound wealth.
As for plans for the money, she said, she wants to pay off some debts, take care of a few things and do some traveling.
“I think I’m going to go to Italy,” Detweiler said.
Since Tuesday night’s airing, she said, “It’s been kind of crazy. I didn’t really think about that. Goshen’s a pretty small place. It seems like word has spread really fast.”
Overall, people have been pretty supportive, the Kokomo native said. She’s mostly received messages of congratulations.
“It’s been an incredible, life-changing experience. Once in a lifetime,” she said. “I’m so thankful to Ellen for the opportunity.”