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The Man Who Got No Whammies

The Man Who Got No Whammies

n May 19, 1984, before a live studio audience for the game show Press Your Luck, a squirrely-looking, gray-bearded 35-year-old named Michael Larson leapt from behind his podium and squealed with joy.

For the contestant, the show’s catchphrase, “Big bucks, big bucks, no Whammies!”, had just come to fruition: in an era where no single contestant ever won more than $40,000 — not even those competing on ever-popular The Price In Right, or Wheel of Fortune — Larson had earned $110,237 ($253,000 in 2015 dollars).

And in achieving this, he’d overcome insurmountable odds...or had he?

While CBS executives in the control looked on in horror and disbelief, Larson harbored a secret: he’d cracked the code of Press Your Luck. For months, he’d studied the show’s game board, which lit up squares in a supposedly “random” sequence, and found that, in actually, it was repeating the same 5 patterns over and over again.

The Man Who Got No Whammies

The Man Who Got No Whammies


Stashed in: Stories, So you're saying there's a chance..., 1980s, Price Is Right!, Freakonomics, Clever, Jeopardy

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I watched this last night too. 

It's astounding how clever he was. No one else was that clever. 

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