Game Shows Wiki
Alex Trebek
Mary Poms
John Harlan (1973 pilot)
Sam Riddle
Charlie O'Donnell
The Wizard of Odds.png
Pilot: 4/26/1973
The Wizard of Odds.jpg
NBC Daytime: 7/16/1973 – 6/28/1974
Burt Sugarman Productions

OPENING SPIEL (PILOT): "What are the odds that you know the intimate secrets of your favorite stars? What will the average man reveal when he unbuttons his shirt? What are the odds that you kiss and tell more than the average girl, Lavonne? If you know the answers to any of these questions, the odds are, you can win up to $10,000 in cash and merchandise, playing The Wizard of Odds! And now, here’s the wily wizard himself, Alex Trebek!"

OPENING SPIEL (SERIES): "And now, the wily wizard himself, Alex Trebek!"

The Wizard of Odds was an obscure 1970s show that was Alex Trebek's very first game show in the United States.


The "Wizard" (host Trebek) would choose three contestants and asked questions based on the law of averages. The next three players were given a series of words and had to pick the ones that didn't match. The player with the most correct answers in each game was given a chance to win prizes hidden behind windows that were "open" or locked". If the contestant chose a window that was locked, he/she lost all prizes won to that point; however, they could choose to stop at anytime.

Win or lose, all participants' names were put on the "Wizard's Wheel of Fortune". At the end of the show, the wheel was spun and the player picked would have a chance to win bonus prizes including a new car. A list of averages was shown with a number above it. If the contestant could pick a group of items whose average added up to the target number exactly, he/she won the gifts.

By May 20, 1974, the format was changed to show three players a series of five clues. A player answering incorrectly lost that round. The first player to identify the subject won a prize and would be shown four clues with numerical answers. The player won a prize for choosing three items without the combined sum of numbers exceeding a target number. The player could then risk said prize and choose one more item for an additional prize. Exceeding the target number ended the game and lost both prizes. The player then competed in another qualifying round against two more audience members. Any player who won all three qualifying rounds automatically played the final round. Otherwise, all participants’ names would be placed on the Wizard’s Wheel of Fortune. The chosen player could win up to three prizes by choosing four out of five items without exceeding the target number.


The show's title is a play on words of the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.



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NBC Studio 4, Burbank, CA


Pilot – King Porter Stomp by Pat Williams

Stan Worth

Main – Written & Sung by Alan Thicke

YouTube Link[]

Intro of the 1973 pilot
Rare Finale Audio Clip