Pat Sajak hosts this game show, where contestants guess letters in mystery words and phrases. They win prizes based on results of spinning a wheel and guessing correctly to solve the ... See full summary »
Updated version of the 1969-1974 NBC game show. Three contestants competed to answer trivia questions, with scoring in dollars. The game was interrupted at certain intervals for Instant ... See full summary »
Three contestants one a returning champion competed in this game of strategy. The game consisted of two rounds, each with two parts. In the first part of each round, host Tomarken read a toss-up question; the first to signal is given a chance to answer. That response, plus two other possible answers are then listed, with the other two contestant then given a chance to choose from the three listed answers. A correct answer earned the first contestant three spins and his/her opponents one spin each. Four such questions were played; the players used the spins to accumulate cash and prizes on an 18-space board. One contestant at a time is in control of the board; he/she stopped a randomly-flashing cursor by pressing his signal device (and usually the scream "STOP!"). The contestant wins whatever appears in the lit space a cash amount, a prize, perhaps an extra spin or other action space ... or it could be a Whammy, which caused the contestant to lose all he/she had accumulated in that ... Written by
Brian Rathjen <email@example.com>
One fan (an unemployed ice cream truck driver from Ohio, Michael Larson) noticed that the board wasn't random at all and actually followed predictable, repeating patterns. He became a contestant and took advantage of his knowledge to extend play of the game for almost twice as long as normal, winning $110,237. The shocked producers decided to broadcast this extended game as a two-part episode on Friday June 8, 1984 and concluding on Monday June 11, 1984, gathering more than twice the normal ratings for a typical episode. They also increased the number of distinct light patterns and varied their speed to prevent such a thing from happening again. See more »
[after a letter falls of a sign in front on the contestant lecturn]
Have we been renewed? This would never happen to Bob Barker.
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A game of strategy cleverly disguised as a slot machine
While many will snort "Chance! Nothing but chance!" when asked about the game show "Press Your Luck", the rules of the game turned the big board bonus round into a true exercise in strategy.
To refresh your memory, after the 3 contestants earned spins by answering 4 general knowledge questions, it was time to face the 18-square big board, with its changing prize values, score-zeroing Whammies and flying cursor. In motion, the big board was possibly one of the most hypnotic devices ever created for a game show. The contestants stopped the cursor on one of the squares by mashing an over-sized button (the same button used to buzz in and answer a question to earn 3 spins instead of answering it as a multiple-choice question for 1). It was also customary to chant "No Whammies. . .big bucks. . .no Whammies. . .big bucks" before shouting "STOP!" and hitting the button.
After the contestants earned a few thousand dollars in cash and prizes, strategy came into play. If you're in the lead, do you pass your spins and hope the second-place contender can be wiped off the board? If you're trailing, do you give your spins to the leader, hoping to topple his or her empire? The four-Whammies-and-you're-out rule forced one to make even shrewder decisions. Two players who had Whammied their scores to zero passed their spins to the only one with any prizes, and since she, too, had hit a Whammy, all three were eligible to return to play again.
It isn't until you've experienced the game yourself that the strategy angle really becomes apparent. Short of trying out for "WHAMMY: The All New Press Your Luck" on Game Show Network, you can download a remarkably accurate computer simulation of the original "Press Your Luck" at: