If a family member asked you to try out for a game show, would you do it?
Self-proclaimed game-show addict Sarah Starkey convinced her family to compete. In January of last year, the Felton resident saw a Facebook post announcing that “Family Feud”—a game show in which five members of one family are pitted against five members of another family—was coming to Philadelphia for auditions.
Starkey knew her sister, Meaghan Ellwanger of Milford, and their cousins, Jami Jackson and Jodi Skocypec of Lewes, would come along. “We needed a fifth person, so we asked our mom, Pam Jackson,” she says.
The show requested an audition, so the five women made a video in which they highlighted some of the things Delaware is known for, including tax-free shopping, Rehoboth Beach and the Apple Scrapple Festival. Their charming submission won them a ticket to the auditions in Philadelphia, where they were paired with another family to participate in a mock game.
A month later, the family received a postcard in the mail informing them they were in the pool of contestants. By April 21, they were flying to Atlanta to tape their first show.
Starkey helped her team prepare beforehand with a “Family Feud”-themed desk calendar. “Every day I would text a question from the calendar to my team, and they would come back with answers,” she says.
The whole experience of being on the show, she says, was surreal: “You just find yourself thinking: ‘Are we really doing this?’”
The ‘Jackson Five,’ as the team members called themselves, won three games in their four appearances, which originally premiered in October. They lost in the “sudden death” round.
Starkey says show host Steve Harvey didn’t make any jokes about The First State, though he did get a good laugh from the team’s nickname. “He’s the same person in real life that he is on TV,” she says.
The team won the ‘Fast Money’ round twice during their stretch, and left the show winning a total of $48,805.
Catch Starkey and her family competing on “Family Feud” on March 1, 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. on the CW.