When it comes to TV game shows, there’s none more popular than Deal or No Deal. Launched in 2000 and televised in 84 countries with some versions still running today, the programme has seen life-changing sums of money won. While the format differs depending on the country, the main aim of the game is always the same. Players have to open numbered briefcases and either accept or reject the banker’s offer. Have you ever tried playing Deal or No Deal? Here, we take a look at some of the biggest winners from all around the globe.
Australian Deal or No Deal has seen four winners, one being a celebrity whose prize money went to a home viewer. The first winner, Dean Cartechini, has the best ‘beat the banker’ story. He played the game in June 2004 and rejected the banker’s offer of $102,500 to take home the top prize of $200,000 – and he had $5 in his other box.
At the other end of the scale, the last winner before the show ended in 2014, Chris Doyle, had the ‘dream finish’. Following on from the successes of a previous contestant who managed the same feat, Doyle outdid her. His last two briefcases were the highest in the game ($100,000 and $200,000) and he rejected a larger final offer of $130,000 to scoop big money.
The Italian version of the show boasts the most winners, with 14 contestants taking home €500,000. Affari Tuoi is one of few native equivalents still running today, so there’s a chance that the list of winners will continue.
The most recent was Alessandro Corona in February 2017, but Gabriele Calvello’s story is much more interesting. He played in March 2012 and managed to double his money. After opening the Pacco Matto (or ‘crazy box’), he found the Raddoppia card and doubled the usual top prize of €500,000 to win a bumper €1,000,000. Even more remarkable was that his other box contained a mere €0.20. Calvello spanked the banker!
Kapamilya, Deal or No Deal as it’s known in the Philippines saw many winners scoop over PHP1,000,000 (Philippine pesos). But throughout all the series, the top suitcase changed in value from 1,000,000 to 4,000,000. Only two regular contestants won the top sums of money in their respective games.
The first was Terry Lim Cua, who became the first male millionaire. His two final cases were the two highest sums of money on the board and he rejected the final offer of PHP1,400,000 to scoop PHP2,000,000.
The UK series of Deal ran for 11 years and during that time, there were nine winners of the top prize (£250,000). Laura Pearce was the first in February 2007, while six years later, Paddy Roberts became the first male contestant to win the quarter of a million.
Of all the winners, September 2011 contestant Tegen Roberts had the strongest board after three rounds. After opening 10 boxes, there was an incredible £560,250.60 still in play. She rejected £77,000 to win the jackpot.
The US series saw only two winners during the 13 years it aired and both won within two months of each other in 2008. Jessica Robinson was the first top-prize winner of $1,000,000, turning down the banker’s offer of $561,000. Tomorrow Rodriguez was the USA’s only other winner, nine episodes later. Rejecting the banker’s higher offer of $677,000 was a brave move considering he had $300 in the other box, but one that paid off.
There have been winners of the top prize in over 30 countries worldwide. If you’re unable to watch a re-run but want your Deal fix, there’s always the opportunity to beat the banker online.