Before I begin I want to apologize for anyone who thinks this blog is utterly ridiculous. But you see, sometimes when you look back at your own personal experiences there are those few special moments that stick out for you. For me the following was one of the most exciting and fun evenings I had in college.
It was a Monday in the Spring of 2008. As I left my last class at around 630 I prepared for what had become my usual Monday night routine. I made my way to Golan Heights, the disgustingly dirty yet amazingly delicious restaurant near Yeshiva. I ordered the classic Schwarma Lafa with Chumus and Chips and proceeded to make my way to Apartment #3G. It was here that three of my best friends, Max Klein, Ari Schwartz and Daniel Tennenbaum lived. You see, I had been living in the dorms at the time and without a TV I quickly began utilizing my friends who lived in the apartments. It had become tradition at this point that me and my friends would get together every Monday night and watch our slew of shows as well as any Ranger game that may be on at the time. We had the evenings down to a science and even calculated the exact times that the periods of the Ranger game would typically start and end. We were even able to squeeze a game of NHL on Xbox in between the periods. Our Monday nights usually consisted of DVRing our favorite shows and spending the night ripping on each other while enjoying the best that TV had to offer. Theses nights usually consisted of watching Chuck, Heroes and perhaps an episode of How I Met Your Mother. I have to say I never thought I would so much look forward to the weekend ending and Monday night coming.
But all those fun and entertaining nights are quite mediocre in comparison to that magical Monday night at the end of April. You see on this night the people in that apartment witnessed, in our minds, the greatest and most exciting moment in TV history. After an exciting episode of Heroes, those of us in that apartment were introduced to the “Deal Wheel” or as we now call it, “The Wheel of Greatness”. As our show ended we began flipping through the channels to perhaps see if there was anything else to watch when we came across Deal Or No Deal. Now we had all see this show before but there was something new to the show, “The Deal Wheel”. Essentially, the Deal Wheel is a large wheel that doubles, triples or halves a contestant’s winnings. Once a contestant has made his deal, he/she would drop a ball down a huge ramp, looking much like a Plinko board, before it hits the wheel, essentially a roulette wheel. The spaces alternate “1/2″ or “x2″. Five of the “x2″ spaces are “x3″, meaning your money is tripled. You only risk half of your money to potentially triple it, or at least double it in a 50/50 chance. What is different in this game from an average Plinko board is that the wheel continues to spin even after the ball has settled in a slot, thus thrusting the ball in and out slots as the contestant loses their mind.
Now let me introduce you to Efren Afante. Efren, born in Oklahoma City in 1969 was a contestant on the show. We turned to the show and this is what we saw happen to Efren.
With three cases left, Efren still had the million and the 750K cases in play. He then turned down the bankers offer of $493K and proceeded to open the million dollar case next. With the banker in control the offer dropped by almost half to $296K. Efren accepted the offer and took that fateful walk to the “Wheel of Greatness”. As Efron dropped the ball the world stood still and with the crowd roaring the ball dropped hitting the pegs along the way until it dropped right into the 3X slot. But then with the Wheel turning it fell out in the ½ spot, then the 2X spot, then the 3X, then the ½, then the 3X, then the ½, then the 2X before finally tipping out the last second and falling into the ½ spot.
With every turn of the wheel the room exploded in excitement and anticipation. The roller coaster of emotions watching that ball move from slot to slot was a sight to be seen. While those of you reading this who were not there, you may think we are crazy but to those of us in that apartment, that night, this was the most exciting moment in TV history.