‘Deal or No Deal’ St. Croix Central styleAnyone walking past the St. Croix Middle School multi-purpose room Nov. 23 might have thought they heard a prime-time television game show in progress. As the finale to the school’s magazine fundraiser to raise money for school camps and trips, students participated in a “Deal or No Deal” game based on the NBC hit, to reward students who sold the most magazines to family and friends.
By: Ashley Halladay, New Richmond News
Anyone walking past the St. Croix Middle School multi-purpose room Nov. 23 might have thought they heard a prime-time television game show in progress.
As the finale to the school’s magazine fundraiser to raise money for school camps and trips, students participated in a “Deal or No Deal” game based on the NBC hit, to reward students who sold the most magazines to family and friends.
Unlike contestants on the actual show playing for a top prize of $1 million dollars, the school’s game had a potential grand prize of $300.
This year’s lucky contestant was seventh-grader Ariel Backes, who sold six items in the fundraiser. Accompanying Backes in front of the “audience” were 25 “supermodels” who held the cases until Backes chose which ones she wanted to eliminate.
While Backes played for money, all of the 25 “supermodels” were given tokens by Middle School Principal Scott Woodington to choose from a variety of small prizes in a vending machine brought into the room. Randomly selected audience members were also called to the “stage” to receive tokens for prizes.
There was no need for an applause sign in the multi-purpose room Tuesday. Students clapped, cheered and yelled out numbers to assist their classmate in picking the “right” briefcases to eliminate from the board.
Backes ended up winning $50 which was a good deal, since her case would have contained only $40. At the end of the school day, Backes wasn’t sure what she was going to spend her winnings on, but she did use her tokens from Woodington for sillybandz-like bracelets.
The silver briefcases, money-amount elimination board and “banker” made the game seem fairly realistic, but what is a game show without an energetic host?
The middle school had their own version of “Deal or No Deal” host Howie Mandel, played by eighth grade science teacher Pat Hook.
Hook played the part of Mandel well. His spot-on impersonations were probably a result of his own experience on the actual game show two years ago.
Hook was selected as a contestant for “Deal or No Deal Around the World,” in the Philippines.
He took a deal for $71,000 but found out the case he chose at the beginning of the game had $200,000 in it. With his prize money, Hook payed off student loans and finished the basement of his home.
Although Backes probably won’t be able to pay for college with her $50 winnings from the middle school’s game, Hook said the middle school version was pretty similar to the real thing.
Hook says he tried to act as similar to Mandel as he could.
“Of course I did the whole germ thing with not shaking hands and how he creates suspense by saying Deal ... Or ... No Deal?”
Hook said he didn’t think the students really picked up on his Howie-like ways but rather just liked to see him “do funny things and act all weird.”
“That gets their attention more than trying to be just like Howie,” he said.
Hook had fun playing Mandel on the school’s game show, but probably not as much fun as the students had calling out numbers, winning prizes and missing class.
Hook said the very active audience members, seemed “to get on the edge of their seats when calling out the cases.”
The middle school had an accelerated version of the game. Backes picked six cases the first three rounds, then four, then two and then one case for the last two rounds.
Although Hook has been lucky enough to participate on an actual game show, he said the SCC Middle School’s “Deal or No Deal” gave students a good idea of what happens on the set of a real game show.
“For some of these kids, it’s the closest they’ll ever come to being on a game show,” he said.
To see a clip of the Nov. 23 “Deal or No Deal” game at St. Croix Central Middle School, go the video tab.