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Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal, Part 1/11

This is the story of Press Your Luck’s all-time biggest winner, Michael Larson. Michael was an unemployed ice cream truck driver from Ohio who had something planned to beat all the other Press Your Luck contestants and break the game show bank. Even the host of Press Your Luck, Peter Tomarken (as well as everyone else), wanted to know what kind of guy Michael is.

posted by in Game Shows and have Comments (25)

25 Responses to “Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal, Part 1/11”

  1. chadbryantnet says:

    @WSBT960 It was actually disclosed that several other contestants who appeared immediately after Larson’s episode taped had also figured out the original board pattern.

  2. TheSchoolWorld says:

    That’s the thin line between genius and insanity there.

  3. StukInBuf says:

    Probably lots of hard living did Mr. Larson in.

    Born in 1949… my mother in law was born then, too!

  4. WSBT960 says:

    CBS really blew it with the lack of board patterns, if Larsen hadn’t of been on, someone else would’ve broke the bank.

  5. AmaraKoreda says:

    Thumbs up if you first found about Michael Larson from ThisAmericanLife radio show

  6. kylas124 says:

    @wildcat3415 Yes thank you so much, very appreciated:]

  7. DorvellTStewart says:

    Well, he lost it all because he was not the brightest when it came to how it should be handled.

  8. ihavesexforhappymeal says:

    He was born in 1949 but had full gray hair and beard when he was 35?

  9. BloodyCarrie says:

    Awesome of him to figure out the board. My hearts breaks for him that he lost it all.

  10. lowgeemudbone says:

    wow i remenber this when it happened .this guy was super smart and deserved that loot!

  11. ddorsz says:

    from wikipedia: Although CBS investigated Larson, they determined that figuring out the patterns was not cheating and let him keep his winnings. The board was reprogrammed for more (and more complicated) patterns to prevent another player from being able to memorize the board like Larson had

  12. braves4life25 says:

    he should have been aloud to keep the money… its their own fault for only having a limited amount of patterens.. hes not a cheater but a genious!!!

  13. markdoublea84 says:

    It was no problem. I hope one day it will come out on DVD.

  14. wildcat3415 says:

    Thanks for the upload! GSN wont show this anymore

  15. TheUndertakerfan2002 says:

    I have this PYL Scandal on VHS tape

    I like to call it “The Michael Larson Saga” because of the way he won all that money and those prizes (trips)

    If you guys have an iPod they have the talk about Michael Larson and how he Whammied the Whammy on iTunes

  16. Krystle2007 says:

    Aww, I love MJ at 0:53 ! Also, Peter Tomarken was my favorite gameshow host. RIP Angels!

  17. MrBennetzen says:

    They taped it on May 19th, 1984. It actually aired on June 8th and June 11th, 1984.

  18. Josefin7 says:

    May 19, 1984 fell on a Saturday. It’s Actually aired on May 18, 1984.

  19. SurgingChaos19 says:

    I definately agree with you. Michael Larson definately is a game show legend in my eyes.

  20. alexbluegrass says:

    Michael Larson’s the man! One of my heroes. I’m so glad he won all that money! He deserved it. Even though he momorized the whammy board. No rule that I’ve ever seen is against that! Way to go Michael!!!!!

  21. MrBennetzen says:

    I remember this one closely. My entire family watched this special. Everybody was watching it like it was a big deal.

  22. tbagriot says:


    Four years =)

  23. zentaaki says:

    My bad

  24. StoneCold448 says:

    Nope, he’s right.

    Year 1: 1983
    Year 2: 1984
    Year 3: 1985
    Year 4: 1986

  25. zentaaki says:

    Anyone else notice at 1:10 he says:

    “During it’s 4 year run from 1983 to 1986″

    Something seems amiss there…

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