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This is the most important lesson Luis Green learned from winning $5 on 'Deal or No Deal'

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This 28-year-old won just $5 on 'Deal or No Deal' but he still feels rich

When Luis Green, a 28-year-old from Jacksonville, Florida, walked onto the "Deal or No Deal" stage to compete for as much as $1 million, he didn't expect to walk away having won only $5.

But he did. And he's learned a valuable lesson as a result.

"You've got to tell yourself that it's going to be OK," he tells CNBC Make It, "and, as shattering as it feels, you go back to the mentality [of] how happy you were and … how fun the entire process was." While there are times when, he says, "I feel like I should have taken the deal," he adds, "I try not to live in that space."

He has perspective, too, which helps.

'What really matters in life'

As a child, he lived in almost a dozen different foster homes before he and his younger brother were adopted by their third-grade teacher. "Changing houses every other month, trying to find a new family that loves you and wants to take you in — you try to put on your best face. You try to look like, 'I'm the perfect candidate for you to adopt,'" he says.

"It's like your life is an entire interview and … the most difficult thing in the world is interviewing for somebody to love and take care of you. That happening every other month definitely changes the mentality of what really matters, what's really important in life."

For him, what's really important is family.

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Obviously, winning six figures would have been ideal, Green says, but "at the end of the day, richness doesn't come from the amount of money you take home." It comes from spending time with the people you love.

He and his family went onto the show with "a mentality that even if we left with a penny," it wouldn't "change how we feel about being happy or about being alive." After all, he adds, "we have each other."

Keep your cool

Aside from focusing on family, Green has another piece of advice for contestants of the show: "Be yourself. Don't be afraid to be goofy" and "don't care what everybody's going to think."

Have fun, and try not to be overwhelmed by the moment.

That's advice co-signed by Kristen "Tex" Iniguez, a cheerleader-turned-paralegal from California, won $500 on the show early this year; Artis Jackson, who got the chance to redeem his mom after she won only $5 on the show's premiere in 2006; and Tony Oriente, a bingo enthusiast and substitute teacher, who recently won a total of $70.

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"Be yourself and share your experience with the audience," Oriente tells CNBC Make It. But when you get that "gut-wrenching feeling of 'I just cannot go on anymore,' don't."

That's when you know "it's time to take the deal!"

Host and executive producer Howie Mandel agrees. In fact, he says he'd be one of the show's "worst contestants ever" because he doesn't like to gamble with money: "In my mind, if I showed up … and somebody said, 'The banker is offering you $15,000.' Deal. You're handing me $15,000!" he tells CNBC Make It. "There's a chance I could tank on the next couple of openings, there's a chance I'll never see the million dollars."

So, even if you, like Green, are prone to taking risks, money experts and Mandel suggest you "only gamble with money that you are OK with losing," whether on a game show or otherwise.

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Don't miss: How a 'Deal or No Deal' contestant who won $500 plans to turn that into a lot more—and then give it away

Video by Helen Zhao

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Howie Mandel: I'd be one of the worst 'Deal or No Deal' contestants ever
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