Second-chance contestant comes home with $10,000

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By Janet Robb

TELL CITY - Howie Mandel didn't have to utter the words "deal or no deal" for Stormy Huff to come home with $10,000.

The Tell City resident wasn't a game-playing contestant but won his prize while seeing if he would be while in Hollywood the week of April 14.

He and four other Hoosiers earned the opportunity for the trip thanks to the Hoosier Lottery's second chance drawing of "Deal or No Deal" scratch-off tickets.

When Huff arrived with his mom, sister and son, he said the first day was filled with paperwork but that night he and the other contestants got to meet each other during a pool party.

The whole hotel was closed down just for "Deal or No Deal" contestants, he added. Tuesday they took a tour of Paramount Studios and saw different sets including ones for other game shows like "Wheel of Fortune." "But there were a lot of things they couldn't tell us about other sets," Huff continued, because they were for upcoming movies, games or TV shows.

Before taping the show Wednesday, the second-chance winners were divided into groups, Huff said Thursday while in California. Then, each group picked briefcases with monetary amounts ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 with one prize having "contestant" written on it, meaning that person would play the game. On the NBC program, contestants pick one of 26 cases, which hold varying amounts of money. Then, the contestant eliminates cases with interruptions from the "banker" who presents offers depending on the amount of money knocked out. The player can then take the deal or move on to see if his or her case holds a larger amount.

He was the last to draw, he said, and drew out a $10,000 prize. "Coming from a small town I was kind of nervous," Huff said.

The second-chance winners from the 22 participating state lotteries even met with the host, Mandel and the briefcase wielding models. "They were all really nice," Huff said.

Even though he wasn't able to try for $1 million, he said he had a great time and he was happy with his winning. "I figured with my luck I'd get the $5,000," he said.