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Watson Leaves Deal or No Deal with $9,000

February 21, 2011

Burbank, CA—In a highly anticipated follow-up to his appearance on Jeopardy, Watson, IBM’s latest supercomputer, went head-to-head with the enigmatic Banker from NBC’s Deal or No Deal Thursday. In contrast with his dominance over his opponents on Jeopardy, however, Watson left DOND with a disappointing $9,000.

“He was a great competitor,” DOND host Howie Mandel said of Watson, “and played a very gutsy game.”

After a strong start where he managed to keep the entire left side of the board in play, Watson began to falter.

Watson turned down a substantial offer of $367,000 from the Banker, eliciting gasps side by side with hooting and fist-pumps from the studio audience. “I didn’t come all the way down here to walk away with small money,” Watson told Mandel, “no deal!”

Watson then proceeded to open the $75,000, $500,000, and $200,000 cases, prompting one of his supporters, IBM’s Deep Blue, to observe that Watson, “still had the $1,000,000 case up there—no deal! No deal!” which elicited raucous cheers—along with some befuddled head shakes—from the studio audience.

Deep Blue’s sentiments were echoed by a rack of Blade servers hosting IBM’s SPSS predictive analytics software platform: “You’ve been through so much to get here, you deserve this—that Banker’s got nothing on you!”

Watson, visibly buoyed by his supporter’s words and the cheers of the crowd, rejected the Banker’s eventual offer of $175,000, subsequently opening the $1,000,000 and $750,000 cases to the stunned groans of the studio audience. The Banker then offered him $95,000 in response. But before his supporters or Mandel could even say a word, Watson responded, “I’ve come too far to stop now. No deal!”

As the cheers of the crowd died down, Watson opened the $100,000 case, prompting the Banker’s offer of $9,000. After a few moments of silent consideration, Watson accepted the offer to the subdued clapping and shoulder shrugging of the studio audience.

As Watson’s supporters and friends crowded around, Mandel opened Watson’s case, revealing $50,000 inside.

“It looks like you made a bad deal, Watson. But I want to thank you for playing such a great game—you were a real competitor,” Mandel observed.

IBM has yet to release an official statement on Watson’s DOND performance, but so far the technology giant has not cancelled Watson’s scheduled appearances on Card Sharks and Tattletales next month.

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