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South Philly native big winner on Pyramid

In an episode of “The $100,000 Pyramid,” South Philly native Samantha Evans (Right) is congratulated by actress Erika Christensen after winning the top prize on the ABC game show. Photo by ABC/Christopher Willard

With $100,000, Samantha Evans could probably buy any new refrigerator she wants. But she might want to keep the old reliable one around.

That’s where she kept the golden ticket that inspired her to apply to be on the $100,000 Pyramid game show. Well, it wasn’t actually gold, and it wasn’t a ticket. It was a pink Post-it note.

“I had put little Post-it notes all over my apartment of things that I wanted to come true,” said Evans, who now lives in New York but grew up near Broad and Mifflin streets. “There was one in my freezer that said, ‘I have $100,000’ and I would look at it every time I opened the freezer. 

Then I saw this advertisement post on Facebook for the $100,000 Pyramid and I just had to apply.

“I used to watch reruns of the old version on the Game Show Network. We didn’t have cable growing up, but we would watch when we would go to the Jersey Shore and had our little motel in Cape May.”

Evans sent in a video application and received word that she had the opportunity to fly to Los Angeles to compete on the ABC game show hosted by Michael Strahan. She packed her bags and made sure to bring the note with her to California.

“I brought it with me and they put it on the air,” Evans said with a laugh. “Everybody saw me and my little Post-it note.”

Evans, who is involved in theater, television and movie acting, also writes and produces some of her own work including a TV pilot called Ghost Girl. She’s not shy in front of the camera and her charismatic nature shined in front of a national audience.

“It was the first time I’ve had millions of people tuning in to watch,” Evans said. 

South Philly native Samantha Evans chats with actor Joshua Malina and host Michael Strahan on an episode of “The $100,000 Pyramid.” Photo by ABC/Christopher Willard

Evans paired up with actors Joshua Malina of West Wing fame and Erika Christensen from the show Parenthood in her quest to take home the grand prize. Even for someone used to being in front of a camera, there were quite a few nerves with a lot of money on the line.

“From the time I got there I was just trying to take care of my nerves,” Evans said. “I brought my AirPods to listen to my favorite songs to give me the good vibes. While I was there, I was just trying to make sure I took in the whole day and just breathed. I was nervous, but it was nervous excitement.”

It all paid off in the end. Not only did Evans make a great impression on the show, she won the whole thing. It was actually a total of $111,500. Once the episode aired, the text messages and phone calls started pouring in. The episode (Season 6, Episode 9) can be found on Hulu.

“My parents were watching it from South Philly and I have aunts and uncles from all over the country so it was so fun to get little texts as it was being shown,” Evans said. “My parents own an antique store (Anastacia’s Antiques) on Bainbridge Street and they made a little Instagram post beforehand. It was so nice reading through the comments.”

Evans’ real plans for the money involve moving a little closer to home.

“I’m hoping to have a little more money to get a house and get a little more space than my New York City apartment to move closer to Philadelphia,” Evans said. “So, I think I’m going to save the money until I’m able to do that.”

In the meantime, Evans said she will continue to pursue acting, writing and producing while teaching at the Barrow Group Performing Arts Center in New York. She also plans on following up on the advice of a few more Post-it notes scattered around her New York apartment.

“Yeah there are some other things in there that need to come true,” Evans said.

And that’s the cold hard truth.

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