Nate Voorhees works for J.P. Morgan on Beacon Street in Boston, and Renee Wood is a cum laude Northeastern graduate who currently bartends at Sweet Caroline's near Fenway Park.
They went to a recent Red Sox home game on a ballpark date, and at first they weren't sure what to think when the "Bucks on the Pond" crew approached them during the third inning. New episodes of the hit MLB.com game show are being released every Tuesday and Thursday, and you can watch episode 19 to see how they handled the pressure and whether it was sealed with a kiss.
"It was really cool being pulled aside for 'Bucks on the Pond,'" Voorhees said Wednesday in an email to MLB.com. "Neither of us was ever on any kind of game show. When we got pulled aside in the third inning and asked survey questions, we were still in disbelief, believing it was a hoax. Renee took a little convincing; she was a little shy of the bright lights.
"The secret to our success was our perfect level of pregaming before we got to the park. As a result, we were confident in our answers, but still had a clear head when it came time to answer the questions. We also showed great teamwork, as I answered most of the sports questions and Renee helped out with the other topics."
"Bucks on the Pond" is hosted by Jeremy Brisiel, and you might be a part of it when you least expect it. Fans at the ballpark interact with MLB.com's studio through the magic of technology in conjunction with game action inside. In creating a new experience for fans, MLB.com is giving people a chance to earn bucks while they spend bucks at the ballpark.
Contestants are asked a trivia question -- general knowledge and baseball -- on each pitch during a half-inning of baseball. Get the question correct and win money. Get the question wrong and it's a strike. Three strikes and you're out.
The questions' difficulty and value increase with the number of outs in the on-field action: $5 easy questions to start, $10 medium-difficulty questions after one out, $20 hard questions after two outs. If the contestant lasts longer than the team's at-bat, they win the bucks in their bank.
"I thought 'Bucks on the Pond' was a genuinely good idea by MLB.com," Voorhees said. "'Cash Cab' is a surprisingly addicting show, and a similar setup combining baseball seemed pretty ingenious. I like how half the questions were baseball-related, but there was a good deal of random trivia questions as well."
Among the baseball questions asked was one pertaining to a pitcher who called Fenway his home from 1982-89. Voorhees said he had an advantage on that one.
"It also helped that Dennis 'Oil Can' Boyd was actually signing autographs at my office less than a week before," Voorhees said. "That was one of the tougher questions, and I definitely would have gotten it wrong if I didn't meet 'Oil Can' a week before."
Other than that, you'll just have to watch the episode to see whether they were "crushing it" until the very end. This was the third "Bucks" show from Fenway, following the entrepreneurs of episode 5 and the out-of-towners who had a little beer and a lot of tough questions dumped on them in episode 12.
"We were on a ballpark date; we lived in the area and hadn't gone to a game yet that year," Voorhees said. "After getting a great deal on tickets, we showed up and had a great time. The Red Sox actually won with great starting pitching, so that was a pleasant surprise.
"Overall, it was a really fun experience. The crew was really kind, funny, and kept us on our toes. We didn't mind missing a few innings of the game, because besides winning the whole thing, it was a great experience and story to tell to our friends and family."
In addition to the Red Sox, teams visited so far include the Cubs, White Sox, Yankees, Reds, Marlins, Astros, Royals and Orioles. Bookmark MLB.com/bucks to view other episodes.