MILLSBORO — Security camera footage of her two dogs recently made a Millsboro woman richer by $10,000 courtesy of a long-running network TV show.
Carol Billardo and her husband, Chris Modesto, were checking in on their two dogs, Tinkerbell and Odin, through their security cameras right after they moved in to their house in September 2021 when they decided to talk to them. Their commands completely bamboozled the two pooches, not knowing where the disembodied voices were coming from, causing them to peer into the camera for a closer look.
The dogs’ expressions elicited gales of laughter from the two adults and those who later saw the video.
“My husband’s aunt recommended submitting (the tape) to (‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’),” Ms. Billardo said via email.
The video was shown on last week’s episode of the ABC program. It was called “Camera confuses canines” when it aired Feb. 27.
Not only was the video shown, but it was chosen to win the episode’s grand prize of $10,000 through a vote of the studio audience.
“We heard in January that the video had been accepted but were completely surprised. We were even more surprised that we won the money,” Ms. Billardo said.
The victory gives her and her husband a chance to win $100,000 later in the season and then an opportunity to win a trip for 10 to Walt Disney World at the end of the season.
Ms. Billardo said this is the first time they had ever submitted a video to “AFV.”
“We don’t really get the chance to watch anymore now that the kids are all grown,” she said.
Hosted by Alfonso Ribeiro, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” is the longest-running primetime entertainment show in the history of ABC. Each week, the “AFV” team evaluates thousands of user-submitted home videos to showcase America’s real-life funny moments.
In its 32 seasons and 700 episodes to date, “AFV” has given away over $16 million in prize money and evaluated over 2 million video clips from home viewers.
On the episode, Ms. Billardo and Mr. Modesto were shown briefly talking to Mr. Ribeiro from their home in Millsboro with Tinkerbell, a pitbull/bulldog mix, and Odin, a Cane Corso mastiff.
Normally, pre-COVID, the two would have been flown to Hollywood for the taping.
“We were a little bit (disappointed) maybe, but being home has been the norm for almost two years so we weren’t that disappointed,” Ms. Billardo said.
Told in January, they had to keep their big win a secret.
“We told friends and family we were going to be on the show but did not tell anyone the outcome until it aired,” Ms. Billardo said.
“Most people DVR’d the show or watched it themselves. We did receive a ton of text messages once it aired and we are still getting texts and messages about the show.”
Having moved to Millsboro fairly recently, she said the money will be used for home updates.
“I have been coming to Millsboro since I was 10 years old, since my parents had a summer home here. Chris and I decided to move down here permanently in September 2021 to be closer to family,” she said.
Last week’s episode can currently be seen on Hulu.
“America’s Funniest Home Videos” airs Sundays at 7 p.m. on ABC.