Press Your Luck was a short-lived Australian version of the American game show of the same name. The Australian version ran on the Seven Network for a brief period from 1987-1988, and was hosted by Ian Turpie with John Deeks as the announcer.
The game was played in two halves and each half had two parts. The first part was the Question Round and the second part was the Big Board.
In the question rounds, Ian asked four questions one at at time. On each question the first contestant to buzz in had a chance to answer. The answer they gave became the first of three answers for their two opponents to choose from. A correct buzz-in answer was worth three spins while a correct multiple choice answer was worth one spin. In the event a contestant who buzzed in first ran out of time, that contestant had to sit out the rest of the question while the other two contestants played the multiple choice part of the question. In the event that no contestant buzzed in when time ran out, all three contestants played the multiple choice part of the question. 20 spins were available in each question round, but the highest one contestant could earn was 12 spins.
The Big BoardEdit
When the question round was over, the contestant island turned around for the contestants to see the big Press Your Luck game board. Sans-serif typefaces were used for all wording and numbers featured on the Board..
The board consisted of 18 squares with the show's logo in the centre. On the board were thousands of dollars in cash and prizes, plus Whammies. The contents of every square rotated every 0.7 seconds (faster than the American version), as there were three slides in each square.
In the first round the contestant with the fewest spins went first while the contestant with the most money (or the contestant with the most spins if all three contestants tied at the end of round one) played last in round two. In either round in case of a two- or three-way tie, the contestant at far left went first.
The contestant in control of the board played as many of their spins as they liked. On each spin, lights around the game board's spaces flashed around the board, and the contestant stopped the board by hitting their button and by yelling "STOP!". When the board stopped, if the contestant hit a dollar value it was added to their score; if they hit a prize, it was credited to that player and its value was added to their score and that prize would be replaced with a new prize. If at any time the contestant hit a Whammy, they lost all their money up to that point, and hitting four Whammies took that contestant out of the game. Upon hitting a Whammy, a short cartoon was presented in which the Whammy would mock the contestant and take away their money in many ways possible; sometimes the cartoon would show the Whammy being crushed, flattened, hurt or otherwise humiliated in different ways. Sometimes, the Whammy was accompanied by his girlfriend Tammy (or his dog Fang). On some animations, the Whammy would imitate several famous people, including Liberace (playing a piano until the chandelier above the Whammy's head fell on him), Michael Jackson (dressed as the late pop star, glove and all, dancing his famous Moonwalk to Jackson's hit "Billie Jean"), or Boy George, lead singer of the band Culture Club (dressed in the singer's unusual attire, singing "Who Would Ever Hurt a Whammy?", a parody of the band's hit "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?", until a hammer suddenly appeared and flattened him). After the cartoon, a Whammy card would pop up in front of the contestant.
If a contestant Whammied out, their scoreboard was turned off and the remaining spins were discarded.
In the first round, if a contestant hit two Whammies, Ian always reminded that player of the danger of picking up a third Whammy (often suggesting they pass their remaining spins).
In addition to the cash and prizes, some of the cash squares on the board were paired up with extra spins ($???/$?,??? + ONE SPIN). Each time any of those squares was hit, the contestant's spin total was frozen and the money attached to that spin square was added to their money total.
At some point during a contestant's turn, if that contestant feared that they were about to run into the Whammy on the next spin and/or decided to not pressing their luck, that contestant would pass their spins to the player in the lead, or if they were in the lead had to pass them to the second-placed player. If the other contestants shared the same score, the passing contestant would choose who would receive the spins. The contestant with the passed spins would have to take all the spins until they either hit a Whammy (at which point the remaining passed spins would be transferred from the Pass column to the Earn column) or had run out of those spins, and each time the passed contestant hit money plus a spin, the spin just played was transferred to the Earn column.
In addition to the cash (with and without additional spins), prizes, and Whammies, there were other squares on the board that affected gameplay.
- Big Bucks – The most important square on the board always seen in square #12, which if hit, transferred that contestant to the amount showing on square number 4. This inspired the catchphrase, "Big Bucks, No Whammies."
- Directional Spaces – Where the light around the square containing it would be moved to another square.
- Go Back/Advance Two Spaces – Where the light moved two squares away from it/them.
- Move One Space – The contestant had a choice between the two squares touching it.
- Lose a Whammy or $200 + One Spin – So-called because whenever it was hit, the contestant had a choice to either add $200 and a spin to their money total or drop one of their Whammies. The earlier choice was completely important, and beneficial for contestants when they were in danger of whammying out of the game. Upon losing a Whammy, the appropriate Whammy card dropped back down into the contestant's desk. If the contestant did not have any Whammies when this was hit, the $200 and a spin would be taken.
The contestant with the most money at the end of Round 2 won the game. Championship players stayed on the show until they were defeated or won five days in a row which won them a brand new car.
Board Layout and ValuesEdit
As with the American version of Press Your Luck, the Big Board was laid out in a rectangular shape with eighteen lighted squares on the edge of the Board.
Round 1 had dollar values ranging from $30 to $490 (with some prizes exceeding the top amount), while Round 2 had dollar values ranging from $100 to $4,000.
For reference to the listed Round values, Square #1 is on the top-left of the board.
|Square #1||Square #2||Square #3||Square #4||Square #5||Square #6|
|Square #18||Square #7|
|Square #17||Square #8|
|Square #16||Square #9|
|Square #15||Square #14||Square #13||Square #12||Square #11||Square #10|
- All slides listed below are in value order, then alphabetical order if a special square.
- Listed slides were used in all episodes except where noted otherwise (1987 Round 2 values are to be confirmed)
|Square #||Slide 1||Slide 2||Slide 3|
|1||$125||Move One Space||Whammy|
|6||$110||$240||Go Back Two Spaces (1987)|
Lose a Whammy or $200 + One Spin (1988)
|11||$70||$210||Advance Two Spaces|
$70 + One Spin (1988)
$100 + One Spin (1988)
|14||$30||Move One Space||Whammy|
|18||$30 + One Spin||$65 + One Spin||$100 + One Spin|
|Square #||Space 1||Space 2||Space 3|
|1||$350||Move One Space||Whammy|
|4||$1,000 + One Spin||$1,500 + One Spin||$4,000 + One Spin|
|6||$350||$410||Lose a Whammy or $200 + One Spin|
|8||$150 + One Spin||$350 + One Spin||$500 + One Spin|
|11||$150||$400||Advance Two Spaces|
|14||$400||Move One Space||Whammy|
|15||$200 + One Spin||$300 + One Spin||Prize|
|18||$150 + One Spin||$450 + One Spin||$750 + One Spin|
Prior to this, there was an Australian version of Second Chance which was based on the short-lived American version. The Australian version ran on Network Ten in 1977, and was hosted by Earle Bailey and Christine Broadway.
Based on the American game show of the same name by Bill Carruthers