Friday, May 03, 2013

Monty Hall's Best Deal

From the Jewish Journal

For over 30 years, starting in the early 1960s, Monty Hall hosted "Let's Make a Deal," one of the most popular game shows in television history. He was not only the show's impresario, he created and produced it, and today, at 91, he is still involved with its creative evolution.

But while Hall has fond memories of the thousands of "deals" he made on his show, when I met him for lunch the other day at the Hillcrest Country Club, he had other deals in mind.

In particular, he told me about a deal he made more than 75 years ago with a Jewish man named Max Freed.

Hall had dropped out of college after his first year because he couldn't afford to continue. He was living with his family in Winnipeg, a city of long winters in western Canada that attracted many Jews from Ukraine. The Hall clan spent many years struggling financially and living in close quarters.

Max Freed, on the other hand, was anything but struggling. He was a 29-year-old playboy with a thriving clothing company who wore fancy suits and had a reputation around town for living the good life.

One fateful day, Freed bumped into Hall's father, a kosher butcher, and asked him: "Was that your boy I saw yesterday washing the floors of a warehouse?" The father responded that yes, that was his son.

"Well," Freed said, "tell him to come by my office tomorrow."

When Hall showed up the next day, Freed made him an offer. If Hall returned to college, Freed would pay for all his schooling expenses, but with three conditions.

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David Suissa is President of Tribe Media Corp and Jewish Journal. He can be reached at

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