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"Deal or No Deal" models posing for the cover of Runway Magazine – 10 October 2008

Deal or No Deal is the name of several closely related television game shows, the first of which (launching the format) was produced by Dutch producer Endemol. It is played with up to 26 cases (or in some versions, boxes) with certain sums of money. The player chooses a case or a box to knock an amount of money off the board.



Deal or No Deal is played in many different ways around the world. Many different countries have their own version or versions of the show, each with their own twists on the same general format. The general format is described here.

The central game of Deal or No Deal involves a contestant, a banker (unseen in some versions of the show), and a host/presenter who acts as Master of ceremonies for the game. The game revolves around the opening of a set of numbered briefcases, each of which contains a different prize (cash or otherwise). The contents of all of the cases are known at the start of the game, but the specific location of any prize is unknown. The value of each of the cases is indicated by a label or card sealed within it.

The contestant claims (or is assigned) a case to begin the game. The case's value is not revealed until the conclusion of the game.

The contestant then begins choosing cases to be removed from play. The amount inside each choice is immediately revealed; by process of elimination, the amount revealed cannot be inside the player's chosen case. Throughout the game, after a predetermined number of cases have been opened, the banker offers the contestant an amount of money and/or prizes to quit the game, the offer based roughly on the amounts remaining in play and the contestant's demeanor. The player then answers the titular question, choosing:

  • "Deal", accepting the offer presented and ending the game, or
  • "No Deal", rejecting the offer and continuing the game.

This process of removing cases and receiving offers continues, until either the player accepts an offer to 'deal', or all offers have been rejected and the values of all unselected cases are revealed. The player wins the value of the deal taken, or if no deal is taken, the contents of the player's case.

Should a player end the game by taking a deal, a pseudo-game is continued from that point to see how much the player could have won by remaining in the game. Depending on subsequent choices and offers, it is determined whether or not the contestant made a "good deal", i.e. won more than if the game were allowed to continue.

Since the range of possible values is known at the start of each game, how much the banker offers at any given point changes based on what values have been eliminated. To promote suspense and lengthen games, the banker's offer is usually less than the expected value dictated by probability theory, particularly early in the game[1]. Generally, the offers early in the game are very low relative to the values still in play, but near the end of the game approach (or even exceed) the average of the remaining values.

Only a few people have ever won the top prize on any version of the show (see table below). For a contestant to win the top prize the player would have to select the case containing the top prize and reject every offer the banker makes during the game. While the chances of a player selecting the top prize are reasonable (4–5% depending on how many amounts are in the game), the chances that a player will be able to turn down a number of inevitably large offers to win that top prize are much smaller.

Million Dollar Mission

The Million Dollar Mission was only on the United States version of Deal or No Deal. On a number of shows, host Howie Mandel would add one extra case containing the million dollars. The purpose of this mission was to increase the chance of somebody winning the million dollars. During this mission, only two contestants won the million dollar prize: Jessica Robinson on September 1, 2008 and Tomorrow Rodriguez on October 29, 2008.

International versions

Various versions of Deal or No Deal have between 20 and 26 prizes in the game; some versions have only cash values, others include prizes such as a car or item prizes. For instance, there are 26 prizes in the original U.S. version; all cash values from 1 cent to $1,000,000. The current U.S. version only has 22 values, ranging from $.01 to $500,000. The Australian version has 26 values from 50 cents to $200,000, but includes a $30,000+ car as one of its more valuable prizes. The British version has 22 amounts which contain anything from 1p to £250,000. The South India version of Deal or No Deal ranges from Re1 to Re 50 Lakhs (5 Million).

The stopping points at which the Banker places an offer vary wildly from format to format, but don't change within any specific format.

In some versions, a player is allowed to choose their starting case; in others, they are assigned a case at random.

In a small number of variants, the Banker knows the locations of the prizes.

In some versions, a player who rejects all offers is given the option to swap the initially selected case for the last unrevealed case before revealing the contestant's final prize. Some versions even allow the banker to offer the opportunity to swap in lieu of a cash offer during game play.

Some versions occasionally add side games, with or without impact to the central game.

There are scores of variations in presentation otherwise having little or no effect on the central game. Two common differences are the type of container holding the prizes (briefcases or boxes), and the people who open the containers (models, future contestants, or sidegame players who can earn money for guessing their container's contents).

Worldwide, the largest win (after adjusting for exchange rates) is €1,495,000 on Dutch version Miljoenenjacht, offered on November 13, 2005. It stands as the biggest win in the history of the format, despite many versions (either occasionally or permanently) having higher top prizes.

Scientific research

Deal or No Deal has attracted attention from mathematicians, statisticians, and economists as a natural decision-making experiment. A team of economists has analyzed the decisions of people appearing in European and US episodes of Deal or No Deal and found, among other things, that contestants are less risk-averse or even risk-seeking when they have seen their expected winnings drop.[2] In their follow-up article they find that contestants behave similarly in ten different versions of the show, despite large differences in the amounts at stake; amounts appear to be evaluated in relative terms, for example in proportion to the initial average, and not in terms of their absolute monetary value.[3] The research project received a great deal of media attention, appearing on the front page of The Wall Street Journal on January 12, 2006 as well as being featured on National Public Radio in the United States on March 3, 2006.[4]

International versions

The show has many versions that air around the world:

Country Name Host Station Language First Year Aired Top Prize
 Albania Kutia Enkel Demi TV Klan Albanian 2004 €10,000
Arab League Arab World الصفقة
Al Safqa
Amir Karar MBC1 Arabic 2004 US$1,000,000
Deal or No Deal Michel Sannan LBC Arabic 2005 US$250,000
 Argentina Trato Hecho Julian Weich Telefé Spanish 2004–2006 ARG$500,000
 Armenia Դիլ կամ Նո Դիլ
Dil kam No Dil
Armenia TV Armenian 2005 AMD50,000,000
 Australia Deal or No Deal Andrew O'Keefe Channel Seven English 2003 AU$200,000 and AU$250,000
 Austria Deal or No Deal (Austria) Rainhard Fendrich ORF1 German 2005 €250,000
 Belgium Miljoenenjacht Walter Grootaers Vtm Dutch 2004 €1,000,000
Te Nemen of Te Laten Felice VijfTV Dutch 2007 €200,000
 Bosnia and Herzegovina Deal or No Deal- Uzmi ili Ostavi Jusuf Višnji OBN Bosnian 2008
 Brazil Topa ou Não Topa Silvio Santos
Roberto Justus
SBT Portuguese 2006
November 2010
 Bulgaria Сделка или не Rumen Lukanov Nova Television Bulgarian 2005–2009 BGL 200,000
 Cambodia Prom Rer min Prom Ith Sitha CTN Khmer 2008 10,000,000 Riels
 Canada Deal or No Deal Canada Howie Mandel Global English 2007 CA$1,000,000
Le Banquier Julie Snyder TVA French 2007
according to an event CA$500,000
 Chile Trato Hecho Don Francisco Canal 13 Spanish 2004 Cl$120,000,000
¡Allá Tú! Julián Elfenbein Chilevision Spanish 2007 Cl$10,000,000
 China 动感秀场
Dong Gan Xiu Chang

(first season "心跳选择")
Cheng Qian BTV-8 Putonghua 2007 1,000,000 points
Ai Chang Cai Hui Ying
Hua Shao, Zhu Dan, Tian Yue, Huang Zi-wen ZJSTV Putonghua 2008 ¥100,000
 Colombia ¡Hay Trato! Carlos Calero Canal Caracol Spanish 2005 $100,000,000
 Costa Rica El Familion Nestle Nelson Bustamante Repretel Canal 11 Spanish unknown US$125,000
 Croatia Uzmi ili ostavi Željko Pervan
Mirko Fodor
Mario Petreković
Croatian Radiotelevision Croatian 2006 500,000 kuna
 Cyprus (info unknown)
 Czech Republic Ber nebo neber Pavel Zuna TV Prima Czech 2007 5,000,000 Kč
 Denmark Deal or No Deal Casper Christensen TV 2 Danish 2006 DKK 2,000,000
 Dominican Republic Trato Hecho con Nestle Frank Perozo / Mia Taveras Antena Latina Spanish 2008 RD$3,000,000
 Ecuador Trato Hecho (Ecuador) Roberto Angelelli Teleamazonas Spanish 2006 US$100,000
 Egypt لعبة الحياة
Loabat Al Hayat
Razan Maghrebi Al-Hayat TV Arabic 2009 EGP250,000
 Estonia Võta või jäta Alari Kivisaar TV3 Estonian 2007 1,000,000 Kroons
 Finland Ota tai jätä Pauli Aalto-Setälä Nelonen Finnish 2007 €500,000
 France À prendre ou à laisser Arthur
Sebastien Cauet
TF1 French 2004 €500,000
 Georgia ვა-ბანკი
Misha Mshvildadze Rustavi 2 Georgian 2008 50,000 lari
 Germany Der Millionen-Deal
(first season)
Linda de Mol Sat.1 German 2004 €2,000,000
Deal or No Deal – Die Show der Glücksspirale
(from season two onward)
Guido Cantz Sat.1 German 2005 €250,000
 Greece Deal (weekdays) Christos Ferendinos ANT1 Greek 2006 €200,000
Super Deal (weekends) €500,000
 Hong Kong Deal or No Deal/一擲千金 Michael HuiAlfred Cheung TVB Jade Cantonese 2006 2008 HK$3,000,000
 Hungary Áll az alku Gábor Gundel Takács
Áron Kovács
TV2 Hungarian 2004 100,000,000 forints
 India Deal Ya No Deal R. Madhavan/
Mandira Bedi/
Rajeev Khandelwal
SET Hindi, English 2005 Rs.10,000,000
Deala No Deala Kakapee Sun TV Tamil 2009 Rs.5,000,000
Deal or No Deal Sai Kumar Udaya TV Kannada 2009 Rs.5,000,000
Deal or No Deal Sai Kumar Gemini TV Telugu 2009 Rs.5,000,000
Deal or No Deal Mukesh (Malayalam actor) Surya TV Malayalam 2009 Rs.5,000,000
 Indonesia Deal Or No Deal Indonesia Tantowi Yahya RCTI Indonesian 2007 Rp.2,000,000,000
 Ireland Deal or No Deal Keith Barry TV3 English 2009 €250,000
 Israel דיל או לא דיל Moran Atias 10 Hebrew 2005 1,500,000 NIS
 Italy Affari Tuoi Max Giusti Rai Uno Italian 2003 €500,000
 Jamaica The Digicel Deal or No Deal Simon Crosskill TVJ English language 2009 JMD$1,000,000
 Japan The Deal (ザ・ディール, Za Dīru) Shinsuke Shimada TBS TV Japanese 2006, 2007 ¥10,000,000
 Latvia (info unknown)
 Lebanon Deal or No Deal Michel Sannan Murr Television Arabic 2009 LBP 200,000,000
 Lithuania Taip arba Ne Marijonas Mikutavičius TV3 Lithuania Lithuanian 2007 Lt 500,000
 Malaysia Deal or No Deal Malaysia Aanont Wathanasin ntv7 English November 3, 2007 RM100,000
一擲千金 Goh Wee Ping
Owen Yap
ntv7 Mandarin March 12, 2007 – May 8, 2008 RM100,000
 Malta Deal or No Deal Malta Paulo Micallef TVM Maltese 2007 €25,000
 Mauritius To Pran to pas Pran? Hassen Rojoa MBC D6 French 2007
 Mexico Vas o No Vas Héctor Sandarti Televisa Spanish 2005 MX$1,000,000 and 5,000,000
 Monaco Raffle le fric et braque la banque Pierre Van Klaveren M1 French 2006
 Morocco Tu prendres ou tu ne prendres pas? Mohammed El Jabber 2M TV French and Arabic. 2007
 Netherlands Miljoenenjacht
(original version) and season
Linda de Mol TROS, Tien, RTL4 Dutch 2000 €5,000,000
Deal or No Deal
(direct version) small program
Beau van Erven Dorens Tien, RTL5 Dutch 2006 €250,000
 New Zealand Deal or No Deal Jeremy Corbett TV3 English 2007 NZ$200,000
 Nigeria Deal or No Deal Nigeria John Fashanu M-Net Africa English 2007 US$100,000
 Norway Deal or No Deal Sturla Berg-Johansen TV2 Norwegian 2006 3,000,000 kr
 Panama El Familion Nestle Nelson Bustamante Telemetro Panamá Spanish unknown US$125,000
 Peru Trato Hecho Adolfo Aguilar ATV Spanish 2005 S/.1,000,000
 Philippines Kapamilya, Deal or No Deal Kris Aquino ABS-CBN Tagalog 2006–2008 PHP4,000,000
 Poland Grasz czy nie grasz Zygmunt Chajzer Polsat Polish 2005–2007 1,000,000 zł
 Portugal Pegar ou Largar Rui Unas SIC Portuguese 2006 €300,000
 Romania Da sau nu Mihai Dobrovolschi Prima TV Romanian 2005 150,000 lei
Accepţi sau nu Gabriel Coveşanu Kanal D Romanian 2008 100,000 lei
 Russia Пан или пропал Nikolay Fomenko Channel One Russian 2004 3,000,000 Russian rubles
Сделка Alexei Veselkin REN TV Russian 2006 3,000,000 Russian rubles
 Serbia Uzmi ili ostavi Milorad Mandić Manda B92 Serbian 2007 1,500,000 RSD
 Singapore Deal or No Deal Adrian Pang MediaCorp TV Channel 5 English 2007 S$250,000
 Slovakia Ruku na to Unknown STV Slovakian 2007 €250,000
 Slovenia Vzemi ali pusti Bojan Emeršič POP TV Slovene 2005–2008 €70,000
 South Africa Deal or No Deal Ed Jordan M-Net English 2007 R1,000,000
Doen met 'n Miljoen! Casper de Vries kykNET Afrikaans 2007 R1,000,000
 South Korea Yes or No Shin Dong-Yeob tvN Korean 2006 ₩100,000,000
 Spain ¡Allá tú! Jesús Vázquez
Silvia Jato
Telecinco Spanish 2004 €600,000
 Sri Lanka Gando Nogando Mahendra Perera SirasaTV Sinhalese 2008 SLRs.2,500,000
 Sweden Deal or No Deal Martin Timell TV4 Swedish 2006 5,000,000 Kr
 Switzerland Deal or No Deal – Das Risiko Roman Kilchsperger SF 1 German 2004 CHF 250,000
 Taiwan 平民大富翁
Yes or No
Jacky Wu CTS Mandarin 2009 NT$500,000
 Thailand เอาหรือไม่เอา Dom Hetrakul ThaiTV 3 Thai 2005 ฿1,000,000
 Tunisia دليلك ملك
Dlilek Mlek
Sami El Fihri Tunis 7 Arabic 2004 TD 1,000,000
 Turkey Trilyon Avı Zafer Ergin aTV Turkish 2003 TL 1,000,000
Büyük Teklif Halit Ergenç Kanal D Turkish 2006 TL 500,000
Var mısın? Yok musun? Acun Ilıcalı Show TV Turkish 2007 TL 500,000
 Ukraine Граєш чи не граєш? Dmitriy Shepelev Ukraina Ucranian/Russian 2010
 United Kingdom Deal or No Deal Noel Edmonds Channel 4 English 2005 £250,000
 United States Deal or No Deal (NBC Primetime) Howie Mandel NBC English 2005 US$ 1,000,000
Deal or No Deal (NBC Universal Television Distribution daily version) Howie Mandel
Banker: Peter Abbay[5]
Syndicated by NBC Universal Television Distribution English 2008 US$500,000
Vas o No Vas Héctor Sandarti Telemundo
(NBC Universal)
Spanish 2006 US$250,000
 Vietnam Đi tìm ẩn số Thanh Bạch HTV7 Vietnamese 2005 100,000,000đ
Ẩn số vàng Chí Trung H1 Vietnamese 2006 100,000,000đ
 Zimbabwe Saka Kana Aa Saka Tande Newton and Isaac Smith TVZim01, ZBC, TeleZim Shona, Ndebele, English 2007 Z$50,000,000

Véronique Landry is the only model to appear on more than one version of the show, on both the French and English Canadian versions.[citation needed] Howie Mandel, Héctor Sandarti, and Linda de Mol each have hosted multiple versions of the show: Mandel, with the American English and English Canadian versions, Sandarti with both the American Spanish and Mexican Spanish versions, and de Mol with both the Netherlands Dutch and German (in 2004) versions of the show. In the UK version Deal or no Deal helped relaunch Noel Edmonds' career.

Other countries that have their own versions of the show include Albania, Armenia, Austria, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Portugal (SIC network), Puerto Rico, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Scotland, and Wales according to the UK version's website.

Top prize winners on international versions

All amounts below the prizes are their equivalents in United States dollars, and those in USD at the time of their big win.

Country Name(s) Amount won Previous offer Other amount
 Australia Dean Cartechini
(June 17, 2004)
($178,659, then worth $136,986)
($91,563, then worth $74,818)
($4.47, then worth $3.65)
Anh Do (celebrity)
(September 19, 2007)
A$200,000 A$125,000
 Brazil Paulo
(April, 2007)
($557,678, then worth $492,611)
($247,609, then worth $218,719)
($55.77 then worth $49.26)
 Bulgaria Veneta Raykova (celebrity)
(February, 2006)
75,000 BGN
unknown unknown
 Chile Mauricio Hermosilla
(May 4, 2007)
(August 29, 2007)
CL$10,000,000 Change Box CL$50,000
 France Sabrina
(November 29, 2005)
($714,750, then worth $588,235)
($500,325, then worth $411,764)
(the banker also offered €200,000 and €300,000 – it is rare for a contestant to have more than one offer after a single round)
($107,213, then worth $88,235)
(January 23, 2009)
($714,750, then worth $588,235)
€210,000 €$100,000
 Georgia Rezo and Archil Arveladze
(February 3, 2009)
50,000 lari
25,000 lari
50 lari
 Greece Gogo 200,000
 India S. Raghunathan
(November, 2009
Rs 10,00,000
 Italy Danilo (Umbria)
(September 20, 2008)
($714,750, then worth $714,286)
($267,477, then worth $242,857)
($47,215, then worth $42,857)
(October 22, 2008)
500,000 €185,000
Clarissa Meneghini
(December 19, 2007)
500,000 €170,000 €30,000
 Malta Maria (Doris) Abela
(October 17, 2008
 Mexico Paty
(June 3, 2006)
($92,379) (weekday)
(March 2, 2006)
$1,000,000 (weekday) $700,000
(December 6, 2005)
$1,000,000 (weekday) unknown unknown
(June 11, 2005)
($461,894) (Saturday)
unknown unknown
 Malaysia Timothy Shim
(March 2, 2008)
RM 50,800
RM 250
 Netherlands Arno Woesthoff
(September 2, 2001)
unknown unknown
Eelco Schumacher
(April 2, 2009)
 Philippines Terry Lim Cua
(December 29, 2006)
($42,180, then $40,800)
($29,526, then worth $28,560)
($23,895, then $20,400)
 Serbia Vidoje
(October 19, 2007)
 Spain Gilbert de Tarragona
(June, 2007)
($857,700, then worth $800,000)
($343,080, then worth $320,000)
($2,144, then worth $2,000)
 Tunisia (Unknown)
(October 22, 2007)
unknown TND500,000
 Turkey Ülkühan Yılmaz
(October 24, 2009)
500,000TL 128,000TL 20,000TL
 United Kingdom Laura Pearce (January 7, 2007) £250,000 £45,000 £3,000
Alice Munday (March 12, 2009) £250,000 £17,500 1p
 United States (primetime version) Jessica Robinson
(September 1, 2008)
$1,000,000 $561,000 $200,000
Tomorrow Rodriguez
(October 29, 2008)
$1,000,000 $677,000 $300 and 2x $1,000,000

At the other end of the spectrum, in the UK edition broadcast on 7 December 2009, a contestant named Corinne opened her box to reveal (and thus win) 1p, having turned down first an offer of £88,000 and then an offer to swap boxes, which would have given her the top £250,000 prize.


  • It's in the Bag, New Zealand radio game show begun in the 1950s and later adapted for television (1970s–90s), which had a similar format
  • The Bong Game, created by Capital FM in the 1980s, also tested contestants by offering them increasing returns in tandem with increasing risk.
  • Let's Make a Deal, a long-running game show involving contestants deciding whether or not take offers based on what may or may not be behind a curtain/door or inside a box.
  • Treasure Hunt (US game show), a 1970s and 1980s Chuck Barris game show similar in concept to Deal or No Deal
  • Take Your Pick offered contestants the choice of taking a money offer or risking opening a box.
  • Win Ben Stein's Money pitted contestants against an in-house adversary.
  • Trato Hecho an Argentine show featuring a similar format which predated Deal or no Deal by several years.


South Korea

A variation of "Deal or No Deal" was embedded in a variety show called Idol World. Super Junior-T played the game and there were only 10 cases, the prize goes from 10 (about 1¢ US and ¥1, less than 0.01, 1p, and 1¢ AU) to ₩1,000,000 (about US$1,073, 723, £521, AU$965, and ¥116,000). See Yes or No.


Taiwan Television Enterprise (TTV) has a variation of "Deal or No Deal" embedded within its Saturday night weekly variety show hosted by popular TV host and one time recording artist Jacky Wu. The portion involved 16 boxes wherein celebrity contestants will play for NT$1.5 million top prize (about US$46,000, 32,000, £22,000, AU$49,000 and ¥5,280,000), in denominations starting from NT$1.00 (about 3¢ US, €0.02, 1p, 3¢ AU and ¥3). In this game though, Wu the TV host, also acted as a banker. He would randomly come up with an amount when the choice of boxes become fewer. Contestants however have to win a talent portion of the show before playing this game.[citation needed]

Even when they don't make $100,000,000, the lucky ones usually get a $200,000 grant for making a record on the show.[citation needed]

Video games

  • Innovative Concepts in Entertainment developed and currently sells an arcade redemption adaptation of the show, replacing prize money with redemption tickets.[6]
  • The U.K. version of Deal or No Deal was converted into a mobile game by Gameloft and featured the same rules and format as the tv show. The game was so well-received that versions of it were developed for other countries as well.[7] Its international success landed it on the top-sellers list.[8]
  • Almost all major formats of the game were converted into games for various gaming consoles, the PC, Macromedia Flash, and even a dedicated handheld made in China.

See also

Online versions


Simple English

Deal or No Deal is a game show in more than 40 countries on the world created by John de Mol.


Deal or No Deal involves a contestant, a host/presenter, a banker, and a number of briefcases (or boxes), with each having a different (and initially unknown) value. Each game starts with the contestant selecting one of the cases—this first case's value is not known until the game ends. During the rest of the game, the contestant opens the rest of the cases, one at a time, revealing its value. Each time after a specified number of cases are opened, the banker offers the contestant a certain amount of money to end the game. If the contestant takes an offer, the game ends, otherwise the contestant ends up with the money from the first case.

Since the range of possible values for cases is known at the start of each game, how much the banker offers at any given point changes based on what cases have been eliminated. To promote suspense and lengthen games, the banker's offer usually strays from the expected value dictated by probability theory, particularly early in the game. However it is not uncommon for the bank's offer to exceed the player's expected value very late in the game.

Worldwide, the largest amount offer (in terms of exchange rates) was €1,495,000 on the original Miljoenenjacht, on November 13, 2005 (which was accepted, the contestant's case only had €1,000). Only a few people have ever won the top prize on any version of the show.

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