Reporting Frank Vascellaro
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thousands of viewers stopped at the WCCO-TV booth at the Minnesota State Fair this past summer to enter for a chance to win the “Ultimate Ellen Experience.”
“I can’t believe it, I’ve never won anything big before,” Peggy Decker said of winning the contest.
She and her husband Bruce got back from their whirlwind trip Wednesday.
WEB EXTRA: Watch Peggy Decker dance with Ellen before the show
Included on their itinerary was a special deluxe tour of Warner Brother’s Studio and a live taping of the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
“Our kids had been on the tour before. They thought it would be the same, but they were blown away,” Peggy said of the private five-hour tour.
Along the way, the Decker’s got to peek in on parts of the lot that are not often seen by the public, even on tours.
“We were able to sit and take pictures on the Friends set. Not all the tours are allowed to go there and they let us go on the chairs even though they’re old and carefully protected,” Peggy said. “We actually peeked in where they make the wardrobe and saw people at the sewing machines.”
Following the tour, the Decker’s were escorted to a special back door entrance at “The Ellen Show.”
“She has a pool table and just before the show she’ll calm down, chill out there a bit. She doesn’t like to see anyone before the show, she’ll maybe go see the green room guests,” Bruce said.
Once in the VIP area, Ellen’s staff told the Decker’s there were special assigned seats for them during the show.
“I think that was so when the cameras show the audience, our local people could see us on TV,” said Peggy.
Viewers in Minnesota did get a chance to see them dance right alongside Ellen during her opening dance. Before the show even started, Peggy helped warm up the crowd.
“I thought, I’m a little older than the crowd here, but hey I’ll go for it,” Peggy smiled.
“And you did a good job!” Bruce said.
The dancing didn’t stop there.
“We worked hard, we danced from the minute we got there until the minute we left,” Bruce said. “It’s an hour of non-stop cheering and dancing.”
Now at home reflecting on the experience, the Decker’s said it was a trip they’ll not soon forget.
“It was more than we expected, like I said, probably one of the best vacations we’ve had.”