Two years after the first Deal or No Deal aired Laura Pearce was selected alongside her number 6 box on the 7th January 2007. As the first winner of Deal or No Deal, Laura demonstrated to other contestants that there was hope for anyone to win a fortune. In the final round of the game, Laura sat with two boxes, one which contained £3,000 and the other £250,000. With so much at stake, the Banker was forced to make her a high offer of £45,000 – one he would hope that Laura couldn’t refuse. To his dismay, Laura declined his offer of money and the chance to swap boxes with the number 22 – which was still in play – stating that the box she had chosen originally was her dad’s birthday and she would stick with it. Opening the box, Noel revealed that Laura was the first winner of the grand £250,000 prize!
Laura said she gave a lot of her winnings to her father and sisters as well as spoiling her friends in a few shopping trips. Her most important task, however, was to get on the property ladder so she ensured she could buy a house and a car before going travelling around the globe. Since then the contestant has remained in the shadows. We wonder if she has returned to her job as a Civilian Staff member at Gloucestershire Constabulary or not.
The second winner of the elusive £250,000 came just two years later in 2009. At the time, Alice Munday was a trainee stuntwoman and was 21-years-old. Alice had already made a Deal with the banker for £17,500 earlier on in the game but during the final round, Alice managed to reveal the £50, £35,000 and the £15,000, leaving her with the biggest prize and the smallest prize on the board of £250,000 and 1p, respectively. It was at this point that The Banker offered Alice a choice to gamble. Alice gambled to bring herself back into the game and declined The Banker’s offer of a swap on the two boxes. Meaning that she would either walk away with a penny or £250,000 with no chance of reclaiming her previous £17,500 deal.
Noel opened Alice’s number 8 box and revealed she had become the second contestant to win £250,000 on the show in possibly the most exciting game ever. Alice vowed to go on a huge blow-out shopping spree with her sisters but not let the money change her. Alice wasn’t the only person to risk the £250,000 for the penny by declining the bankers offer, but she was the only contestant to successfully pull it off!
The 18-year-old from Wigan was the first male to win the show’s top prize in 2013. At the time, Paddy was working in his mother’s sandwich shop and had a dream of opening his own restaurant one day. When he and his box were chosen to sit in the legendary chair, he couldn’t have predicted what would happen next.
At the end of the final round, Paddy had just the £75,000 and the £250,000 prizes left (third and first prize). The teen was offered a staggering £140,000 by the banker – a life-changing amount which he turned down! Paddy was then offered to swap his number 8 box for the number 14 box sitting across from him, another offer he declined. Just as well, as Noel quickly revealed he had the jackpot sitting in front of him all along!
In the 11 years that Deal or No Deal graced our TV screens, only nine people managed to scoop the top prize. The complete list in order includes Laura Pearce, Alice Munday, Suzanne Mulholland, Tegen Roberts, Nong Skett, Paddy Roberts, Roop Singh, Ann Crawford and Vikki Heenan. There were, however, more than 50 members of the 1p club (a special name given to those who walked away with the lowest prize available). Most notorious is Corinne Davies, whose gamble for the £250,000 didn’t pay off and she left the show with 1p having declined £88,000. You can still play deal or no deal online so don’t be too disheartened that it’s no longer on your TV screen!