MATTOON — The Skocy family of Mattoon has been keeping a secret for eight months now.
Dave and Lissa Skocy and their sons, Trey, Henry and Jason, competed on an episode of the "Family Feud" that was filmed during June 5-7, 2019 at this game show's studio in Hollywood. Now, this episode is scheduled to debut at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13 and the outcome that they have helped keep under wraps will be revealed.
"It was an absolutely incredible experience," Skocy said. "We are excited for our friends to finally see it."
While the family has long known the outcome of this episode, Skocy said the exact contents of this segment will still be a surprise to them too. She explained that approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes of footage is edited down to create one 22-minute episode of the "Family Feud." Skocy said they will be excited to see what moments made the final cut.
The long journey to Thursday's premiere began in September 2018 when the couple's oldest son, Trey, submitted an online application on a whim for their family to appear on this game show. Skocy said they were pleasantly surprised when the application resulted in an invitation to take part in "Family Feud" auditions in November 2018 at a convention center in Schaumburg in the northwest Chicago suburbs.
"Family Feud," which dates back to 1976, is known for contestants trying to guess the most popular responses to a survey question and for each family getting to play until an answer is missed.
At the auditions, Lissa Skocy said they played a simulated version of the "Family Feud" against another family. She says her family was asked to "name a reason why people save money" and their opponents were asked to "name states where people speak with a southern accent."
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Skocy said they were pleasantly surprised, once again, when they were invited to interview with a "Family Feud" producer after the audition. She said they were each asked to talk about what makes their family unique. She said they reiterated some of the points about their family that Trey made during his application.
"We are a very close knit family, the five of us, and really enjoy each other's company," Skocy said. "We like to have a great time together. We have a lot of fun."
The producer then advised them to watch for an "active family file status" postcard that would be mailed to them if they were chosen for further consideration for a "Family Feud" appearance, Skocy said. Lissa noted that a postcard arrived right before Christmas 2018.
Skocy said subsequent communications with the producers resulted in their filming dates being narrowed down to June 5-7, 2019, and they were flown out for these dates. Skocy added she and her husband used this opportunity to take an extended family vacation with their busy children — Trey and Henry have been going to college out of state and Jason is now a freshman at Mattoon High School.
Dave Skocy, a Lockport native, and his wife, a Gillespie native, met while attending Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and they lived in Du Quoin for several years prior to moving to Mattoon more than a decade ago.
At the "Family Feud" studio, Lissa Skocy said everyone involved with the production worked hard so that the participating families would feel welcome and have a good time. She noted that the game show films four episodes per day.
"While we were not playing, we were part of the studio audience, which was fabulous," Skocy said.
In addition, Skocy said host Steve Harvey was particularly kind and fun to be around. Skocy said they did not get to take their name tags home, but they did get a souvenir that shows how Harvey looks out for his guests. This souvenir was a cue card that shows how to correctly pronounce the family's name, "Sko-see," and hometown, "Matt-toon, Ill." phonetically.
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