Contestants go to college with 'Bucks' in hand

Contestants go to college with 'Bucks' in hand

The four latest contestants in the hit MLB.com game show "Bucks on the Pond" powered by Ford are all now back on campus. Corbin Noel is at Penn State, Chantel McMaster is at Shippensburg (Pa.) University, Lauren Davis is at Carroll Community College in Westminster, Md., and Courtney McMaster is at Harrisburg (Pa.) Area Community College.

As for how they spent their summer back home in Hanover, Pa., the quartet of Orioles fans need only refer friends and family to MLB.com/bucks. That is where you can find them in Episode 35 of this second season, hoping to snag more cash from MLB.com at Camden Yards.

"We are all in college and work full-time in the summer, and we all had time off, so it was one of the few times we all got to see each other," Davis said in an email to MLB.com. "It was awesome being at Camden Yards. That's one of our favorite places to spend time in the summer, and we are all huge baseball fans.

"Being asked to be on 'Bucks on the Pond' was exciting because it was something none of us had done before; we were excited to be on MLB.com, and who doesn't love game shows?"

It would be lying to say the answer is no one. The occasional shy and skeptical fan has swiftly strolled past the open-armed "Bucks" crew in the making of 64 overall episodes to date. And in every single case it has been a gargantuan error. This is easy money, and in most cases it more than covers the cost of a day seeing your favorite club.

"Bucks" is hosted by Jeremy Brisiel, and you might be a part of this season 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, and shows are released each Tuesday and Thursday.

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.

Cross the $100 mark during the show, and it's time for "Say the Word" powered by Ford SYNC. You can wager any part of your bank on that next question, which is asked each episode by 2014 Hall of Fame candidate Frank Thomas. Answer correctly and you win; answer incorrectly and you lose that amount . . . and it's another strike.

Noel, whose major is undeclared, was decisive in "acing" that particular question for this quartet. You'll have to watch the video to see how the rest of the show goes. Topics covered include holiday colors, song lyrics, U.S. states, Orioles triples leaders, nations, TV shows, nursery rhymes, vegetables, 2012 Orioles pitching leaders, corporations, movie titles and disco.

"I was pretty apprehensive at first, but once I was told I could win some money, I was on board," Noel said. "They were pretty simple questions to me. They just came to me." He adds, however, that consulting with teammates before answering is wise.

Although the four fans are all back on different campuses now, Davis -- studying in the hope of a career in advertising -- said each of them had an eye on the pennant races and hoped for another reunion soon.

"We are all hoping the O's make it into the Wild Card spot," she said. "I got to go to a home playoff game last year, and we are all hoping on a postseason again this year. Every game is important at this point. and it's nerve-wracking to watch because we want them to do well so badly. No matter the outcome, however, we will all stick by our team."

In addition to the Orioles, teams visited by the "Bucks" crew include the Angels, Astros, Athletics, Brewers, Cardinals, Cubs, D-backs, Dodgers, Giants, Indians, Mariners, Marlins, Mets, Padres, Phillies, Pirates, Red Sox, Reds, Rockies, Royals, Tigers, Twins, White Sox and Yankees. Bookmark MLB.com/bucks and be on the lookout for the "Bucks" crew at your ballpark.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.