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If Henryettans thought they saw a familiar face on the revived NBC game show, “Deal or No Deal,” Monday night they were correct.
Carrying silver briefcase number 5 was Lani Baker, the daughter of James and Tara Baker.
The show premier was the latest in a series of accomplishments for the young model that has included appearing on national advertising promotions including Chick-Fil-A, Pantene and fashion lines for Target and others.
She started modeling in Tulsa when she was 13 then signed with another agency in Dallas, Texas. From there, she has stayed busy, especially after moving to Los Angeles.
The career has taken her as far away as Peru and Mexico.
This summer was when she got her break for the television appearance.
“I got a request from my agency and went to the auditions,” Lani said in a phone interview this past week.
She said there were several callbacks before she was included to be among the 26 young women carrying the cases for the show.
lani and 5Once selected, she went Orlando, Florida for the five weeks of video production.
“The show was so fun,” she said. I was nervous about being on it but I became best friends with all the girls. It was kind of like being in a sorority.”
The day’s production started with the girls going through the hair and makeup routines, a process that Lani said would take quite a bit of time.
From there it was time to get on the show. “We would do one episode before lunch then two episodes after lunch.”
Under the premise of the show, a contestant is trying to pick a case containing $1 million. Along the way, other cases with amounts ranging from $one cent to the $1 million are selected and that model leaves the set.
“If we were selected early, we would go back stage and hang out and play cards,” Lani said. As the cases were pared down, the models remained standing on the set. “Your feet are killing you if you aren’t selected,early,” she recalled.
Lani worked with show’s host Howie Mandel and was one of the five girls appearing on the Today Show promoting the series return.
She said the show was fun to be a part of because the models get involved in the excitement of who will win the big money. “The emotion that arises as the cases are removed is what makes the show so much fun to watch,” she added.
As excited as she was to be on the show, Lani said her parents were even more thrilled. “Grandma Baker and mom came to Orlando to watch the show from the audience. They bragged to everyone.”
Once the shoot was over, the willowy Henryetta native, who once reigned as Miss Labor Day, returned to California and kept on making a name for herself.
That doesn’t mean her life has been free of drama.
On Nov. 7, she and a roommate went out to enjoy an evening of dancing in Thousand Oaks.
They stopped at their favorite place, the Borderline bar and grill. After an hour of fun, she heard the first gunshot ring out.lani girls
After escaping through the kitchen and onto a loading dock, she and her friend got away from the place where 12 people died.
Even though she was part of the tragedy, Lani said she is not going to let that affect her.
She has combined work with family and treasures the time she can spend with them, a togetherness that has been combined with a Christian upbringing and Oklahoma country pride.

About the show:
“Deal or No Deal” is back…with new twists and turns! Premiering almost 10 years after the hit show ended its meteoric run, the all-new “Deal or No Deal” returns Wednesday, December 5th with back-to-back new episodes at 8pm and 9pm ET on CNBC.
Host and executive producer Howie Mandel delivers more high-pressure games of risk and reward. Contestants make high-stakes decisions to take or reject offers of life-changing money from 26 sealed briefcases full of varying amounts of cash – ranging from a penny to $1 million. The mysterious woman known only as "the Banker,” plays the odds in an attempt to buy back each contestant’s case for the lowest amount. It’s a nail biting process for player and their supporters…now with the added ability to Counter-Offer any Banker Deal once in a game!
Beginning December 19, new episodes of “Deal or No Deal” will air Wednesdays at 9pm ET/PT.