Deal Or No Deal is not a game of logic. It is not a game of skill, or of strong decision-making and sound judgement. It is a game of gut feelings, emotionally going with your instincts and designed to put those with a sense of adventure and an emotional backstory on television and toy with their extremely expressive personalities for fun and — sometimes a little — profit.
The problem is that your gut can’t do math. Your instincts don’t have student loan debts and your sense of adventure doesn’t have a 401k to contribute to. If Deal Or No Deal were about logic, contestants would have a general sense of how much money they wanted to siphon out of the game show industrial complex, and if they were lucky enough to blindly pick metal briefcases in the right order that the offer were high enough, they walk away satisfied with a decent payday.
That’s not what happens, though. The show specifically casts lunatics. Wait, no, that’s rude. They cast emotionally vulnerable contestants who delude themselves into thinking they are somehow smarter than the puppetmasters behind the scenes. They are not, and that’s why stuff like this keeps happening.
Deal Or No Deal is back on CNBC for a holiday edition, with Howie Mandel delivering more hapless rubes the chance at large sums of money their panicky, scatterbrained contestants will inevitably lose because they don’t understand basic odds and probability. The latest victim is Luis Green, a Jacksonville sales consultant who hit the jackpot by randomly picking briefcases in an order that doesn’t matter at all and winding up with a huge offer on the table. With just two cases left, he sat with a $5 case and a $750,000 case left on the board. More importantly, he had a $333,000 offer from the mysterious shadow that calls Howie Mandel to taunt the contestants and trigger their worst impulses.
Because this is America in 2018, you absolutely know what happens next.