The Deal or No Deal Phenomenon


Deal or No Deal is the television game show phenomenon of the century. From the very first version introduced in 2001, the show has grown to span around the globe with more than 100 countries spread over 6 continents buying into the concept.  The show has quite literally changed the lives of many, both behind the scenes and the contestants lucky enough to be selected to play the game.

As with any show that creates such a worldwide sensation, Deal or No Deal has spawned fan clubs, merchandising opportunities, and spinoff products. With contestants varying in age from 18 to 98, drawn from every conceivable group, the show has an appeal that crosses social and economic boundaries like no other show has ever managed to do.  With more than a decade behind it, Deal or No Deal shows no sign of slowing down in popularity so we are likely witnessing an icon of pop culture in the making. The next obvious development is the Deal or No Deal online game.



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History of Deal or No Deal 

The original game show concept was created by Dick de Rijk and produced by Endemol, a television production company in the Netherlands.  Introduced to Dutch viewers as Miljoenenjacht, or Hunt for Millions.  When first released, it was hosted by Linda de Mol, sister to one of Endemol’s founders.  The show had a studio audience of 500 people, quiz questions and a cash prize hiding in one of 26 suitcases.  Who knew that such a giant would come from such humble beginnings?

With the compelling mixture of skill and chance, the show caught on and soon an Australian brand was introduced.  This is when the name was changed to Deal or No Deal.  Australia did away with the quiz and introduced beautiful models to open the suitcases.  They also introduced the banker at this point, a mysterious person who tempts players with a cash prize if they give up their suitcase.

Deal or No Deal came to the UK the end of October, 2005 and is broadcast on Channel 4.  The show airs every day except Saturday all year long, except for a two month break in production for summer.  Hosted by Noel Edmunds, the show has a rather underground theme and has a live audience in the studio. Audience members have had quite a bit of participation in the show through the years and tickets to be in the audience go quickly.


Game Play

The UK version of Deal or No Deal starts with 22 sealed red boxes, each holding a secret amount of cash, ranging from a mere 1p up to a whopping £250,000.  The day’s contestant is drawn from the 22 potential contestants randomly assigned to the boxes.  The chosen one is brought their box and it remains theirs unless they decide to take one of the banker’s offers during game play.

With each round, the contestant is able to choose another box from those remaining.  As these amounts are revealed, it changes the odds of what is in the contestant’s box.  For example, if the first 5 reveals are high amounts, the likelihood of the contestant’s box holding a small amount is increased.  Along the way, the banker, via telephone and Noel Edmunds, will offer an amount of money in exchange for the contestant stopping the game and giving up their original box.

Players can end up with 1p at the end of the game or they could end up with the grand prize.  Some players will push through to the end, never able to settle for a known amount, and others will take a deal when they hear a number that makes them happy.  One never knows, which is part of the appeal of the show.


Top Winners

According to statistics, the overall chance of a contestant winning the top prize in the game are between 4-5%.  Quite a reasonable chance when you think how much relies upon the temperament and risk-taking of the individual players.  Of course, there are many prize winners of lower amounts than the top prize.  In all the years the show has been running in the UK, it has given out a fantastical £25,562,038.49!

While there have been many winners over the years since Deal or No Deal UK was launched, there have only been 4 winners of the top prize.  Interestingly enough, the show was live for over a year before Laura Pearce hit the top prize on 07/01/07.  The next winner of the £250,000 wasn’t until 12/03/09 when Alice Mundy made it to the end.  This year, however, has seen two winners within months of each other.  First was Suzanne Mulholland on 13/05/11 and then just 4 months later was Tegen Roberts, the first man to take top prize, on 22/09/11.


Spinoff Products 

Several games have been created to capitalize on the Deal or No Deal craze.  The first was a DVD TV game launched in 2006.  It featured Noel Edmunds and 21 of the actual contestants from the show’s first season. The DVD did well enough that a second one was released a year later that showcased contestants from the second season.

A card game is available that plays like the Player vs. Banker mode of the DVD game.  One player is the Banker and one the contestant, with the players alternating these roles during the game.  The card game has been sold in a boxed set along with one of the DVD games.

Games for various video game systems have been released, as well as version for the computer.  The latest version of electronic game is the Facebook app called Deal or No Deal LIVE!.  There’s even a game app for the iPhone that can be found in the Apple store, instantly downloadable for only £0.69.

Sponsored by Jackpot Joy

Since 15 February 2015, Deal or No Deal has been sponsored by the online bingo/casino website Jackpot Joy.  The site has also added some Deal or No Deal online games to their site where players can win amazing amounts.  Most famous is the super slots game with the progressive jackpot where one lucky player won the largest amount ever in the history of the site – £1.96 million!  That huge jackpot was won by a market stall holder named Keith R.

Deal or No Deal Bingo

There is a fantastic new bingo game based on Deal or No Deal which is taking the internet by storm. Basically it is a completely original game that combines bingo with Deal or No Deal to create a DOND experience you won’t find anywhere else and is an absolute dream if you’re a fan of both bingo and Deal or No Deal.

There are many exciting promotions on offer starting with free bingo with real money prizes every day between 1 and 3 pm and a 100% cash match bonus up to £50 free.  Some of the other Deal or No Deal Bingo promotions include:


• Regular 50% reload bonus


• Tour of the Deal or No Deal studio prizes, meet Noel


• Best of DOND DVDs signed by Noel Edmonds prizes


• Buy one ticket get one free every bank holiday


• Progressive jackpot prize, currently over £50,000


• Win Blackberry Playbook, £100k seasonal promotion prize


• £100 chat prizes all the time


And far too many other features to mention – visit the site to see just how much there is on offer at this amazing DOND haven.  This is truly a game for hardcore Deal or no Deal fans who want the DOND experience along with the social element that you don’t get with the other sorts of deal or no deal games that you can play from home.

Joseph Kerney

COO & Baccarat Expert

Joseph Kerney is our COO and baccarat expert. Joseph has worked in the online gambling industry for over a decade as an affiliate before joining our team.

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