Press Your Luck

Press Your Luck Game Show

Press Your Luck, which was the second iteration of another game show called Second Chance, first aired on CBS in 1983.  It ran for a total of three seasons, 758 episodes, was hosted by Peter Tomarken, and at the time gave away the most money than any other show.  The game was known for the "whammy", a little red cartoon character that would take the contestant's money if they landed on the wrong space.  This is also the show that was "figured out" by a guy named Mike Larson in 1984.  Mike Larson learned the patterns of the game board and knew exactly when to stop the selector so as to avoid the whammy and earn a prize.  By the time he was done, he had won over $100k.

In Press Your Luck, three contestants played against each other, with one typically being a returning champ.  The game would start with the host asking the contestants trivia questions.  Answering correctly would earn the player spins.  After four questions, the rounds would begin.  In the Big Board round, contestants would use their spins to win money or other prizes by stopping their spin, hopefully on a prize square.  The contestant with the most money at the end of the game was the winner, and was allowed to come back for a total of 5 games (or $25k).