“Joel Williams, Come on down! You're a contestant on The Price Is Right.”

“Joel Williams, Come on down! You're a contestant on The Price Is Right.” That's what Joel Williams, of Hope, recently heard as he stepped out of the audience and stepped on stage with Drew Carey. And, he ended up winning a new Chevy Camaro. Joel was born in Hot Springs and raised in Hope. “I attended Northside Christian School in Texarkana, which is a nondenominational school,” Williams said. His mom and dad, Keenan and Peggy Williams, own LaGrone Williams Hardware Store in downtown Hope. “I mentioned that fact on the show,” he said. “I told them that I worked in the biggest little hardware store in Hope.” His higher education has included the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope, and Southern Arkansas University, in Magnolia. He majored in theater and criminal justice at SAU and has bachelor's degrees in both. The theater degree was the one that won out in his choice of careers, though. “I have been in several movies, including 'Seven Pounds,' with Will Smith; 'Jonah Hex,' 'Year 1,' 'The Cleaner,' and 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.' “I have also acted on the TV show, 'Treme,'” Williams said. “I have also acted in many independent films and I have worked closely with Country Studios' director Daniel Lahr. “I came back to Hope to work with the Theater of Hope, which is directed by Tracy Halbert,” he said. “We are trying to bring back events to Hope.” When Williams graduated from SAU in 2006, he went to Disney World for six months. “I was a ride operator for the Animal Kingdom section of the park,” he said. “I was the Kilamanjaro driver, but that wasn't my cup of tea, so I moved back to Hope. “After moving back to Hope, I stayed for a little while, and then went to Shreveport, where they were filming many movies because of the Hurricane Katrina damage in New Orleans,” he said. “After being in Shreveport for a while, I went to New Orleans, because they had built it back up after the storm.” After finishing in New Orleans, Williams decided to go to California to try his hand at acting there. “I had been there about a month and decided to get a ticket to 'The Price is Right,'” Williams said. “That was on May 6 and we had interviews that day. There were six groups of 50 people and they were eliminated down to 20-30 people total. The producer speaks to each contestant for about 15-20 seconds and sizes you up pretty quick. “I was picked right off the bat,” he said. “I played the Pathfinders game and won a 2013 Chevy Camaro.” The show aired Tuesday, showing Joel winning the car. “Being on 'The Price Is Right' was on my bucket list and now I can scratch that off,” he said. “I spun the wheel and missed having the highest bid by one click.” Williams came back to Hope after the taping of the show, and has been working at the hardware store since. “Right now, I am planning for my wedding, which will take place in the fall,” Williams said. “I am looking for some acting work, and in the meantime, I plan to try to make some independent films. I enjoyed being on the show, but I'm glad to be back in Hope, too.”