Australian Game Shows Wiki
Mike Dyer (1968)
John Laws (1969)
Jimmy Hannah (1976)
Garry Meadows (1977)
Vince Sorrenti (1991)
Lets make a deal log
Lets Make a Deal Australia (1991)
Nine Network: 1968–1969, 1976–1977
Network Ten: 1991
NLT Productions (1968-1969)
McCabe-Collins Productions (1976-1977)

Let's Make a Deal was based on the U.S. format of the same name, where people dressed up in wacky costumes buy, sell and trade their way to thousands of dollars in cash & prizes.


Each episode of Let's Make a Deal consisted of several "deals" between the host and a member or members of the audience as contestants. Audience members were picked at the host's whim as the show went along, and couples were often selected to play as "one" contestant. The "deals" were mini-games within the show that took several formats.

In the simplest format, a contestant was given a prize of medium value (such as a television set), and the host offered them the opportunity to trade for another prize. However, the offered prize was unknown. It might be concealed on the stage behind one of three curtains, or behind "boxes" onstage (large panels painted to look like boxes), within smaller boxes brought out to the audience, or occasionally in other formats. The initial prize given to the contestant might also be concealed, such as in a box, wallet or purse, or the player might be initially given a box or curtain. The format varied widely.

Prizes generally were either a legitimate prize, cash, or a "Zonk". Legitimate prizes ran the gamut of what was given away on game shows during the era (trips, fur coats, electronics, furniture, appliances, and cars). Zonks were unwanted booby prizes which could be anything from animals (usually farm animals such as horses, cattle, donkeys, mules, pigs, ducks, geese, "A Bucket O'Chicken" which was real chicken in a coop that was shaped like a bucket, sheep, llamas, goats, and rabbits) to large amounts of food (cabbage, pumpkins, and bananas) to something outlandish like a giant article of clothing, a room full of junked furniture, an old washer-and-dryer, an old gas station, a moose head, the "World's Largest Crying Towel," or a junked car. Sometimes Zonks were legitimate prizes but of a low value such as "Matchbox" cars, wheelbarrows, T-shirts, small food or non-food grocery prizes, etc. Zonks are often demonstrated by the announcer, and legitimate prizes were modeled by the model. On rare occasions, a contestant would appear to get Zonked, but the Zonk would be a cover-up for a legitimate prize.

Though usually considered joke prizes, contestants legally won the Zonks. However, after the taping of the show, any trader who had been Zonked would be offered a consolation prize instead of having to take home the actual Zonk. This is partly because some of the Zonks were intrinsically impossible to receive or deliver to the contestants. For example, if a contestant won an animal, he or she could legally insist that it be awarded to him or her, but chances are that the contestant did not have the means to care for it. In fact, a disclaimer at the end of the credits said "Some traders accept reasonable duplicates of Zonk prizes."

On some episodes, the first contestant(s) offered an unknown prize kept it for much of the show, not trading it in until the Big Deal.

The Big Deal[]

Each show ends with the Big Deal of the Day. Beginning with the day's biggest winner, and moving in order to the winner of the lowest prize value, the host would ask each contestant if they wanted to trade their winnings for a spot in the Big Deal (whose value was usually revealed at that point). He would continue asking until two contestants agreed to participate. In case of a tie, the host goes to the winner who he picked first.

The Big Deal involves three doors, famously known as "Door #1", "Door #2", and "Door #3", each of which contained a prize or prize package. The top winner of the two was offered the first choice of a door, and the second contestant was then offered a choice of the two remaining doors. One door hid the day's Big Deal, while the other two doors concealed prizes or prize packages of lesser value. Zonks were never included in the Big Deal, although there was always the possibility that a contestant could wind up with less than his or her original winnings. All three doors were normally opened, going in order of increasing value.

Quickie Deals[]

As the credits rolled, it was typical for the host to ask random members of the studio audience to participate in fast deals. The deals were usually in the form of the following:

  • Offering cash to one person in the audience who had a certain item on them
  • Offering a small cash amount for each item of a certain quantity
  • Offering cash for each instance of a particular digit as it occurred in the serial number on a dollar bill, driver's license, etc.



Based on the American game show of the same name by Stefan Hatos & Monty Hall.

YouTube Links[]

All of the below are from the 1991 series.

The Wizard of Oz Deal (Part 1)
The Wizard of Oz Deal (Part 2)
Full Episode