I have to confess I am addicted to the TV game show “Deal or No Deal”. For those not acquainted with the rules the game consists of one preliminary and one final round.
The audience of 150 is divided into 6 blocks of 25. A block is then selected and becomes the winning block and from this block one contestant is selected who will become the finalist. From the remaining 125 audience members, one is selected by the producer to join the winning block as the 26th contestant.
The finalist selects one briefcase from 26, and the remaining contestants from the winning block are repositioned to the podium from and are now called podium players. They are given the remaining 25 briefcases, and it is their task to guess correctly how much money their case contains when the finalist picks them. If they guess correctly they win AU$500, if not they get nothing.
The task of the finalist is to open the remaining cases starting with 6 cases in the first round, then 5, then 4, then 3, then 2 then the last one. The amounts within the cases range from 50cents to the ultimate AU$200,000 (which the finalist hopes is in his chosen case which will be the last case opened and is placed on a stand by the finalist). One of the cases contains an offer of a car worth about au$30,000, so that is another option, and the remaining big amounts are AU$20,000, AU$50,000, AU$75,000 and AU$100,000, none of them to be sneezed at.
Each time the finalist completes a round of opening the cases, he/she is given the option of taking the amount offerered by the Bank, (the fictional banker is known here as Walter P. Smythe).
The game show host Andrew O’Keefe repeats the mantra: DEAL OR NO DEAL each time, and the finalist either decides to take the money on offer by saying DEAL or to play on by saying NO DEAL.
Each time they say NO DEAL they progress further through the cases and amounts on offer, but if they say DEAL they get to keep the amount on offer and forfeit whatever amount is in the case they have chosen.
There are a few twists and turns, sometimes the Bank offers them a DOUBLE OR NOTHING option when they have chosen an amount offered and they are then in the dilemma of picking between two other cases, one of which if chosen will give them double the amount they have already won, and the other will reduce their winnings to nothing. Another option open to the remaining 25 contestants is MEGAGUESS where they guess what is in their case and are given the chance to win anything from $2000 to $10,000 instead of the designated $500. The amount is chosen by the Bank.
The thing I like most about this game is studying different finalists’ attitudes to money. Some are very hesitant, and cringe when they pick a case with a big amount and their winnings are reduced, some go into a euphoric state and surge ahead relentlessly regardless, believing firmly that their chosen case contains $200,000. Some have a special formula they use e.g. family birthdays, lucky numbers etc, whilst others just pick randomly. I find their reactions to the concept of free money fascinating. Some contestants are overjoyed at guessing correctly and winning $500, whilst finalists can be disappointed when they win $50,000 if they hoped for $200,000. Others start off being offered a large sum, and then go recklessly on opening case after case until most of the big amounts have been chosen and they only stand to win $50. These seem to be the inveterate gamblers, caught up in the excitement of the moment, listening to the baying of the audience who frequently egg them on and scream out: NO DEAL after each round, no matter what the odds of winning are.
Then there are the things people want to do with their money. They range from paying off a mortgage or redecorating a house to starting a business, travelling, visiting family overseas, or going to Las Vegas, where they could conceivably blow the whole lot on the roulette wheel.
There are those who stop at $8,000, overwhelmed by fear of losing money and happy to have won something, and those who want more and more and who embellish their dreams of spending it with each round. Sometimes people are lucky and win the $200,000 whilst some unlucky or reckless punters leave with a 50cent piece.
Some win big, only to blow it all with their choice in the DOUBLE OR NOTHING lure.Others are encouraged by family members or friends who are competing for $500 to go further or urged to stop. Then there are the beautiful briefcase show girls who temptingly open suitcases containing large sums of money in order to lure the contestant on further.
Its a bit of a metaphor for life and the relationship people have with money. There are the gamblers, reckless and the go-for-gold at all times types and the battlers who are happy to have a small sum because it is more money than they have ever seen before. In between there are those who have a specific need or plan in mind, and once they have the amount of money they need to achieve this stop and cannot be pursuaded to continue despite the baying of the audience.
I don’t know what I would do if I were ever chosen. I have been known to be a risk taker in many areas of my life, and have made some of my best decisions impulsively. However, I hate wasting money and can appreciate the joy in winning more in half an hour that I would otherwise never have the opportunity of making in my lifetime. Usually I am not swayed by the urging-on of others, but who can say what I would do when put in such a heady atmosphere. Would the chants of “one more, one more” affect my judgement? So many contestants use the old saying “no risk, no reward” to justify their actions. Would I be an ecstatic winner or a sad loser? Who knows, I’m just happy to tune in and watch and occasionally either join the chants of “one more” or urge the finalist to “take the deal”.
BY THE WAY I DIDN’T MEAN TO CLICK ON THE ‘LIKE’ BUTTON FOR MY OWN POST. I WAS GOING TO EDIT IT, AND ACCIDENTALLY CLICKED ON IT AND DON’T KNOW HOW TO REMOVE IT SO PLEASE DON’T THINK I’M SELF-OBSESSED OR NARCISSISTIC, I’M JUST CLUMSY!