Double Whammy: The Press Your Luck Scandal by Tom Keiser

Growing up, Press Your Luck was my all-time favorite game show. It had everything, and I mean everything, including:

  • Questions so easy even my seven year old self could reasonably answer them.

  • An affable host in the late, great Peter Tomarken, whose pastel seersucker suit alone is worth watching this special for.

  • Announcer Rod Roddy, transitioning from his relatively low key delivery from SOAP to his The Price Is Right-style flamboyance.

  • An animated imp, known as “The Whammy”, who not only screwed you out of your money but did it in the most 80’s ways possible.

  • A garish, enormous set, one of the masterworks of the Jeopardy! and Wheel Of Fortune set designer, Ed Flesh.

  • The big-ass board that took up most of the set and half of the screen time.

  • The flaw, that two of the big board’s eighteen panels never had a Whammy.

  • The moment in 1984, when Michael Larson, an unemployed ice cream truck driver from Ohio, exploited said weakness and won $110,237, which in those days was a hell of a lot of money.

Almost twenty years later, Tomarken, producer Bill Carruthers, and those associated with Press Your Luck and Larson revisited this infamous moment in television history, on the Game Show Network special Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal.


  1. junw1976 reblogged this from networkawesome
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  3. rad-socks reblogged this from networkawesome and added:
    I watched the special every time it came on when I was younger. I was so incredibly obsessed with the Press Your Luck...
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  8. attackofthekillerderk reblogged this from kindlesong-archive and added:
    One of my favourite pieces of game show lore.
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