Thousands Hope To Hit It Big On “Deal Or No Deal”

They came from all over, hoping to stand out in the crowd and get a chance to answer the big question: "Deal or No Deal?"

More than 7,000 people turned out for a casting call at Foxwoods Casino Thursday afternoon to be on the hit NBC show.  They started lining up Wednesday night and filled two auditoriums and many hallways.

They each got 20 seconds to sell themselves to producers.  "I'm a male nurse and I take a lot of ribbing for it," said Jeffrey Cannon, of Waterford, during his pitch. 

Another potential contestant exclaimed, "I'm turning 40 this year.  Forty and fabulous!"

The crowd was the largest they've seen at any casting call for this season, said Neal Konstantini, the show's senior producer.  "I think the goal for us is to find someone where you watch the show and you say, 'I like that guy.  I hope he wins.  I hope he beats the banker.'"

In all, they need 800 to 900 total contestants for the half-hour syndicated shows that are now taping in southeastern Connecticut.  Among those hoping to make the cut are Lisa and Chris Kowalewski, who are expecting triplets.  "I have a nine-year-old and a 14-month-old and now we're having three more," said Lisa.  "We need a house, a bigger car, college funds, Sweet 16's, weddings, all that stuff."

What does it take to make the show?  Tony Gallicchio, of Stonington, works at Foxwoods and took home $14,000 on season two.  "You need to think 'ball of fire'.  Come out straight and have all the energy that you've never had before.  You gotta be different than all those other people," said Gallicchio.

The line was open until 5 p.m.  Producers planned to stay late into the night interviewing everyone.  Callbacks take place at a later date.

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