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Welcome to the beginning. This is the 1983 section of the Press Your Luck episode guide.

NOTE: No episodes aired on November 24 (Thanksgiving) & November 25 (Black Friday) due to special Thanksgiving programming.

Ep. # CBS airdate Player 1 Player 2 Player 3 Show total Running total Notable moments
Pilot #1 N/A Jack Maggie Browne-Schpak Matt $11,821 $11,821
  • Taped on May 18, 1983.
  • The production slate says "Pilot #1". It's unclear if there were any other Pilots.
  • Different spacey backdrop, different logo, different nametags, different "Earned/Passed" letters, different graphics, no sound effects for correct answers and passing spins, five questions instead of four, a slower shuffling board, and each Whammy slide changing a pose during the shuffling are just some of the differences between the pilot and the series.
  • The Whammy with Hammer animation is vastly different from the series.
  • In the pilot, the big board consisted only of blue, indigo, dark blue, and green. When the series began, pale blue, red, chartreuse, and off-white were added.
  • On Round 1, there was a Move One Space square in Square 14, just like in Round 2. When the series began, it was replaced with $500. Square 13 had $200 + One Spin and $300 + One Spin. The free spin was removed from these spaces when the series began. Lastly, the $450 space in Square 10 became $500 + One Spin at the start of the series.
  • The Round 2 board had the same dollar amounts as when the series began, but the free spin from $700 in Square 1 was taken out.
  • Several of the prizes that were offered in the pilot appeared much later on in the series. Among them were a trip to Disney World, a trip to Tahiti, a trip to Athens, and an Alaskan Cruise (shown on the slide as "ALASKA"). The Delta Queen cruise appears once in the pilot, and never in the series.
  • Flash by Keith Mansfield is the theme song here. The theme song in the series was loosely based on this composition, mainly the first few and last few bars.
  • Maggie Browne was a contestant on Pilot #3 of Second Chance (taped 11/9/76), Bill Carruthers' original version of Press Your Luck. She would later become an actual contestant in the series on the March 9 and 12, 1984 episodes.
  • Jack Campion, a mainstay on game show pilots, appeared in both the Second Chance and Press Your Luck pilots.
  • Matt Dorf would become an actual contestant on the December 23, 1983 episode.
  • Maggie defeats Matt.
  • End of Round 1 total: $2,371 (Maggie)
  • Whammy count/biggest loss: 6/$3,000 (Jack)
001 9/19 Lana Linda Phil $14,954 $14,954
  • First episode to air on CBS and Buzzr in the U.S., and on GameTV in Canada.
  • First appearances of the Pogo Stick Whammy, Whammy with Hammer (updated from the pilot), Whammy walking Fang, and the Vaudeville Whammy.
  • All four Whammies hit in the game were all hit by Phil.
  • The first twelve episodes have the problem of portions of the light patterns being skipped over on occasion.
  • Linda becomes the first champion of the series, and she defeats Lana.
  • End of Round 1 total: $2,204 (Linda)
  • Whammy count/biggest loss: 4/$5,050 (Phil)
002 9/20 Linda Patricia Henri $8,650 $8,650
  • First appearance of the Dynamite Whammy.
  • First Full Credit Roll
  • Rod now says the production company's name at the end of the show.
  • Henri defeats Linda. He is the first cash-only winner, and also has the highest at the moment with $8,650
  • End of Round 1 total: $1,350 (Linda)
  • Whammy count/biggest loss: 3/$2,228 (Patricia)
003 9/21 Robert Cathy Henri $4,598 $4,598
  • Start of Robert Annis' run.
  • Debut of the Jumping and Lawn Mower Whammies.
  • During most of Cathy's first spin round, the "Big Bucks" slide stops working, leading to the screen intermittently going black.
  • Due to audio problems with Peter's lavalier microphone, a small windscreen was added to it after Round 1.
  • Robert defeats Henri.
  • End of Round 1 total: $1,300 (Cathy)
  • Whammy count/biggest loss: 5/$1,300 (Cathy)
004 9/22 Jim Robert Terry $5,220 $9,818
  • Terry is a female.
  • In a question about Star Wars in the first question round, "Chewbacca" is misspelled on screen.
  • First appearance of the Hawaiian, Jaws, Kamikaze, and Construction Worker Whammies.
  • Robert wins his second show.
  • End of Round 1 total: $851 (Jim)
  • Whammy count/biggest loss: 8/$3,675 (Terry)
005 9/23 Dave Shirley Robert $7,814 $17,632
  • The generic Florida slide is hit. It is assumed to be a trip to Lehigh as well.
  • First Big Bucks hit.
  • Robert has the biggest Whammy loss at the moment with $6,465.
  • Robert defeats Dave and wins his third show.
006 9/26 Alison Tom Robert $10,855 $28,487
  • Robert defeats Tom, and is the first player to retire undefeated after surpassing the $25,000 winnings limit. Robert retires with $28,487.
  • Pre-empted on the East Coast due to a Presidential News Conference.
007 9/27 Debby Maggie Harold $6,100 $6,100
  • Three new players are prevalent.
  • Sun Tan Bed hit only once, won, and done.
  • Maggie becomes the new champion, and she defeats Debby.
008 9/28 Donna Rocco Maggie $6,580 $12,680
  • New audience windows installed; they now turn blue for the first round, and red for the remainder of the show.
  • Prize rotations updated.
  • Board change: Off-white squares gone forever, replaced with red colors.
  • First appearance of the Whammy foghorn.
  • A new pass SFX replaces the SFX from Tic Tac Dough.
  • The Whammies now take away the entire score, as opposed to leaving just $0.
  • The copyright notice now displays the PYL logo above the Carruthers Company text notice, replacing the plain PYL text from the first seven episodes.
  • Maggie wins her second show and she defeats Rocco. Peter incorrectly says this is her third consecutive win.
009 9/29 Randy West Pam Maggie $8,750 $8,750
  • Randy West would later become a fill-in announcer on The Price is Right in 2003 and 2004 when Rod Roddy was ill and after Rod passed away.
  • Peter corrects himself on Maggie's number of wins from the day before.
  • Randy is the first player to utter the trademark cry "Big Bucks, no Whammies"
  • Randy defeats Pam, and has the biggest cash only total at the moment with $8,750.
  • This marked the first time the contestant's neon light flashed whenever they answer a question correctly.
010 9/30 Randy West Kathy Alan $10,992 $19,742
  • Randy West is the first player to hit the car and win it - and he did it on the last spin of the game!
  • Alan has the highest end of Round 1 total at the moment with $3,015, as well as the biggest Whammy loss at the moment with $8,415.
  • Randy wins his second show, and he defeats Alan.
  • The copyright notice is now bottom-centered; PYL logo gone.
011 10/3 Randy West Clay Martha $6,000 $25,742
  • Randy retires undefeated.
  • "THIS PROGRAM WAS EDITED FOR BROADCAST" disclaimer now run instead of announced during end credits.
012 10/4 Wendy Marie Ken $12,000 $12,000
  • Start of Ken Ng's run.
  • Wendy has the highest end of Round 1 total at this point with $3,999.
  • Earliest episode to air on USA Network.
  • First appearance of Magician Whammy.
  • Ken becomes the new champion.
  • Ken has the highest cash-only total at this point in the series.
013 10/5 Ken Rose Mark $4,004 $16,004
  • Lockout lights now installed to indicate the player has hit his or her buzzer, but they don't light up.
  • Prize rotations updated.
  • Very short round 2.
  • Ken wins his second show.
014 10/6 Bea Steve Ken $7,822 $7,822
  • Lights on the contestant island are still flashing during Round Two.
  • Steve has the highest end of Round 1 total at this point with $4,020.
  • Only time Lounger (one single Lounger) was hit during gameplay.
  • Bea defeats Ken.
015 10/7 Shirley Bea Dave $11,794 $11,794
  • Jog N'Tramp appears on the board at the very end of Round 1.
  • Shirley hits three Whammies in round one.
  • Dave later becomes a contestant on Wipeout in 1988.
  • Peter's "Duck, better duck, Dave" during Dave's Airplane Whammy was featured in an early flashback intro.
  • Shirley defeats Bea
016 10/10 Shirley Larry Denise $10,179 $10,179
  • One of Denise's spins where she hits a Whammy is featured in an early flashback intro.
  • Larry defeats Shirley.
017 10/11 Tom Larry Jill $9,516 $19,695
  • Jog N' Tramp is hit for its only time, and is gone forever! It is the cheapest prize in the entire series, with a price tag of $189, and it was actually two Jog N'Tramps!
  • Larry wins his second show, including the Jog N' Tramp!
018 10/12 Larry Ted Jeanne $3,000 $3,000
  • Second time in the series the car was hit!
  • Jeanne defeats Larry, despite that Jeanne lost the car to the Whammy.
019 10/13 David Jessica Jeanne $5,619 $5,619
  • One of David's spins in which he hits a Whammy would be seen in one of the early flashback intros.
  • Jessica defeats Jeanne.
020 10/14 Warren Jessica Miriam $0 $0
  • The short-lived Cassette Radio appears on the board in Round One.
  • The first time in the series the game ended in a tie, and with $0!
  • Both Warren and Miriam defeat Jessica.
  • Miriam previously appeared on Jim Perry's Card Sharks in May 1978.
021 10/17 Miriam Betty Warren $14,958  $14,958
  • Cassette Radio hit only once, and gone forever. It was lost to a Whammy.
  • Miriam wins her second show with a big total, despite having three Whammies.
022 10/18 Miriam Sandy Norma $1,750 $16,708
  • Last episode with the red backgrounds.
  • In Round One, Wall Recliner was hit only once (by Sandy, a man), and gone forever.
  • Miriam wins her third show.
023 10/19 Tom Draya Miriam $10,849 $10,849
  • Backgrounds updated to the blue version, used for the remainder of the series.
  • Round One Board Updated: Top dollar value in Round One now increased to $1,500.
  • WBNS-TV in Columbus, OH joins the PYL family.
  • Prize rotations also updated.
  • Debut of Astronaut Whammy (version 1.0 with the reference to the movie The Right Stuff, which would debut in theaters in two days).
  • Tom defeats Miriam.
024 10/20 Taina Mark Tom $16,911 $16,911
  • During Peter's interview with Taina, he mentioned "Dick Dawson" kissing contestants, which Peter would not do. This was obviously a reference to Richard Dawson, who hosted Family Feud at the time.
  • KLAS-TV in Las Vegas joins the PYL family.
  • Tom hits three Whammies in Round One, and is out of the game quickly later.
  • Mark defeats Tom, with the biggest one-day win so far in the series.
025 10/21 Mark John Jackie $7,245 $24,156
  • Mark wins his second show, but nearly retired undefeated, as he didn't reach the $25,000 winnings limit.
  • Awful editing and strange shots in this episode.
026 10/24 Linda Mark Tom $6,000 $6,000
  • Tom wears a cowboy hat.
  • Mark nearly breaks a record, but hits a Whammy on the last spin, losing $14,828.
  • Linda defeats Mark.
027 10/25 Marv Linda Kim $19,438 $19,438
  • Kim later becomes a contestant on Super Password in April 1985 and on Bob Eubanks' Card Sharks in January 1987.
  • Linda's and one of Kim's successful spins is seen in early flashback intros.
  • Kim defeats Linda, with the highest winning total at this point in the series.
  • Parts of this episode may not have been shown originally due to coverage on the Grenada Invasion.
028 10/26 Kim Patti Marc $10,060 $10,060
  • Kim's big loss is featured in a future flashback intro, the biggest at this point with $16,195.
  • Patti defeats Kim.
029 10/27 Regan Patti Sam $10,700 $10,700
  • Unusual editing in this episode.
  • Sam defeats Patti, barely winning by less than $1,000.
030 10/28 Tony Sam Aradine $9,050 $19,750
  • Sam wins his second show with a dramatic finish.
031 10/31 Peter Julia Sam $9,329 $9,329
  • No Halloween references in this episode.
  • The generic Cookware is hit in this episode.
  • Three Indiana stations join the PYL family: WISH-TV in Indianapolis, WSBT-TV in Terre Haute, & WTHI-TV in South Bend.
  • Peter defeats Sam.
032 11/1 Peter Lillian Jack $8,200 $8,200
  • Last show with original board shuffling sound.
  • Hardly any Whammies hit in this episode, and no prizes hit at all.
  • Jack defeats Peter.
  • Jack later becomes a contestant on High Rollers in November 1987.
033 11/2 Jack Laurie Ted $10,750 $10,750
  • Version 2.0 of the board shuffling sound debuts in this episode.
  • Ted defeats Jack.
034 11/3 Dave Janis Ted $19,744 $19,744
  • One spin repeatedly goes back and forth.
  • One of Janis' spins in which she hit Big Bucks would be seen in an early flashback intro.
  • Dave defeats Ted.
035 11/4 Dave Jon Robin $15,361 $35,105
  • One of Robin's and Dave's spins would be seen in early flashback intros. One of those intros would be seen on Monday!
  • Dave retires undefeated and is the biggest winner of all time at this point in the series.
036 11/7 Marty Marilyn Jim $7,293 $7,293
  • First episode with the intros containing a montage of noteworthy spins.
  • Three new players start off the week.
  • Jim becomes the new champion.
037 11/8 Jim Joan Dan $1,000 $1,000
  • Joan defeats Jim.
  • An unheard of 10 Whammies earned, the most at this point.
038 11/9 Bruce Joan Fran $7,100 $7,100
  • Bruce defeats Joan.
039 11/10 Pam Bruce Tony $7,258 $7,258
  • Start of Tony's run.
  • Tony defeats Bruce.
040 11/11 Leeann Tony Gabe $7,095 $14,353
  • Tony wins his second show.
041 11/14 Toni Bob Tony $9,750 $24,103
  • Tony wins his third show.
  • Tony came very close to retiring undefeated.
042 11/15 Tony Dan Cre $10,193 $34,296
  • Last episode with the flashback intros with no background music.
  • Tony has the highest end of Round 1 total at this point with $4,915.
  • Tony surpassed CBS's $25,000 winnings limit and retires undefeated.
043 11/16 Eileen Dave Randi $8,750 $8,750
  • First episode with flashback intros containing an early portion of the theme song in the background.
  • The font on the nametags has been enlarged.
  • The copyright credit at the end of the show is permanently centered.
  • Three new players in this episode.
  • Dave becomes the new champion.
044 11/17 Dave Al Susan $9,453 $18,203
045 11/18 Rocky Dave Brigette $7,995 $26,198
  • Thanksgiving Whammy Version 1.0 (with a John Wayne-style voice towards the end) debuts.
  • Dave retires undefeated.
046 11/21 Beverly Kirk Arlene $11,550 $11,550
  • First episode of Thanksgiving week.
047 11/22 Jay Arlene Elinore $3,500 $3,500
  • On the East Coast, this episode was preempted by live coverage of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Mass at the Holy Trinity Center (it was the 20th anniversary of the assassination of the former U.S. President). At least the West Coast got to see this episode.
  • Ten Whammies hit; Elinore wins the game with three of them!
048 11/23 Elinore Lynelle Neal $6,300 $6,300
  • PYL's first Thanksgiving episode.
  • Last episode before Thanksgiving and last episode of Thanksgiving week period (see above).
049 11/28 Neal Dick Helen $6,550 $6,550
  • First episode after Thanksgiving.
  • The only GSN broadcast to air only once (aired on 3/8/2013)
  • Start of Helen's run.
050 11/29 Helen Cheryl George $8,495 $15,045
  • Day 2 of Helen's run.
  • Cheryl gets 3 Whammies in Round 1.
  • One of Cheryl's Whammy hits would be featured in a future flashback intro.
051 11/30 Sherry Michael Helen $8,065 $23,110
  • GSN skipped this episode, but did later air on Buzzr.
  • Day 3 of Helen's run.
052 12/1 David Becky Helen $17,050 $40,160
  • One of Becky's spins in which she hit a Whammy would be featured in a future flashback intro.
  • Helen exceeds the $25,000 limit and retires undefeated.
  • Helen's final total is the highest at this point in the series.
  • Helen's $17,050 is now the highest cash-only total so far.
  • Helen does not burn off any spins in Round 2.
053 12/2 John Toni Scott $17,772 $17,772
  • Toni has the highest end of Round 1 total at this point in the series with $5,848.
  • Scott becomes the new champion.
  • Last appearance of the $1,000 space in Round 2 until June 1986.
054 12/5 Thawann John Scott $12,000 $12,000
  • Round Two Board Updated: A few dollar values along the bottom and left sides increase, and a couple more extra spin hits are added to the left side as well. One of those new extra spin hits takes the place of a Whammy, leaving one less Whammy on the board.
  • Prize rotations updated.
  • One of Scott's spins in which he hits a trip to Hong Kong would be featured in a future flashback intro (however, like Jeanne's Car, it too would be lost to the Whammy on the very next spin); so too is one of Thawann's successful spins.
  • Thawann defeats Scott.
055 12/6 Marsha Brent Thawann $11,899 $11,899
  • Marsha defeats Thawann.
  • Brent hits a car and does not lose it, but ultimately it's not enough, as Marsha pulls ahead of him by less than $1,000.
056 12/7 Annie Rob Marsha $15,438 $27,337
  • Marsha retires undefeated.
  • Marsha later becomes a contestant on High Rollers in December 1987.
057 12/8 Mickey Ellie Linda $4,875 $4,875
  • Mickey has the biggest Whammy loss at this point in the series with $16,325.
058 12/9 Ellie Cathi Michael $10,635 $10,635
  • Three of Michael's spins would be featured in future flashback intros - his winning spin is here, the other two are in the next show.
059 12/12 Beth Michael Jeff $2,000 $2,000
  • Jeff wins in rather unusual fashion; Michael indeed "kills" his own earnings, leaving him with $0 (though not out of the game), while Jeff's $2,000 all came from the game's last spin (thus averting a tie).
  • Right before that, with Jeff the last to play in Round 2 - Beth having Whammied out and Michael at $0 - Peter still presents the option to pass. Jeff's response: "Are you crazy?"
  • "Whammy rhymes" will be read all week long (12/12-16), all sent in by the same person!
060 12/13 Chris David Jeff $13,345 $15,345
  • Just before Chris (who is female) takes the first spin for Round 1, Peter reads a Whammy rhyme, prompting the Hawaiian Whammy to dance across the screen.
  • Jeff racks up five figures rather quickly, loses it even quicker, but then makes it right back, all enroute to his second win.
061 12/14 Jeff Diana Greg $3,900 $3,900
  • No prizes hit.
  • Greg defeats Jeff.
062 12/15 Greg Julie James $11,500 $15,400
  • Greg wins his second show in thrilling fashion, coming from nearly $7,000 behind Julie.
063 12/16 Barbara Greg Dave $2,000 $2,000
064 12/19 Glenn Barbara Pam $21,526 $21,526
  • First episode of Christmas week (the opening board now contains red & green slides that read "MERRY XMAS" on the top & sides respectively).
  • Biggest one-day winnings at this point in the series.
  • Glenn is the first contestant to win over $20,000 in one show.
  • First of two episodes in the series with no Whammies hit (31 spins were taken). The other aired on February 27, 1984, which was a very short game.
065 12/20 Dee Frank Glenn $18,287 $18,287
  • First appearance of Ebenezer Whammy.
067 12/21 Frank Nancy A.J. $20,618 $20,618
  • First appearance of Whammy Claus.
068 12/22 Nancy Tracy Pierre $10,100 $10,100
  • Start of Tracy Cruz's run.
  • First appearance of Whammy with the Christmas tree (both versions), one of which would also be shown as Pierre's fourth Whammy (despite it also being the game-ending Whammy).
069 12/23 Matt Laura Tracy $7,620 $17,720
  • Last episode of Christmas week & the last episode before Christmas period, since Christmas Day was on Sunday in 1983.
  • Matt Dorf from the May 1983 pilot plays on this episode.
  • Wood Stove is hit only once, and disappears forever. It was lost to a Whammy on the next spin.
070 12/26 Carlotta Tracy Steve $8,960 $26,680
  • First appearances of the Baby New Year Whammy and the Whammy with Champagne. They would appear through the end of 1983.
  • Tracy retires undefeated.
071 12/27 Stephan Carol Daun $4,949 $4,949
  • Peter puts on a baseball cap that plays a Christmas melody.
  • Carol wins no cash, and only wins a car!
072 12/28 Russ Suanne Carol $11,250 $11,250
  • Suanne and Carol were later incorporated into flashback intros.
073 12/29 Suanne Scott Kennie $24,457 $24,457
  • Kennie is a female.
  • Kennie defeats SuAnne.
  • Kennie came close to retiring undefeated in just one episode.
074 12/30 Dee Kennie Kurt $5,776 $30,233
  • Last episode before New Year's, and Kennie retires undefeated!