Deal Or No Deal is the UK game show hosted by Noel Edmonds in which a contestant is pitted against a banker and has the possibility of winning £250,000.
A ‘randomly’ selected contestant is invited to sit in the hot seat and becomes the player for that show, bringing their box with them. The other boxes are then opened one by one, and an off-stage banker known as, “The Banker” offers the player money to buy back the box and leave the game, based on the values of the boxes left.
To win the contestant must use all their courage and wits to knock off boxes out of 22, each with a different sum of money inside, from 1p to £250,000. Every time a box is picked it gets knocked off, and the contestant hopes that it doesn’t contain one of the really big sums. Whatever is in the player’s box in the end the player goes home with.
You don’t just have to knock off boxes to get your prize. You can also trade whatever’s in your box for a deal from the banker depending on what sums you have knocked off out of the 22. Problem is, no-one knows what is inside and only the independent adjudicator knows where all the sums of money are. You must try your hardest to beat the banker and win as much money as you can. You can also receive help from Noel Edmonds himself or any of the other players, if you are in a tough position.
There is an offer after the first five boxes are opened, and then after every third box until there are just two boxes left. In theory, these offers should come slightly below the arithmetic mean of the remaining boxes; in practice, the early offers are artificially low. As a result, the deal almost always occurs during the closing fifteen minutes, which serves to place a lot more emphasis on the journey than the outcome. The commercial breaks usually come just before the 8th and 14th boxes are opened.
It is, in essence, a game of pure chance – a lottery, or more precisely a series of lotteries, with the contestant merely choosing whether to reinvest their winnings in the next one or stick with what they’ve got.