by Makena W.
Costumes. Prizes. Wayne Brady. What more could you ever want? Let’s Make A Deal is a game show that started in 1963 hosted by Monty Hall and was brought back to television revamped and refurbished in 2009 hosted by Wayne Brady. It was a game of luck-you get a choice between money or a box or a curtain or something else. Each object behind a curtain, under a box, etc. can be something cool or a zonk, which is an object that isn’t so special. Zonks have included a live llama and a refrigerator full of rotten food. Now, I loved Whose Line Is It Anyway and I still do, so imagine my reaction when I found out the host was Wayne Brady. This pulled me in like Pudge on a fishing pole (if you didn’t get that reference, go watch Lilo and Stitch) so every weekday during the summer I would tune in to CBS at 10:00 in the morning. I’ve watched people win money and cars, and never thought I would be on the show. Little did I know that I was going to be a contestant on Let’s Make A Deal.
I remember it like it was yesterday-It was the Friday after ASK testing. I was in 7th grade- so this State Test counted towards high school more than all the others. I was nervous that I was going to do awful, so I was relieved when it was all over. We got out of the car at my house and walked up to the front porch to see my dad standing in front of the door. He had two envelopes in his hand. He gave one to me and one to my brother. “Open it,” my mom said. The sound of the ripping envelope echoed my thought about the conversation-it was unusual and made me wonder. The letter read something along the lines of “You have 5 minutes to change into your costumes and join us in the television studio (living room) to win games and prizes on Let’s Make A Deal!!” We ran to our rooms and got into our costumes. Mine was a Minnie Mouse costume and my brother’s was one of the green aliens from Toy Story. My mom (now dressed in a fancy white shirt) beckoned my brother and me out into the living room. As we were led to couches, I noticed the green sheet that hung from the ceiling. It had a Lets Make A Deal logo on it. The curtain almost reached the floor, but we could see an inch between the ground and the bottom of the curtain. We saw my dad’s feet as he made his way to the end of the curtain so he could see us for the first time in our costumes. He was met with applause and hoots from the rest of the family when he was introduced as our host, Mr. Sweety McTush. Then the game started.
What made this a little different was that we already knew we were going on a trip (that’s a story or another time) so instead of finding out that we are going back home, we won prizes (and zonks) for our road trip to Florida. We were driving down in our van for the first time and we didn’t know what we needed entertainment wise since we were used to 2 hour plane rides, not 16 hour car rides!
The actual show on CBS consists of many games in one episode. We played many challenges-from trivia about our past vacations together to guessing what our siblings’ favorite restaurant was. A few games stuck out in my mind.
I call this challenge “The Snake.” Everybody loves those classic “snake-in-a-can”s that you can get at any prank store. I personally despise them because of the noise they make when they pop open-well, I did until this challenge. My brother and I each had to pick one of these snakes in a can and had to open it-one can had the snake still packed inside ready to be free, while the other had a prize inside. On the count of three, we opened up our cans- I shut my eyes as hard as I could and pulled. The cap popped off easily and no snake came out! YES! My brother was still trying to untwist the cap when he realized that mine didn’t have the snake, which meant his had to. 5 hours passed (okay, more like 5 seconds) when I heard the POP! Luckily, I was prepared and had my hands over my ears (I hate loud noises like balloons popping [That is the only reason why I hate Figment and I will NEVER ride that ride again] and yes, even fireworks [I just cover my ears]). My can contained an envelope with a dollar bill taped to the front. I wasn’t allowed to open the envelope, but was told by my dad there was also money inside the envelope. He didn’t tell me how much though. But the game wasn’t over-I had to pick ANOTHER can. Once I picked my lucky can (from numerous times switching them back and forth) I was instructed not to open it. Then I had to make a life changing decision-do I keep the envelope that I was sure contained money or take the risk and open up the new can? I did what my gut told me to do. My motto for the whole thing was to go big or go home. So, for all challenges I risked everything for the unknown (which might explain why I got a lot of Zonks). Anyway, I picked the can. I pulled, tugged, and yanked with all of my might. I heard the pop, but no snakes came out. I defeated the snake cans again! This time I looked in my can and saw a pin. Not just any pin- A HIDDEN MICKEY PIN! I collect these because they couldn’t be bought anywhere and you could only own them if you traded with Cast Members (of course we all know that now you can buy some of them in the gift shops). YAY!
The next challenge was a competitive one. My brother and I had to bid on three boxes with only 5 dollars. Whoever bid the most on a box got it. You didn’t have to only bid on one box, you could bid on all three! Every box seen throughout the day had an icon on it aimed at my brother or me. My brother’s boxes had SpongeBob characters and mine had pictures of Phil Collins. It didn’t mean anything, but it was easier to say “The Phil Collins Box” than “That box….no that one…no the one to the left…MY left!” As fate would have it, the box that I decided that I would bid the most on had a zonk-an increase in parent tax (A little joke in my family: An adult can steal a french fry or any other type of food because of “parent tax” but a child can’t steal a piece of food from an adult and say “parent tax”). Oh well!
A few events later, my favorite challenge came about. If you watch Survivor, you know that sometimes when they need to divide the people into tribes, they pick rocks out of a bag. On the count of three, they would open up their hands and look at the rock. They were painted the tribe colors and they would separate into tribes based on the color they got. So this challenge was similar (see? I told you in my last blog that we LOVE Survivor!) except that instead of rocks we picked out poker chips. In the bag were 19 green chips and 1 red chip. If you picked the red chip, you were out. If you picked the green chip, your torch was still lit (Survivor reference)! My brother and I picked a chip and revealed the color when told to. We both got green chips! This went on for about 7 more rounds before the red chip was chosen. And guess who got it?
Me. Of course. Austin won 1 dollar for every green chip he got, so he got 8 dollars.
“The Zonk” activity was probably the shortest game we played. Three boxes of different sizes were brought out along with playing cards and a smaller table. My brother and I had to agree on a card (they were all face down). If the card had an odd number on it, we won the first box. We had to pick from 2 of the cards. Luckily for us, we got a 5 on the card. But that wasn’t all of it. Now, we had to pick from FOUR cards and we had to find an even card. Or we could take the box that we won. We decided to keep playing. We picked an even card (no, it was not jinxed! We got shown all the cards after we won each round). Yes! But now we had to decide whether to keep both boxes and keep playing or give it all up and get 10 dollars each. Hard decision, but decided to keep playing. This time we had to pick a face card (Jack, Queen or King) to keep all the prizes and the new box. We picked a Queen! YAY! We opened the boxes in the order we won them. The first box contained two lollipops (Orange and Cherry-our favorite flavors!) and the second box had Razzles in it (we eat them all the time) and the third one was a box of shredded paper. A ZONK! But my mom just looked at us as we sat back down with the rest of the “audience.” Nobody moved. No boxes were taken back behind the curtain. My mom even still held the lid above the box, staring at us. So we stood back up and walked back towards the Zonk. It felt like a scene from Indiana Jones *cue creepy music during the beginning of Raiders of The Lost Ark* (yes, I am an Indy nerd). We approached it as if it was a vat filled with snakes. The host (aka Dad) was still staring at us. I finally got the message. I dug my hands in, not knowing what to expect. My hands gripped a… Any guesses? A worm? A bird? No, a prescription bottle. Hmm. I pull it out and untwist the top. There was a piece of paper inside. I unrolled it and guess what it was? Okay, you are probably sick of guessing games-a picture of the La Nouba poster/logo in Downtown Disney! WOOHOO! My parents then told us that we are going to see La Nouba!
Okay, one more game that I have to tell you about. It was *drum roll please* THE BIG DEAL OF THE DAY!! If you Watch Let’s Make A Deal, you know that at the end of the show somebody who already won something earlier in the show can risk it all to win something else. They are usually cars, vacations and money. But my brother and I are too young to drive, already are going to Disney and we know my parents well enough that they wouldn’t make a big deal of giving us money. This made me wonder-what could it be? Well, before I could see what it was, I had to win it first! My brother I had to agree on 3 wallets out of seven and get $5 from the three wallets we pick. If we didn’t reach a total of $5, we wouldn’t get the Big Deal of The Day. We picked our first wallet and discovered that it contained 2 dollars. The next wallet only had $1. We needed two dollars or else we didn’t get the Big Deal of The Day. We chose our final wallet and opened it with excitement and nerves pumping through our veins. It has two dollars in it! We were congratulated and then told to sit on the couch and wait for my dad to bring the Big Deal of the Day out. He came out minutes later with his back to us. It was our last chance to wonder about the prize. My dad whipped towards us really fast as he put a box on the table. It showed my brother and I zip lining last summer in NC, but our pictures were cut out and taped to wires hanging on this box. The box was decorated to look like mountains and rivers. On top it said “ZipQuest” it took a second for it to sink in-we were going zip lining! I have only done it once before-and I LOVED it! After we left the World, we were going to stop in Virginia for zip lining. It would put ice on the wound that is leaving Walt Disney World but not completely heal it. I now had something to look forward to when leaving my home.
These are just a few highlights of the Let’s Make A Deal Game. In all, we played 21 games that took over 6 hours. It turns out that my parents had been working on the games, prizes and zonks for over 6 months and never even gave us a hint! Thank you for reading about my “Breaking The News” experience this week. Next week you will read about somebody REALLY special telling me about a cruise!
This week’s “Where in the World” picture is sort of difficult. Just keep your head up high and don’t give up 😉
See ya REAL soon!
PS: Congratulations to Jordan for beating his personal record for most consecutive years living! Have a magical birthday and keep on gaming!
Makena is a 13 year old middle school student who spends much of her free time researching Disney. She enjoys sharing Disney facts and even plans Walt Disney World vacations (including searches for secrets and Hidden Mickeys) for friends and family.