Bayside kin feud for prizes

Jeff Viscovich (second from r.) invited his cousins Christopher Diakonikolas (l.-r.), Natasha Stiles, Josephine Coric and Anthony Diakonikolas to compete on "Family Feud," which is hosted by Steve Harvey (c.). Photo courtesy "Family Feud" for FremantleMedia North America
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Jeff Viscovich said he checked one item off his bucket list when he and his family flew to Atlanta in August to compete on the television game show “Family Feud.”

The Oakland Gardens resident said he was on Bell Boulevard one day when the idea struck him that he would like to try to get on some kind of TV show.

“I came home and I decided, ‘You know, man, I could totally do this!’” he said.

Viscovich started sending applications to programs as diverse as “The Jerry Springer Show” and “Wheel of Fortune.”

“I totally forgot about it, and then two weeks later I heard back from ‘Family Feud,’” he said.

Viscovich gathered his cousins Anthony, Chris, Josephine and Natasha and soon they were on their way to Atlantic City for auditions.

Family Feud is currently hosted by comedian Steve Harvey and has been on the air since the 1970s. Two families square off against each other and members have to guess the top responses given by 100 people who were asked questions such as “What state would you most like to visit?” The more popular a particular response, the more points scored.

Things went so well for the Viscovichs at the auditions they were asked to travel to Atlanta for a taping of the show, where they could win up to $100,000 and a new car.

Once there, they faced off against the Wooley Family from Stone Mountain, Ga., and tried to guess what 100 strangers would answer to questions like “What’s one way to break a nut?” and “What’s one thing that you wish had a return policy?”

“My cousin Chris answered, ‘A wife,’” Viscovich said. “I told him, ‘Man, you’re going to get it when you come home!’”

Getting home was an ordeal in and of itself. The Viscovichs were in Atlanta during Hurricane Irene, and they could not fly back to New York.

“We were stuck down there and we wanted to fly home, but it just wasn’t happening,” Viscovich said. “They let us rent a car and drive up the next night. They were more than accommodating with canceling the flight and reimbursing me for the rental car. They didn’t have to do all that.”

The episodes were scheduled to run Monday and Tuesday.

Viscovich said the most difficult part of answering the questions was trying to imagine what responses people unlike himself would give.

“You have to wonder, who are the 100 people they’re asking? They come from all walks of life and some of the answers they give are pretty far out there,” he said. “They’re probably not 100 people from New York.”

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4574.

Posted 6:56 pm, October 26, 2011
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