On tonight’s newest episode of Deal or No Deal, hosted by Howie Mandel, Tony Oriente is the lucky contestant with a shot at up to one million dollars. The synopsis for the episode, entitled “Bingo to a Million,” reads “Former bingo caller Tony Oriente uses his very own bingo ball numbers to choose the Cases; Howie and the models give Tony a surprise that has him swooning, but it will either be Tony or The Banker who calls bingo for the million-dollar win.”
After Mandel invites Tony Oriente down from the audience onto the stage, Oriente reveals that Deal or No Deal is his favorite game show. Addressing the bingo cage roller on the table where Oriente’s chosen briefcase should be, he says “My favorite pastime is playing bingo. For many years, I was a bingo caller… so, for fun, can I pick my cases with this?” Putting his own spin on the Deal or No Deal game format, Oriente decided he would leave his fate up to the bingo calling he has so much experience with.
When Mandel asks Tony to tell him about himself, he says “I’m from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, originally. Right now I live in the suburbs of Philadelphia with my husband of four years, Dewey Oriente, the love of my life. And we have three wonderful children… we have Miss Sugar, who is a beautiful ragdoll cat, and we have Coconut and Monroe who are 15-year old Bichons, and I know that they’re all watching – hi!” He continues, saying “Now that I’ve turned 50, right now I am back in school. I decided to get my degree in elementary education.” Howie tells Oriente he is one of the “most loveable people I’ve ever met.”
Though Oriente brought along the bingo cage to help him choose his cases, he does not use it to pick the case he believes is holding the one million dollar prize. Instead, he says that he is choosing one of the favorite lucky numbers of a woman, Jane, who he met and befriended at the bingo hall: 24.
The first 6 cases Tony opened with the help of his bingo calling skills were for the amounts of $75,000, $10, $200,000, $1,000, $200, and $750. The Banker’s first offer for Tony is $30,000, which he turns down. A promo clip from Tony’s episode reveals that, later in the game, when only 11 unopened cases remain, Tony still has 4 top prize amounts in play, including the one million dollars.
According to IMDB, Tony is also an actor and writer, and he is credited as playing “Papal Nuncio” in the TV documentary Pope: The Most Powerful Man in History and writing “The Comic Energy Process.” What’s more, Deal or No Deal is not his first TV game show; he was a contestant on The Price Is Right in 2016. His bio on the website says that he and Dewey were married on July 19, 2014.
Tune in to Deal or No Deal on CNBC, Wednesday nights at 9/8c.