If time is money, the people waiting downtown Wednesday didn't get it.
Hundreds stood in line or sat or crouched for hours, skipping work and cutting classes for the opportunity to appear on NBC's "Deal or No Deal," a game show that could make an instant millionaire out of one of them.
The best part: It's a game of chance, so you don't even have to be smart to win big.
Talk about easy money.
Maureen Kelly, an N.C. State statistics major, is happy to.
"You're guaranteed to make a lot of money as long as you don't get greedy," she said.
The first person in line staked out his place before daybreak. But Kelly, 24, and two friends, both 26, arrived two hours before the 4 p.m. auditions.
They brought water, cereal bars and trashy books to pass the time. Kelly's friend, Amy Ward, painted her toenails a shade called Plum Pudding to match her red sandals and sought inspiration from socialite Nicole Richie's novel, "The Truth About Diamonds." Next to her, Jessica Pierson skimmed "Confessions of a Video Vixen."
"They're both on The New York Times best-seller list," Ward explained.
"Deal or No Deal" airs every night this week through Friday.
For future episodes, casting associate Jodi Thomas is banking on finding an unspecified number of contestants from Raleigh.
"We want someone from out here because we know you guys have awesome personalities," she said.
Staff writer Bonnie Rochman can be reached at 829-4871 or firstname.lastname@example.org.