UPDATE: Winner was dressed for success, won a leg lamp, too

Participants, including the top winner, Jaden Van Diegenbos (center), react as they try to nab a free shirt during the show. News Now Warsaw photo by Dan Spalding.
By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw

WARSAW — It would be hard to imagine seeing Jaden Van Diegenbos doing any better than she did Thursday night in her first venture in 1073 WRSW’s annual Ornament Smash.

Dressed in a bright red box wrapped in red Christmas-like wrapping paper, the Warsaw woman appeared right at home like a veteran competitor who comes away with more than one prize.

Not only did she win a $15,000 golf cart from Lucky 7 Car Store, she also won one of the coveted iconic Leg Lamps made famous from the holiday movie, a Christmas Story.

She also wore one of the more decorative-looking outfits seen in the crowd, sporting what looked like a Christmas gift box with arm holes.

The whacky costumes are part of the schtick at Ornament Smash as participants are encouraged to dress up in ways that emmulate the old retro TV game shows from the 1970s such as “Let’s Make A Deal” with Monty Hall.

Game organizers increased the number of leg lamps made available as prizes this year from one to three and fans “loved” the change, said Show Host Kris Lake, who is WRSW’s program director.

This year’s show moved a little faster than in past years.

“We worked really hard on trying to pick up the pace because it was a weeknight and we know people have things to do,” Lake said. “Yeah, we were really happy with the new format.”

The original concept of Ornament Smash was started by WRSW’s General Manager Woody Zimmerman 12 years ago and has grown significantly over the years.

Lake has since added theatrics and amped it up with a glitzy dramatic feel.

The crowd was estimated to be around 400 people, Lake said.

The show has become a holiday tradition and developed a bit of a cult following with fans.  Sponsors, who provide upward of $40,000 in prizes, also continue to enthusiastically support it.

“It’s never going to go away as long as I’m here,” Lake said.