I have my love of game shows to thank for being $100 richer.
I took a last second trip to Las Vegas this past weekend, and could barely pull myself away from the Press Your Luck penny slots. There are all sorts of pop culture games scattered throughout Vegas, from Sex and the City to Monopoly to The Wizard of Oz, but it was this old school game show machine that kept calling to me.
Game shows used to keep me occupied during the super hot days of summer, when the only time you went outside was to jump in the pool or run to the store for ice cream. I would watch the Price Is Right religiously, and loved Name That Tune, although I don’t know why because I never knew any of the songs from the ’70s. But my favorite, above all else, was Press Your Luck.
How could you not love it? You got to scream “No Whammys!!!” like a maniac. If there was a contestant you disliked, you were able to watch them amass a small fortune and then lose it when said Whammy appeared on the screen. And then there was host Peter Tomarken, who had that awesome ’80s game show presenter swag (sadly, he died in a plane crash in 2006). If you have no idea what I am talking about and want to find out how the game worked, here’s the wiki on PYL.
I always wanted to go on the show, but it was filmed in the ’80s and I watched it (and was still a kid) in the ’90s, so it was impossible. With the slot machine, I was able to live out that dream. After feeding in about $5, I got three “Big Board” icons, meaning I was able to play the bonus round, which mimicked the actual Press Your Luck game. I was so ready for my big moment.
Before going to the board, a screen popped up with different tiles that changed every second or so. Behind the tiles were credits, spins or Whammys. I lucked out and got eight spins to use on the board and about $10 in credits before I got a Whammy and then made it to the board. I won about $18 during my spins, and then at the very end, I picked a bonus that quadrupled my win. In case you’re wondering, yes, I did say “No Whammys!” multiple times like a dork. But no, I didn’t care.
My final total was $111 and some change. It basically covered the money I brought with me to gamble, and then some. I was thrilled, despite the fact that, unbeknownst to me, I was in the middle of passing a kidney stone (which is a completely different and painful story for another time).
My dream slot already exists, but if you could pick one old school game show machine, what would you choose?