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‘Deal or No Deal Island’ Winner Jordan Fowler Didn’t Expect Howie Mandel to Be a ‘Sassy’ Banker (Exclusive)

Deal Or No Deal Island winner Jordan Fowler wasn’t expecting the banker to be a feisty version of Howie Mandel.

“Did I imagine my first encounter with Howie to be like that? Sassy? No, but he brought the fire,” Fowler, 29, exclusively told Us Weekly on Tuesday, May 14, following the Deal or No Deal Island finale. “So I’m like, ‘Alright, we’re going to level up then you don’t know who you’re messing with.’ So he started it, but I was surely going to finish it.”

Fowler proved herself to be the banker’s ultimate opponent in the season finale of the NBC competition series. After taking down power players like Boston Rob Mariano, Dr. Stephanie Mitchell and Amy McCoy, Fowler got to meet the banker face-to-face. Fowler told Us she was starstruck to see Mandel, the original host of Deal or No Deal, step out of the helicopter.

“So we had done excursion after excursion. I’m like, ‘Where is [Howie]?’ This feels like Deal or No Deal. But it’s missing that one thing,” she explained, noting she has watched the iconic game show with her family for decades. “And then [to] see your childhood idol that you’ve watched on TV in the flesh saying your name fists bumping you. It was absolutely surreal. It was so wild and I’m just grateful that he gave us the time of day.”

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When facing off against Mandel, 68, in the final game, he gave Fowler a tough time as she knocked off several high-value cases. Mandel offered Fowler a wide array of deals to take. Fowler’s first offer was $203,000 and after declining it, Mandel continued to up the ante before they settled on a record-breaking $1.23 million.

“It is so different to be standing up there looking at six, seven-digit numbers. That is cold, hard cash versus sitting on your couch eating popcorn,” Fowler recalled of how tempting the other offers were. “You’re watching someone you don’t know and you’re like, No deal. No deal. Go all the way to the end. This was real money. So to have these insane offers and to say no deal is unbelievable. Every offer was life-changing and then it just kept building on to the next one.”

Deal or No Deal Island Winner Jordan Fowler Didnt Expect Howie Mandel to Be a Sassy Banker
Howie Mandel and Jordan Fowler Monty Brinton/NBC

Throughout the season, Fowler shared that if she won she would use the prize money to start her family after suffering fertility struggles. After taking the deal, Fowler revealed that she and her husband are expecting their first baby.

While speaking with Us, Fowler shared that she’s received a strong support group from fellow women who have experienced the same obstacles.

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“I needed each thing in life to have a chapter and now that the show’s over, I need to plug into mom mode. And honestly, though, I feel like it’s mom mode plus this amazing group of women in this community and the people that have been messaging me that have PCOS or have experienced infertility challenges or have had a miscarriage,” she told Us. “This group is so powerful and I want us to all stay connected and give each other hope.”

Fowler and her husband have yet to find out the sex of their little one, but if it’s a boy, they’re not ruling out Howie or Joe — after host Joe Manganiello — as potential names.

Deal or No Deal Island is available to stream on Peacock.

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