Big money

| February 01, 2007

The Deal or No Deal audience rooted for Sollena every time he had to make the now-famous decision: take the money or try for more. The “bank,” an all-powerful man upstairs shown only in silhouette, calls Mandel and offers the contestant large sums of money if he will do one thing: take it and end his turn on Deal or No Deal. When the bank offered Sollena $675,000, his wife was beside herself.

“I was overwhelmed with joy, but I was mad at my wife,” Sollena says. “She was screaming, ‘Take the money!’ and after I took it, we found out that my case had $3 million in it. She was about to have a nervous breakdown.”

Sollena’s daughter Alexandra, 16, also wanted her mom to relax a little.

“I was thinking ‘no deal’ the whole time,” Alexandra says. “I wanted my mom to be quiet, and I tried to scream over her, ‘No deal!’ It was intense.”

Sollena decided to take the deal.

“It was a lot of money for me,” Sollena says.

But what has changed about Sollena’s life since he won big on Deal or No Deal?

“I’m just a little more popular,” Sollena says. “All the big-money guys who never said hello to me now all pat me on the back and say hello. It’s nice; I’m kinda liking it.”

Sollena is still a member of the Teamsters union and drives for Superior Ink. He plans to keep trucking for seven more years, then retire. But a long, hard-earned vacation is in the works for the Sollena family, perhaps somewhere near a cannoli bakery in Italy.

For more information about Deal or No Deal, or to apply to be on the show, log on to the NBC website.
–Rachel Telehany


Carbon-Free Hauling
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