New Brighton family finds mini miracle on ‘Family Feud’

submitted photo • Ben Beckman has makeup applied during the Beckman family’s appearance on the game show “Family Feud.” The New Brighton family taped the show in October.

The Beckmans — Steve, LoRae, Becki, Ben and Andrew — listen to a “Family Feud” producer.

The placard on the camera facing the Beckman family on the “Family Feud” television set in Atlanta, Georgia.

Andrew and Becki dance in the foreground as LoRae and Ben dance in the background, during “Family Feud.”

Andrew Beckman and wife Michelle at a filming of game show “Let’s Make A Deal.”

There, dressed in a pink bow tie, pink suspenders and a grey shirt, next to host Steve Harvey, stood New Brighton resident Steve Beckman. 

Beckman was tasked with answering a sudden-death question to win the game show “Family Feud.” 

The show, which has been on TV seemingly forever — it debuted in 1976 — pits two families against eachother in a four round, survey-question showdown moderated by a witty celebrity. Whichever family gets the most points wins.

Steve and the Beckman clan — his wife LoRae, the two have lived in New Brighton since 1973, and their children, Becki, Ben and Andrew, all Irondale grads — have so far had a rough go in their first “Family Feud” outing. 

While, in their matching pink and grey outfits, they’re collectively dressed to impress, the Beckman’s score, after three rounds, does not. They trail the Opal family of Okmulgee, Oklahoma, 269-0. 

The Opals, themselves previous winners, were torching not just any New Brighton family, but one surely in close contention for the claim of the city’s proudest game show family. 

Each of the Beckmans, over separate and multiple outings, including one ending in Steve and LoRae walking away with $5,000, have also been on the game show “Let’s Make a Deal.” 

But, in the fourth round, the Beckmans are offered a sliver of hope. The Opal family stumbles, sending the round into sudden death. 


‘The survey says ...’

“Dad is the anchor of the family,” says Ben, a father himself who teaches physical education and health at Metro School of College Prep in Minneapolis, of the decision to have his father step up in the sudden-death round.

“Dad had to show them how it’s done,” says Steve, speaking in the third person of his steely resolve.

Steve steps under the spotlight and listens to the question as posed by Harvey: “What word starts with croc?”

The questions on “Family Feud” come from a survery given to 100 people — name the most popular survey answer and you win the most points.

“Crocodile,” Steve answers. It’s the No. 1 answer. 

Back from a 269-point hole and a goose-egg on the scoreboard, the Beckmans score enough triple-scored, sudden-death bonus points to win the final round in dramatic fashion.

“That’s when we went ballistic, we had come [back] from zero points!” says Andrew, who is in the Air Force and lives at the Wright-Patterson base in Dayton, Ohio.

Steve Harvey ran around in circles, and one of the producers told the family they had never seen a celebration so emphatic in all their years working on the show, says Ben. 

Winning the face off meant the Beckmans had a chance to play another round for $20,000 — which they won.

That victory, which aired Jan. 31 on the CW network, is a sight to behold, with the match culminating in Andrew celebrating by dropping to his knees, his hands clenched over his eyes, then palms opened to the sky like he’d just won Wimbledon. 

“Family Feud” is one of the game show majors, and $20,000 is no purse to sneeze at. 

As for the experience, which all happened last October, LoRae says the best part was being with the family, having fun picking out outfits and hanging around the game show. 

Becki, a professor in sign language, enjoyed some of the more loose moments that didn’t air, like talking with enthusiastic TV producers and listening to Harvey riff — Becki and Harvey have a great exchange that’s up on the “Family Feud” Youtube page, where other clips of the Beckman family’s win can be found.


– Solomon Gustavo can be reached at or 651-748-7815

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Comment Here