New Movie ‘Press Your Luck’ Shares Unusual Tale of Game Show Winner Michael Larson

Paul Walter Hauser in Press Your Luck first look
Plenty Good

Michael Larson was an ordinary man from Ohio who set out to win big. He appeared on the CBS show Press Your Luck in 1984 and won a total of $110,237. At the time, he also won the largest one-day total on a game show but things quickly went wrong. CBS began to get suspicious that he was winning so much and hitting the bonus box every time. At first, they thought he was cheating and refused to give him the prizes. However, CBS could not figure out if what he was doing was against the written rules. They ended up giving him the prizes but he was not allowed to return for another show.

Turns out, he was able to win because he could memorize the patterns used on the game board. When this was uncovered, the game show had to completely re-do their board so no one else could copy his trick. Unfortunately for Larson, he lost all of his winnings within two years due to taxes and bad real estate dealings and left Ohio while being under investigation for fraud. While Larson passed away in 1999, his unusual story has been dissected in two documentaries called Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal in 2003 and Cover Story: The Press Your Luck Scandal in 2018. Now, a new movie starring Paul Walter Hauser called Press Your Luck is coming soon.

The cast will also include Walton Goggins, David Strathairn, Maisie Williams, Haley Bennett, Shamier Anderson, David Rysdahl, Johnny Knoxville, Brian Geraghty, Patti Harrison and Shaunette Renée Wilson. Director Samir Oliveros said about the film, “I kept having this recurring dream with a white-bearded man. I couldn’t make any sense of it until I stumbled upon his face on a VHS tape I found at a thrift shop. That’s how I learned of Michael’s story. During our next encounter he said if we made the film in time for the 40th anniversary of his feat, he would guide us in the right direction. I’m glad we could make it happen with the support of such incredible partners.”

The Afterparty Paul Walter Hauser, Aniq 2: The Sequel', (Season 2, ep. 201, aired July 12, 2023)

Apple TV+/Everett Collection

Producer Amanda Freedman added, “We’re drawn to films that don’t behave. Whether it’s an unruly character, an unconventional structure, or irreverent style, our movies challenge what’s expected. Michael’s bold behavior inspired us, and we hope it inspires you.”

Press Your Luck Host Peter Tomarken, 1983

Paramount Television/Everett Collection

As of now, there is no release date for the film but stay tuned!

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November 2020

Enjoy trivia, giant crosswords, word sudoku, brainteasers and more all themed around your favorite TV game shows.

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