Over the past several weeks, Deal or No
Deal tried to drum up ratings in one of the only ways they know how:
increasing the potential prize money. With a campaign dubbed Million
Dollar Mission, the show increased the number of million dollar cases.
For each game that the $1,000,000 was not claimed at the end of a game,
another million dollar case was added to the game, replacing the next
lowest money amount in play. This continued until there were eight
million dollar cases, with $50,000 as the next highest money amount to
What the producers fail to realize in their misguided quest to
manufacture a million dollar winner is that Deal or No Deal isn't about
the money, it's about the journey that the game takes from start to
finish, the highs and lows. Not about whether the show can shovel heaps
of money at the players. What foreign versions get from humorous offers
and contestants with actual personality, the American version gets from
changing six-figure sums into seven-figure ones, bizarre stunts, and
family members full of Red Bull.
The other thing that the producers didn't realize is that when so many
million dollar cases are in play, is that it removes the safety net from
the game. While the board is top-heavy in having so many high-valued
amounts, it does guarantee that the player has several chances at a
decent amount of money. This is removed when the consolation prize drops
from $750,000 to $50,000. We saw this very scenario happen when a game
with a handful of million dollar cases collapsed, leaving the poor
contestant to leave with $150.
I'll leave with one thought. Inasmuch as game show winnings records
count for anything, they mean less when a big win is manufactured. After
all, the home run race would be less interesting if the last twenty
games of the major league season had home runs worth double or triple
value. If anything, the game should stick to 26 cases, ranging in value
from one penny to one million dollars. No more.
Travis Eberle can be dealt with at