For over two decades, the popular gameshow Deal or No Deal has graced screens worldwide. Many have dreamed of entering the ‘Dream Factory’ and spanking the Banker – and for some, this has been a reality. For UK fans, it’s a dream that will remain just that, as the 13th and final series ended in December 2016. However, Deal or No Deal is still aired in more than 10 countries today and for those that can’t get that fix, there’s always Deal or No Deal online.
The online game follows the same premise as the famous TV show. Players are required to choose their box and then play out the game as if they were really in the studio. Remove box by box and wait for that black telephone to ring. The mystery man himself, the Banker, will give you an offer – will you accept or decline? Accepting the deal sees your game end, while declining sees you carry on removing boxes. Will you make it all the way to the final round? Will you walk away with the value of your box and will you win life-changing sums of cash? Here are just some of the biggest winners of Deal or No Deal, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll be as lucky as them.
There were two winners of the top prize, $1,000,000 and coincidently, fewer than two months separated their fate. Jessica Robinson was the first winner in September 2008. She appeared during the ‘Million Dollar Mission’, in which there were five cases on the game board with the top prize. Rejecting the Banker’s final offer of over $560,000, she hit the jackpot with the $1m in her chosen box.
Six weeks later, the second winner of the US show replicated the feat. There were nine $1m cases on the board when Tomorrow Rodriguez scooped the big bucks – and her latest offer was $677,000. Three of the four cases remaining at the time contained the $1m and her luck was in when she removed the fourth – just $300 in value!
There were nine winners in total of the UK version of Deal or No Deal. Laura Pearce was the first winner in January 2007. Her final offer was £45,000, which she rejected and the last two boxes contained £3,000 and £250,000. After winning the jackpot, she went travelling before returning as a guest on the 1,000th show.
Second winner Alice Munday could have won all or (virtually) nothing – and rather than being a member of the 1p club, she bagged the biggest box of the power five. With just 1p and £250,000 remaining, she accepted the Banker’s Gamble, which returned the game to normal play – and rather than taking home the deal she accepted (£17,500), she won life-changing sums of money instead.
For almost 13 years, Arno Woesthoff held the record for being the biggest winner in worldwide game show history. He took home an incredible 10,000,000 Guilder (more than $4m) in the Dutch version, Miljoenenjacht. Sponsored by the Postcode Lottery, this earlier version of the programme didn’t feature the iconic suitcase opening and instead, was based upon a trivia-based quiz. He answered the seven questions correctly in the final round, and ultimately won mega money!
Remaining in Europe, the Italian game show Affari Tuoi has seen many winners of the top prize, 13 players in fact, who have gone home with €500,000. But on March 17th 2012, contestant Gabriele Calvello got doubly lucky! After rejecting the Banker’s offer of €313,000, he opened up the ‘Crazy Box’ and found Raddoppia, which would double any winnings – and consequently won €1m, of which he donated a portion to cancer research!
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