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The Banker's Offer... One... Million... Dollars...
September 21

So Deal Or No Deal, still looking for their first million dollar winner, has decided to keep adding million dollar cases to the selection (up to six, according to the promo) until they get one. The odds of being a millionaire dropped from one out of 26 to one out of 6.16. NBC has decided to take a game which already has been augmented by its silly stunts and make it even sillier.

This is an error of enormous proportions. If someone actually walks away with the money, this is a shark-jumping moment for the show. Not only does it cheapen the gameplay of the show, but the mystique of someone having the guts to go for the money with no safety net will be obliterated. Eventually, someone will wind up pulling a Michele Falco by holding two of the Million Dollar cases as the final two left, but let it be done that way instead of the contestant potentially wrapping up the million with only 21 or 22 cases open.

The game was fair enough on it's own, without having to resort to cheap tricks to try to pull in the viewers. Maybe they will get some eyeballs, but what will happen once the million is finally won? You know what will happen - the million dollar moment will be put on You Tube and people who have now seen what happens will no longer have that sort of interest to watch the show. The reason why people like myself watch the show is to see someone fairly play the game, not to be handed a million dollars on a silver platter.

It's almost ridiculous to think that Deal or No Deal is attempting to manufacture a 'must see TV' moment to try to catapult the game into a cultural icon and not a fad. Yet, they have to realize that the best game show moments are the ones that come out of the blue, and not the ones that are prepared. No one expected Dan Avila to go for the two million on Greed, or John Carpenter to call his dad and tell him that he won the million dollars on Millionaire. Those moments make watching these shows priceless, instead of shamefully handing out dollars or Donald Trump bringing out the wallet due to sympathy for a little kid. Deal Or No Deal has had a 'rehearsed, instead of natural' feel to it for a while, and this new stunt is not going to change that.

So what should Deal Or No Deal do? Bring in the Temptation Case, which will allow the person to take the deal and give some random person in the audience a chance to play the board the player left. Allow people from the audience to guess what's in the case to win prizes. If you must change the board, then do it while keeping the fair ratios on the board, and not stacking the board. There are ways to add some spark to the game without burning it down. Hopefully, Scott St. John and company can figure it out before the house of DOND is a dying ember.

Two last pricing games to give you some info about...

Triple Play - The price for the first car is almost always the lower one.

2 for the Price of 1 - The first number is usually the higher one. The last number is usually a zero or 5. Hence, use the free number on the second digit, which you would not be able to logically deduce.

And that's it for the Pricing Games. Hopefully you'll have read up on all of them before you audition for Drew Carey. Good luck!

Gordon Pepper's offer... that you e-mail him at