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

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Canadian-born Hall co-created "Let's Make a Deal" in 1963 and hosted it for more than 20 years. That prize might be worth thousands of dollars or might be a "zonk" like a farm animal.

McNeil wrote: "Monty kept the show moving while he treated the outrageously garbed and occasionally greedy contestants courteously; it is hard to imagine anyone else but Hall working the trading area as smoothly".

Hall was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on August 25, 1921, as Monte Halperin. Audience members jumped up and down, shouted, cried and kissed Hall when they won, and sometimes even when they lost.

The family of Monty Hall estimates that the entertainer raised almost a billion dollars over the years for various charities. He loved the game, and he loved the people who dressed in zany costumes and won prizes.

The show's producers showed mercy on the "zonk" winners, however.

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"In 1 percent of the cases, they didn't", Hall said.

It was a show dedicated to the idea that everyday folk - people like you and me! - would gleefully make themselves look foolish for a chance at a big cash prize. It was revived in 2009 with Wayne Brady as host.

In fact, the term "Come on down" was given new meaning thanks to Hall. The conundrum was featured in the 2008 film "21" with Kevin Spacey. In 1942, Hall was doing manual labor at the time when a wealthy stranger offered to pay for his college education on condition that he repaid the money, got top grades, kept his benefactor's name anonymous and agreed to help someone else.

He is survived by his two daughters Sharon Hall, Joanna Gleason and son Richard who have made their own mark in the entertainment industry. He lost his wife, Marilyn, this past June.

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