You are watching: Cover story: the press your luck scandal
James Holzhauer’s recent 33-game operation on “Jeopardy!” has actually turned a focus back onto video game shows, therefore the timing is fortuitous for “Press her Luck,” held by Elizabeth Banks and airing in element time (10 p.m.) unequal the CBS original, which aired in daytime with hold Peter Tomarken.
That variation last aired in 1986 however will forever be remembered in game-show annals for Larson, who consequently revealed the mystery to his astonishing victory: he’d spent the previous year studying “Press your Luck” episodes on his VCR, memorizing the game board’s 5 cash-winning patterns.
CBS thought about keeping his dough but, in the end, coughed it increase — because Larson technically no break any rules.
Larson’s win was a big deal in an era as soon as “The $25,000 Pyramid” to be TV’s greatest cash prize; his extraordinary win and also unorthodox methodology inspired a 2003 Game present Network documentary, “Big Bucks: The press Your happy Scandal,” i beg your pardon dissected his one and only video game down to his eye movements and how he positioned both that his hands end the show’s buzzer to strike easily — uneven his enemies Ed Long and also Janie Litras Dakin, who provided one hand.New organize Elizabeth Banks.ABC
Dakin, reached by phone, recalled the fateful day. “You don’t understand who you’re playing against and I believed I might beat this man easily,” she says. “Here’s this guy who needed grooming and bought a sports coat at a thrift save on his way in
After flubbing his very first spin — and also landing on one of the show’s dreaded “Whammys,” i m sorry reset his score come zero — Larson was virtually unstoppable together Long and Dakin could only sit earlier and watch in amazement. Tomarken was nearly speechless. “
“As that went on i was thinking, ‘Is this “Candid Camera” or something? yes sir something wrong here, come on.’ i was simply out to success money with small babies at home. Ed and I talked afterward and we to be like, ‘What simply happened?’ everyone was buzzing around and also
Larson’s 15 minutes of fame no last. In the years following “Press her Luck” he lost most the his money in a sequence of get-rich-quick schemes. Once he passed away in 1999 from throat cancer, in ~ the period of 49, he to be being investigated because that fraud through the SEC, FBI and IRS.
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“When everything came out
“It was a good show, a fun show and was fast, with fast players,” she says. “I’m happy they’re bringing it back.”