Friday, November 07, 2008

Deal or No Deal

I know that my husband enjoys watching “Deal or No Deal”, the programme hosted by Noel Edmunds where contestants have to guess which box contains £250,000 and trick the banker into buying the box they have in front of them for more than it is worth.

Yesterday I decided to do a pile of ironing. I am not sure that I actually chose to do the ironing – it was that or traipse around the house in the buff! The bottom of the pile has not been exposed for months.

The lady that was in the hot seat was a fairly elderly Asian lady. She was so calm and unwound up that it was very different from most of the contestants. Some quiz shows drive me to distraction when the contestants explain why they reject certain answers or choose others. This lady was not one of those. She just chose one number after another, quite calmly, and politely and no matter the amount of money she exposed – the big red number or the small blue ones - she seemed to be unflustered.

She had decided right from the start that she didn’t want the £250,000 box. It was far too much money for anyone to win. For her, it would be a burden to have that much money. Noel Edmunds tried to persuade her that she could so all sorts of good things with it, but her reply was that she could do just as many good things with a lot less.

The game progressed and she seemed to have lots of the big numbers left and just a few small ones. It was a gambler’s game. The £250,000 was still in place with six boxes left to choose. One box was a blue one, the rest were all red. Then there was the banker’s phone call. He offered a deal of £30,000.

Noel Edmunds reminded her that when she had been asked how much money she would like to win, in an early questionnaire I presume, she had said £30,000. Presuming she would pick the blue box in the next round, the minimum she would walk away with was going to be £20,000 – but the £250,000 was still in the game.

He was offering her exactly what she had asked for, but yet there was the chance of getting much more than that.

Everyone was giving her advice on what to do. “Play on” seemed to be the general consensus.

Behind my ironing board I was shouting “Deal!”

To my mind there was more than £30,000 at stake, and more than £250,000 too. This was about someone’s integrity. She might walk away with the top prize, but it would cost her too much.

Without any fuss at all she said, “Deal.” She took only what she had asked for and turned her back on the big prize! The next box she chose was the wee blue number and the banker said that he would have gone up to £50,000, but she just smiled. She didn’t have the £250,000 in her box, just a mere £20,000 so she beat the banker.

She stood against the temptation to be greedy and take more than she had asked for. Her integrity was not worth £250,000!

We seem to live in a world where people grab and snatch and never seem to be satisfied. It was refreshing to see someone who was different.

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