Do the losers on Press Your Luck keep their money?

Press Your Luck is a high-risk, high-reward type of game, but the losers often walk away with nothing to show for their efforts.

If you usually avoid watching game shows (or playing new board games at parties), because the rules are overly complicated and difficult to follow –chances are you will love ABC’s rebooted version of Press Your Luck.

The rules of the game are simple, three contestants compete to answer various trivia questions in order to earn extra spins on the ‘Big Board.’

Then contestants have to stop their spins in time to land one of the many prizes up for grabs and to avoid landing on the show’s animated mascot, the Whammy.

Landing on the Whammy resets contestants’ prize totals to a disappointing zero and if any contestant lands on the Whammy four times, they will “Whammy out” and be immediately eliminated from the competition.

Losing Press Your Luck

If you have ever tuned in to watch an episode of this edge-of-your-seat entertaining game show, then you will already know that “Whammying out” is not the only way that contestants can lose the game.

By the time that Press Your Luck reaches its final, bonus round, only the contestant with the highest accumulated total, will be able to compete for the chance to walk away with the $1 million grand prize.

Unfortunately though, the other two contestants, who do not make it to this final round, walk away from the Press Your Luck game without any of the prizes that they accumulated in the first two rounds.

And while not all of the lucky contestants who make it to the final round of Press Your Luck end up walking away with the $1 million grand prize, they do automatically win all of their accumulated prizes from the first two rounds just by making it all the way to the last round of the game.

How Press Your Luck works

Every Press Your Luck episode can be divided into three main rounds, as follows:

Main rounds Competition
Round 1 All three contestants start out with the Question round to earn spins and then move on to the Big Board round where these spins are used to accumulate the highest possible prize value.
Round 2 This round follows a similar format to the first round, but only the contestant with the highest accumulated prize value is allowed to move on to the final round.
Round 3 One contestant earns the chance to compete in six additional bonus Big Board rounds and can add on additional prizes to the amount that they have already banked in the first few rounds. This round ends in the Big Board Bonanza, where any spin could be worth $10,000.

What happens when a contestant Whammys out?

If, at any point in the game, a Press Your Luck contestant lands on the Whammy tile four times (contestants do start over with a blank slate in the final round), the contestant will be eliminated from the game immediately.

This contestant’s running prize total will automatically be reset to 0, and all of the additional spins that they have left over, except in the bonus round, where things work a bit differently.

The prizes that winners can accumulate on Press Your Luck

Every round of Press Your Luck is slightly different, and the final, bonus round even includes the chance to win a few prizes that pander exactly to the final contestant’s special interests and plans.

In the first few rounds of the game, contestants get the chance to rack up cash prizes ranging from as low as $1,000 to as high as $10,000 per tile. The Big Board also includes various specialty spaces, which allow for extra out-of-the-box prizes.

This includes the ever-popular “Big Bucks” tile, the “Double Your Money” tile, “Add a One” tile, “Lose a Whammy” tile, and many more.

And, in the grand game show tradition, Press Your Luck contestants may also walk away with various non-cash prizes, such as vacations, concert tickets, or even brand-new cars.

What happens if you win Press Your Luck

If a contestant manages to avoid racking up Whammys and does not decide to walk away in the final six Big Board rounds at the end, they will get the chance to accumulate over $500,000 worth of prizes – which will mean that they walk away with the Press Your Luck $1 million grand prize.

However, this is a lot more difficult than it appears to be when you are watching the show from home. And the biggest winner in Press Your Luck history, Michael Larson, walked away with a not-too-shabby $110,237 prize in 1984.