Deal or No Deal winner bags £250k - but keeps secret for SEVEN months
She bought holidays, a Man United shirt signed by Wayne Rooney and a car
and live on Freeview channel 276
Imagine winning £250,000 and then not being able to tell anyone. Well, that’s what happened to 32-year-old Tegen Roberts who won the huge cash amount on Deal or No Deal in Bristol back in 2011.
Tegen Roberts, 32, put herself forward to take part in the hit TV series in Bristol for two years - between 2008 and 2010 - before she finally got the call to audition in Bristol in August 2010. The process included team-building games in groups as well as answering questions about herself on camera.
In February 2011, she “couldn’t believe it” when she received an invitation to take part in the show. And at the end of the game, Tegen was left with two boxes to choose from - knowing one had £20k and the other £250k.
She took a punt and came away with the jackpot - which she spent on holidays, a car and a Man United shirt, signed by Wayne Rooney - but she couldn’t tell anyone she won the amount for seven months until the episode was aired.
Tegen, a speech and language therapist, from Liskeard, Cornwall, said: “I had a great experience on the show, and that’s enough for me. The £250k was just a really happy bonus.
“I was ridiculously lucky, and I thought to myself at the time ‘what will be will be.’ By the end of the show, the two boxes left were £20k and £250k - so I knew I’d be coming away with at least some money.
“Then, of course, I opened up the £250k box. I’ve never screamed so much. It was absolutely amazing news.”
Tegen spent two weeks in a hotel with four other contestants from her episode. She says they “really bonded” - going out for dinner together, as well as spending full days in the studio.
She said: “People always used to say the contestants seem really close - and that’s because we were. We became really good friends in those two weeks.”
The prize money wasn’t released into her bank account until a month later. Due to her episode not being aired until the end of the year, Tegen wasn’t actually allowed to tell anyone.
“People did start questioning why I was suddenly driving around in an Audi Convertible - so it was really hard not to say anything,” she added.
Tegen was undergoing treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the time, which she’d been diagnosed with on April 1, 2010. She offered to pay for her treatment - but was told the best option for her would to receive it on the NHS, at Derriford Hospital.
Tegan was too ill to work while studying for her degree in English at Plymouth Marjon University - and branded the £250k she won “lifesaving”.
At the age of 21, she was able to purchase her first “bog standard” house in Liskeard, Cornwall. Tegen also travelled around Europe and continues to do so with the money she has left - flying to Spain, Greece, Italy, France and Croatia.
She has been in remission from cancer for 10 years, and now works as a speech and language therapist. The new series of Deal or No Deal is set to start at an unconfirmed date later in 2023 - and Tegen thinks lots of people should apply.
She said: “It’s going to be so nice to have new people on it, it’ll be an amazing experience for them. I really do wish I could go back and do it all over again.”