It was television's most competitive game show from 1983-1986 on CBS daytime. Contestants answered questions to earn spins. The contestant who buzzed in with the correct answer earned three spins, and a correct multiple choice answer was worth one spin. After four questions, contestants would face the big board with prizes, surprizes, and some whammies. Contestant wanted to avoid stopping the board on the whammy because, if landed on, it would pop up and take away all the cash and prizes they earned.

The contestant with the least amount of spins earned in round one played first. The contestant with the least amount of money going into the second round played first, giving the contestant with the most money the strategic advantage. If a contestant landed on a total of four whammies, they would be out of the game. There were prizes, cash, cash and extra spins, and trips on the board that contestants had a chance to win. Contestants could also pass their spins to another player and he or she would have to use all of the spins. If a contestant hit a whammy while playing with the passed spins, the passed spins would automatically go into the earn column and the contestant can then decide what to do with the spins.

The "N"-famous Press Your Luck clip from June 11, 1986!

The contestant who earned the most money at the end of the game was the winner and came back on the next show if they did not exceed the $25,000 limit (the limit changed to $50,000 in the fall of 1984). In June 1984, a contestant named Michael Larson exceeded the $25,000 limit in one amazing episode, when he won $110,237! The most money ever won on daytime TV. The show ran successfully in reruns on the USA network from 1988-1994. After a 7 year hiatus, reruns of Press Your Luck began airing on Game Show Network on September 01, 2001, and they continue to air today on GSN.

Memorable Moments

Clips from the Press Your Luck pilot! Note the original logo design and a different version of the theme music. The clip features Jack Campion, who has appeared in numerous game show pilots including Jeopardy! and Card Sharks, and Maggie Brown, who eventually became a contestant on Press Your Luck.
From the pilot to the first episode on September 19, 1983. The clip includes the opening and a few whammies!
The "Sylvester Incident" that resulted in a special phone call at the end of the show.
The infamous Michael Larson figured out the "randomized" spinning pattern and won the most money in daytime game show history!
An epic "Spin Battle" that leads to one of the biggest whammies in Press Your Luck history!


Peter Tomarken

Rod Roddy
John Harlan (Sub)
Charlie O'Donnell (Sub)

September 19, 1983
Finale :
September 26, 1986
(757 Episodes)