Iconic 'Let's Make A Deal' Host Monty Hall Dies At 96

Television has lost another legend with the death of Monty Hall, the game show host best known for making deals in the famous 1960's show. Hall reportedly died in his home in Beverly Hills of Heart failure on Saturday.

Hall was the co-creator and host of the popular game show 'Let's Make a Deal' for 40 years. The show aired in 1963 and because of several revivals it has run on and off through 2014. In 1971, the show went into syndication, revitalizing the popular daytime series.

The game show creator had his hand in several shows, but he had a hit on his hands with 'Let's Make a Deal' when he developed it with his creative partner, Stefan Hatos. Hall would select members of the audience at random and put them on the spot to make deals for cash and prizes.

Contestants who won smaller prizes could compete for prizes of bigger value, but it always came at a risk of losing it all. By the end of the episode, Hall would tempt the contestants to trade in their winnings for a 'Big Deal' that might lie behind one of three doors. Contestants would then agonize over the decision to go home with the prize they already won, or risk it to choose a door in hopes of winning something bigger.

Unfortunately, in addition to the 'Big Deal', the doors also concealed what were known as 'Booby Prizes'. These could have consisted of barnyard animals, fake money, junk furniture, or something of low value, such as a stack of canned foods.

One of the gimmicks that helped the show soar to popularity was the outlandish costumes that people in the audience would wear when attending the tapings. The show creators had never intended costumes to be part of it, but audience members began wearing them in hopes that it would help them be noticed by the host. The more elaborate the costumes became, the more the television audience seemed to want to tune in.

The show and the host became such a fixture in pop culture that it inspired a thought experiment labeled 'The Monty Hall Problem'. The experiment involved a simple premise: you're a contestant on the show and presented with three doors. You get to choose from Door Number 1, Door Number 2, or Door Number 3. One door concealed your dream sports car, the other two concealed goats.

In the scenario, the contestant chooses a door, and Hall opens one door that was not chosen. There is a goat behind it. Of the remaining two doors, the contestant is offered the opportunity to keep the door he initially picked, or switch. According to the problem, the contestant's chances of winning are twice as high if he switches doors.

Perhaps most people lost on the Big Deal because they refused to switch doors.

Hall is survived by his two daughters, his son, a brother and five grandchildren. He lost his wife, Marilyn, earlier this year.

Source: New York Post, Chicago Tribune
Photo: YouTube

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