Ohioans Weirdly Love 'Cash Explosion,' and 8 Other Cincinnati Stories You May Have Missed This Week

Also this week: Joey Votto was spotted wearing a Doctor Strange jersey, cementing his status as one of Cincinnati's favorite personalities.

click to enlarge Longtime host Sharon Bicknell smiles on the set of Cash Explosion in the late 1980s or early 1990s. - PHOTO: PROVIDED BY THE OHIO LOTTERY
Photo: Provided by The Ohio Lottery
Longtime host Sharon Bicknell smiles on the set of Cash Explosion in the late 1980s or early 1990s.

After suffering through a series of headlines that seemed almost dystopian in nature (a potential reversal of Roe v. Wade and cicadas staging a comeback this spring — oy vey), Cincinnatians were ready for some feel-good news. For starters, the popular Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience exhibit, in which van Gogh's artwork is shown in floor-to-ceiling displays, is headed to Cincinnati in June. Oh, and Cincinnati's favorite first baseman, Joey Votto, sported a Doctor Strange jersey at a recent rehab stint at a Louisville Bats game. What more could you want? Check out the week's biggest headlines below.

John Oliver Trashes FirstEnergy and Ohio's Controversial Energy Bill on Last Week Tonight
It's the scandal that keeps giving. During his May 15 broadcast, Oliver pointed to Ohio in recounting some of the most garish highlights of the HB6 scandal to dramatize the corruption and perniciousness of American utility companies, particularly at FirstEnergy. The host featured a text from FirstEnergy CEO Chuck Jones on the day HB6 was passed, which read, "HB 6 F–K ANYBODY WHO AINT US." Read CityBeat's story about HB6, Jones and former House Speaker Larry Householder, who will go on trial on bribery and corruption charges.

Absolutely No Skill Involved: An Oral History of the Ohio Lottery’s Cash Explosion Game Show
Now in its 35th year, Cash Explosion has become the little lottery game that just keeps going. But back when it premiered in 1987, nobody – not even producers – had any clue that it would become Ohio's version of the ever-enduring Wheel of Fortune. Read CityBeat's deep dive about how Cash Explosion grew from a simple lotto marketing idea into a must-watch juggernaut.

Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit Is Finally Coming to Cincinnati in June
Fans of Vincent Van Gogh's art now won't have to travel to Columbus or Cleveland to see the popular immersive exhibit showcasing his work. Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience  will debut on June 1 at the former Gidding-Jenny department store, located at 18 W. Fourth St. in downtown. Read CityBeat's story about the special immersive experiences, galleries and exhibits that await at Cincinnati's Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience.

Cincinnati Reds' Joey Votto Is Now Sorcerer Supreme After Wearing Doctor Strange Jersey in Louisville
Does our favorite first baseman have a sling ring? Votto donned a Doctor Strange jersey during his rehab stint with the Reds' Triple-A affiliate Louisville Bats on May 14, giving baseball fans and Marvel nerds some blessed common ground. The game against the Toledo Mud Hens was Votto's first since landing on the injury list with COVID-19 symptoms on May 3. Read CityBeat's story about how to open a portal and buy Votto's magical jersey.

Cincinnati Native Ben Dudley’s Graphic Novel 'The Day the Cat Got Shot' Weaves Together Tales of Madness
Earlier this year, Cincinnati artist and writer Ben Dudley released his first graphic novel, The Day the Cat Got Shot. Dudley, who found internet fame back in 2013 after posting a video of his cat "booping” him on the forehead, collaborated with more than 20 artists from around the world to create what he calls an "absurd spy thriller." Read CityBeat's interview with Dudley to discover more about the many methods behind the book's madness.

Frisch's and 3CDC to Bring Mobile Roller Rink to Downtown Cincinnati
Your summer plans just got a bit more retro. Earlier this week, Frisch's and 3CDC announced that they will host a mobile roller rink at Court Street Plaza. The mobile roller rink will be set up on six weekends in 2022, starting on Memorial Day weekend and extending through the fall. Read CityBeat's story to find out which weekends you'll be able to roller skate through Court Street Plaza.

Carrie Underwood Is Coming to Cincinnati's Heritage Bank Center Next Spring
Dust off your rhinestone cowboy boots — Carrie Underwood is coming to town. The eight-time Grammy Award winner and American Idol alum is set to perform at Cincinnati's Heritage Bank Center on March 2, 2023 as part of her new national tour, "The Denim & Rhinestones Tour." Tickets for Underwood's Cincinnati performance are currently on sale at ticketmaster.com. Read CityBeat's story to find out more about the charitable mission Underwood will operate during this tour.

Nolia Brings Elevated Southern Cuisine to Over-the-Rhine
Nolia opened April 19 and is Cincinnati’s newest Southern-style restaurant, serving unique dishes inspired by Chef Jeff Harris’ upbringing in New Orleans. Situated in the space formerly occupied by Please in Over-the-Rhine (famous for its selfie-friendly bathroom and James Beard Award-nominated chef) the dining environment is upscale yet approachable, offering a menu stacked with dishes like delectable smoked chicken and Alabama white sauce, cider-stewed collard greens, redfish court-bouillon and much more. Read CityBeat's interview with Chef Harris to learn more about his vision for Nolia.

Half Day Cafe to Close Wyoming Location Due to Labor Shortage

Half Day Cafe will be closing its Wyoming location after 16 years. The cafe’s owners made the announcement in a video shared on Facebook, stating that they are unable to staff the location. Half Day serves up breakfast and lunch seven days a week with items like goetta hash and shrimp and grits that patrons will still be able to enjoy at their Mason location, which they say is fully staffed. Read CityBeat's story to find out more about how the labor shortage impacted Half Day Cafe.

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