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Posted at 9:19 a.m., Thursday, January 10, 2008

Maui man lands $260,000 'deal' in TV game show

By KEHAULANI CERIZO
The Maui News

WAIKAPU — Waikapu resident Brad Falcon saw his win on NBC's "Deal or No Deal" on Wednesday night as a way to broadcast the aloha spirit for the nation to see.

And earning $260,000 wasn't too shabby, either.

Falcon, a 37-year-old home remodeler, was the first person from Hawaii to land a spot on the popular NBC game show hosted by Howie Mandel. The game tests the nerve of contestants faced with choices of dollar amounts hidden in briefcases or offers to settle before all the briefcases are opened.

With his emotional highs and lows on display for a national television audience, Falcon ended by choosing a deal of $260,000.

Throwing shaka signs and sending Maui shout outs especially those aimed at his family Falcon had the Los Angeles crowd laughing much of the time as he hammed it up onstage.

"I really felt like bringing Hawaii to L.A. is important for everyone to see the aloha, the hugs," Falcon told The Maui News. "And I'm getting to bring my friends, my community with me (in representing the islands)."

Meanwhile, a group of about 40 friends and family members watched Falcon's experience on a projector at his Waikapu Gardens home block party Wednesday from 7 to 8 p.m.

"If you know him for even five minutes, you can tell he's really amazing," said his former co-worker Yukio Kina of Pukalani during the start of the show. "Regardless of what he walks away with, he's definitely going to be grateful."

Falcon's sister, Tisha Lehfeldt of Oahu, who cheered him on the sidelines of the show during its taping in Los Angeles in November, said Falcon had a passion to represent Hawaii when he learned of making the cut to appear on the program. The show's involved application process includes a 15-page application, among other tasks.

"He wanted to give God and Maui the props they deserve," said Lehfeldt. "He wanted to represent Maui well."

Lehfeldt was a big factor in Falcon's application, the siblings said. She pushed him to "get off the couch and do something."

"He's a great picture of someone who keeps on keeping on," she said.

Falcon said the game show is appealing because "it doesn't involve questions." He had watched it before and wanted to try out to help his mother, Donna Swayne.

He said his mom works all day long on Oahu to come home to take care of his father, Roger, who needs to use a wheelchair.

Falcon said he will use the money to help his parents pay off bills.

"My main purpose was to allow my mom and dad to work less," said Falcon. "I want my mom to enjoy her life and my dad to enjoy his as well."

He also said he may take a family vacation with his wife, Shirley, and their three children, and use some of the money to start a Hawaii nonprofit that would help deserving families remodel their homes.

"The game doesn't stop here," he said. "You'll see that the dream stays alive."

For more Maui news, visit The Maui News.