Daily Archives: September 19, 2006

Was Deal or No Deal Staged?

Paid Actor?I was at home last night enjoying a frosty Miller Highlife watching one of the few shows on TV I can tolerate, Deal or No Deal. I’m a pretty analytical thinker, so I enjoy any games where you’re up against mathematical odds. And I’m here to say the final round on last nights Deal or No Deal beat so many odds that I’m convinced there’s no way that it could have happened without some sort of scripting.

First of all, I don’t think that the entire show is rigged. Just the last round of the show on Tuesday with “Matty” the teamster from New York. As I watched, I didn’t think much of it other than he was just another typical flamboyant contestant that frequented the show. But as the round went on, and it became more sensational with each chosen case, I began to become suspicious that something was amiss. That perhaps the entire round was staged to be as exciting as possible (while still being believable) to garner up ratings for the season premier.

First off, the guy pulls a Babe Ruth and calls his first case. Predicting that it will be the $0.01 case. Sure enough it is! He had less than a 4% chance of guessing one cent case correctly.

He goes on to choose other small cases with the occasional big amount mixed in leading to the largest 2nd, 3rd, and 4th offers in the history of the show. Now this can be somewhat explained that 3 million was on the board for the first time in the history of the show and would naturally drive up the bank offers as long as it was on the board.

At one point the bank offer is $400,000. Now the bank offer is calculated based on the known amounts left in the cases on the board, and the odds that the player has the highest possible dollar amount in the case they chose at the beginning of the round. So the bank offer can only be calculated from the cases that are remaining at any given time. In other words, you can’t predict the next bank offer until the player picks the next case.

So when the bank offer comes up as $400,000 the banker himself would only have known the offer for a few seconds. Yet two beautiful women bring out two cases full of $400,000 CASH. There wasn’t enough time to see the offer, fill the cases with cash and bring them out, if they didn’t know what the banker was going to offer before hand. So either they stuff the cases with a random amount of cash that they planned on bringing out regardless off the offer amount, or they knew what cases he would pick before he picked them. Either way, it was a planned attempt to sensationalize the show.

Everything about this guy was character-like. When they brought the cash out, he picked it up, sniffing it and scowling like some bookie that just got paid off after his thugs broke some legs. Also, you know how everyone is allowed to bring three people with them? Well gets four, two of them being his twin daughters. What do they count as one person or something!? Add that to the fact that he keeps saying “I’m good at this game” when there’s absolutly NO WAY that a person can be good at guessing random numbers. It’d be like saying I’m good at winning coin tosses. It’s just not something you can be “good” at!

As the round is nearing the end it becomes almost predictable. He whittles away at the cases until what remains? Only $1 and $1 million and $3 million! Oh what sensational television! He takes the offer of $600,000 or so, but come to find out, he had the three million dollar case all along! (Which he also called at the beginning of the game.) The odds of him picking the $3 million case first and then calling the one cent case like he predicted were 1 in 600.

It couldn’t have been a more exciting round, and it just so happened to be the show’s season premier, where you want to hook everybody for the rest of the season. Coincidence or not? You tell me.