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Boston Rob Mariano Says Joe Manganiello Told Him His ‘Deal or No Deal Island’ Case Was the Highest (Exclusive)

Boston Rob Mariano’s Deal or No Deal Island journey may have turned out differently if he wasn’t the last one out of the maze.

“I didn’t actually get to open my case at the end, but Joe Manganiello and I have become good friends since the show,” Mariano, 48, exclusively told Us Weekly on Tuesday, May 14, following the Deal or No Deal Island season finale. “And he told me that he did look in the case and I actually had the high amount.”

Mariano came in fourth place in the competition series finale on Monday, May 13. He, Amy McCoy, Jordan Fowler and Dr. Stephanie Mitchell entered a maze to retrieve cases with an undisclosed amount of money. Manganiello, 47, informed the group that whoever was the last one back would be automatically eliminated and the person with the lowest amount would also go home.

“So had I beat [Amy] back, I would’ve been able to stay in the game,” he told Us.

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McCoy, 42, and Mariano were the last two fighting for a spot while racing in the maze. McCoy was the first one in the maze since she was able to solve the puzzle quickly. However, she got turned around when trying to find her way out and was overtaken by Fowler, 29, and Mitchell, 41. Mariano was the last one to enter the maze after he earned a penalty for looking over at McCoy’s puzzle.

“When Joe said, ‘Stop,’ immediately I knew, ‘Oh no, I wasn’t supposed to do that.’ So then they decided what the penalty was going to be,” he explained. “The penalty was actually from the time that Amy had entered the maze until the time the next person was going to enter the maze would be added on. So they said it was three minutes. I don’t know if it was exactly, it might’ve been more felt like it was more standing there.”

Boston Rob Mariano Says Joe Manganiello Told Him His Deal or No Deal Island Case Was the Highest
Boston Rob Mariano, Joe Manganiello David Livingston;Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images(2)

While Mariano dealt with the punishment, it appeared that he had caught up to McCoy. However, the Survivor alum shared that the foot race between him and McCoy “wasn’t as close” as the show made it look.

“I think I was just unlocking my case when I heard them celebrating,” Mariano told Us. “So she had already got back just after I had retrieved my case and I was making my way starting back over the hurdles so it wasn’t as close as they made it look, but that’s good TV editing.”

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After Mariano was sent home, the women opened their cases. Mitchell had the case with the lowest dollar amount and was eliminated. After learning that the final challenge was a tightrope walking faceoff, Mariano was devastated knowing he would have performed well.

“I have a good sense of balance from playing hockey my whole life. So watching that unfold Monday night was definitely a little disheartening,” he said. “I feel like I could have crushed that last challenge.”

With Mariano’s defeat, came a win for Fowler. She beat McCoy in the challenge and faced off against the mysterious banker who was revealed to be former Deal or No Deal host Howie Mandel. After losing several high-value cases, she ended up making a deal with Mandel and took home $1.23 million.

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