NILES - Terri and Sarah Williams screamed loudly as a contestant picked a number on the electronic "Cash Explosion" board.
Smiling at one another and raising their arms, the Williams family screamed louder and with increased enthusiasm as the game continued.
"I wanted to go to a 'Cash Explosion' taping earlier this summer when we heard it was going to be in Cleveland," Terri Williams said. "I watch the show all of the time."
When the Poland resident heard the show would be taping two shows at the Eastwood Mall, Terri Williams knew she would be here so she could experience the excitement live.
"It is everything I imagined," Terri Williams said. "But seemingly smaller and more casual."
Small is not the word that many others who crammed into the hallways of the mall might have used.
To get on the show
Buy a $1 Cash Explosion instant ticket from any Ohio Lottery retailer. Scratch the ticket, and look for "Entry" three times. Fill-out the back of the ticket and mail it to the Lottery to be entered into a drawing.
Hundreds of people jammed in row after row of chairs in the center of the mall held signs with letters that spelled C-A-S-H. They danced, laughed and yelled - often on cue - at the urging of comedian and host Dan Swartwaout.
The Ohio Lottery's television game show is the second longest running game show connected with a state lottery in the nation. It began in 1987 and continued uninterrupted through 2006. After a year's hiatus, it returned more popular than ever.
Although primarily filmed in Hilliard, the show periodically is recorded in different locations around the state. The Niles shows will air Sept. 29 and Oct. 6.
When it travels, a huge following of fans often show up from hundreds of miles away just to be a part of the experience.
This weekend's show attracted people from western Pennsylvania, Chillicothe and Toledo, as well as nearby residents from Ashtabula, Columbiana and Mahoning counties.
Terri Waddell, who lives just outside of Cincinnati, became one of the show's top winners during Saturday's taping as she continued a four-program winning streak that so far has netted her $315,000.
"The first time I appeared on the show was because my husband signed my name on an entry ticket," Waddell said. "I just kept winning."
She initially won $65,000, which increased to $100,000, to $215,000 and this weekend the amount of her winning increased to $315,000.
"I haven't been nervous," she said. "I've been described as very cool about this. Most of the money is being placed in savings. There are some people who have won prizes who really needed the money."
Waddell says she is just enjoying the experience.
"I'm approaching this like going to work," she said. "Every day is different. I'm going to be happy whomever wins."
Patti Andello, of Youngstown, never expected to compete in one of the program's non-televised competitions in which she could have won $500.
Although she did not win the top prize, Andello says it is an experience that she'll never forget.
"This was awesome," Andello said. "I never, never expected to be on stage."
Kyle Rhine, 21, of Warren, went to the mall with his father just to be in the audience. Like, Andello, he didn't expect the number on his ticket to be called and that he would compete for cash.
Rhine won $500 in the game show competition.
"This is unreal," he said.
Trumbull County Commissioners Dan Polivka and Frank Fuda, along with Ohio Lottery Commission member Michael Verich, walked around the mall talking to residents and pleased that the lottery commission selected Trumbull County to film two episodes.
"We're appreciative that the Ohio Lottery Commission agreed to bring the show here," Polivka said. "We've been able to highlight the good things about Trumbull County and bring entertainment to our residents."
Polivka said the show will have lasting value to the area, because through its promotions and the shows themselves, people who do not know about the area will learn it is a good place to visit.
Ken Kollar, a manager of Eastwood Mall, said the show brought people into the mall that may not have visited before and provided others with entertainment.
"We always want to provide things to our customers that they cannot receive at other locations," Kollar said. "This is something unique."