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1983
1984
1985
1986

This is the 1986 section of the Press Your Luck episode guide. 1986 was when Press Your Luck's ratings were in decline, after moving the show to the 4:00 PM ET "death slot", replacing Body Language and Card Sharks took PYL's spot. Although there were some great moments in 1986 (including a $33,000+ win after getting three whammies in Round 1, and Annemarie Carrera becoming the second-highest winner behind Michael Larson), the loss of affiliates was too much for the show to bear. By the summer, more and more affiliates dropped the show to air syndicated programming. Reruns from the spring of 1985 (starting with College Week) started airing on July 29 and continued until August 29. CBS's decision to cancel the show was finalized in August 1986, and the final four weeks of first-run episodes started airing on September 1, 1986. Press Your Luck aired on CBS in daytime for the last time on September 26, 1986, thus prompting CBS to surrender the 4:00 PM ET slot to the local affiliates to air syndicated programming as of September 29.

Shortly after, local stations aired reruns of the show. And then, the following year, it began a long life (in reruns of course) on the USA Network.

The finale supposedly aired on September 26, 1986, but this episode guide only goes as far as May 29, 1986, since that was as far as GSN has gone as of July 2016. If GSN or Buzzr acquires the final months of the series someday, the episode guide will continue from where it left off.

NOTE: Press Your Luck did not air on January 1 due to the Tournament of Roses Parade coverage. It was also pre-empted on January 28 due to coverage of the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster.

Ep. # CBS airdate Player 1 Player 2 Player 3 Show total Running total Noteworthy moments
592 1/2 Craig Chris Lori $11,834 $11,834
  • First show of 1986.
  • Unlike other years in this series, a returning champion starts off 1986.
  • Round 1 saw the only appearance of the Baby 1986 Whammy and the "6" on the sash appears to have a lighter border than the other digits.
593 1/3 Marla Joyce Chris $11,000 $11,000
  • Last show to air at 10:30 a.m. ET.
  • Also, Chris appeared to be copying Michael Larson, but fails in the end.
  • A new version of Card Sharks would take its place on Monday.
594 1/6 Marla Kent David $7,940 $7,940
  • First show to air in the 4 p.m. ET "death slot", replacing the now cancelled Body Language.
  • This time slot change may have marked the beginning of the end of Press Your Luck.
  • Version 1.0 of the Willie Nelson Whammy makes its only appearance.
595 1/7 Kimberly David Tommy $5,750 $5,750 Tommy defeats David.
596 1/8 Ann Betsy Tommy $6,475 $6,475 Betsy defeats Tommy.
597 1/9 Betsy Sam Jenea $13,738 $20,213
  • The Bicycle Whammy may be a callback to a question about bicycles in the trivia round.
  • Betsy wins her second day.
598 1/10 Lee Betsy Jimmy $10,797 $31,010
599 1/13 Mayuri Betsy Jim $9,000 $9,000
600 1/14 Jim Craig Perri $11,693 $11,693
  • Perri utters "money money money" really fast.
  • Although unconfirmed, Perri may be the last contestant in the series to win a Flokati Rug.
  • Perri would appear on Card Sharks in July 1987.
601 1/15 Perri Judy Darren $10,500 $10,500
  • Peter Tomarken walks up and visits the board to check on the Whammies at the start of Round Two.
  • Darren defeats Perri.
602 1/16 Ruth Mando Darren $13,459 $13,459
  • Darren receives a passed spin and is in danger of getting a fourth Whammy in Round One. He was still alive.
  • Second and last time Copenhagen was hit. It was won.
  • Mando defeats Darren.
  • Mando eventually married Perri, a contestant from the previous episode. This was revealed by Perri when she was a contestant on Bob Eubanks' Card Sharks in 1988.
603 1/17 Nancy Lisa Mando $10,700 $10,700
  • Lisa defeats Mando.
  • Start of Lisa's five-day run.
604 1/20 Kathy Lisa Oliver $7,050 $17,750 Lisa wins her second show.
605 1/21 Eric Mitchell Lisa $2,750 $20,500 Lisa wins her third show.
606 1/22 Lisa Irene Rob $13,900 $34,400 Lisa wins her fourth show.
607 1/23 Lisa Sheryl Don $12,800 $12,800 Don defeats Lisa.
608 1/24 Karen Don Carolyn $20,454 $33,254
  • Carolyn from the October 29, 1985 show returns due to a technical problem.
  • Flokati Rug is hit but lost.
  • Don wins his second show.
609 1/27 Bill Donna Don $6,500 $6,500
  • Bill defeats Don.
  • Bill's next appearance would have to wait two days due to the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster the next day.
610 1/29 Wayne Bill Julie $7,900 $7,900 Julie defeats Bill.
611 1/30 Julie Sean Jennifer $8,160 $16,060 Julie wins her second show.
612 1/31 Julie John Joe $10,990 $10,990
  • Start of Joe Derry's five-day run.
  • Joe makes a comeback with three Whammies, and defeats Julie.
613 2/3 Sherry Wanda Joe $13,749 $24,739
  • $10,000 Add-a-One was hit by Sherry, only to be lost to a Whammy in Round Two.
  • Despite Joe being in third place, he did manage to come out on top and win his second show.
614 2/4 Chris Michael Joe $10,141 $34,880
  • Joe makes another comeback with three Whammies.
  • Joe wins his third show.
615 2/5 Dorothy Wayne Joe $0 $34,880 (Joe) Peter mentioned it was the first time in the show's history that all three players would come back on the next show. Little did he know that this happened previously on November 26, 1984.
616 2/6 Joe Wayne Dorothy $16,260 $16,260 Wayne technically becomes the new champion, despite being his second show.
617 2/7 Steve Cheryl Wayne $5,630 $21,890
618 2/10 Judy Wayne Kathy $11,425 $11,425
  • Round Two board update, with the Hands on Hips Whammy slide replacing the faded Standing Whammy slide in Square #5.
  • Add-a-One worth $10,000 hit by ??, but lost in Round Two.
  • Judy defeats Wayne.
619 2/11 Sam Judy Whip $2,338 $2,338
  • Whip is the real name of player 3.
  • New prize rotations begin, with Vienna making its first appearance.
  • A lot of Whammies hit in Round Two.
  • Sam defeats Judy.
620 2/12 Linda Bill Sam $7,472 $7,472 Bill defeats Sam.
621 2/13 Nora Bill Jimmy $14,527 $14,527
  • Nora receives a lot of passed spins in Round Two.
  • Nora defeats Bill.
622 2/14 Deborah Nora Craig $7,798 $22,325 Nora wins her second show.
623 2/17 Scotty Nora Kelly $12,500 $12,500
  • Scotty is a female, and Kelly is a male.
  • The final spin of the game gets repeatedly passed back and forth.
  • Kelly defeats Nora.
624 2/18 Stacy Kelly Stephan $13,950 $13,950
  • The chances of Stacy winning the game were pretty good, but passed the last spin to Stephan and cost her the game.
  • Stephan defeats Kelly.
625 2/19 Tina Stephan Ted $18,082 $18,082
  • The champion faces two T's.
  • Nine Whammies hit in the game.
  • Spin battle near the end of Round Two.
  • Tina defeats Stephan.
626 2/20 Doug Tina Debbie $8,134 $8,134
  • Now the champion faces two D's.
  • An object flew from Debbie's wrist while celebrating a successful spin in Round One (presumably a ring, bangle or watch).
  • Debbie defeats Tina.
627 2/21 Debbie Kelly Ivan $8,200 $8,200
  • Ivan Glasgow is a Lieutenant in uniform and starts his three-day run.
  • Ivan defeats Debbie.
628 2/24 Ivan Phyllis Susan $9,816 $18,016 Day 2 of Lt. Ivan's run.
629 2/25 Ivan Linda Jackie $15,424 $15,424
  • Prize rotations modified in this episode.
  • Jackie returns due to a technical error.
  • Jackie hits Add-a-One for $10.
630 2/26 Larry Linda Daryl $11,344 $26,768
  • Linda makes a comeback thanks to winning an African Safari.
  • Daryl desperately wants to be a game show host.
631 2/27 Andy Linda Lorraine $4,050 $4,050
  • Lorraine may the only contestant in the series to hit four Whammies on only four spins used.
  • Andy may be the only contestant in 1986 to play against the house.
632 2/28 Andy Karen Linda $9,500 $9,500 Different Linda as opposed to two days ago.
633 3/3 Karen Steve Grace $10,920 $10,920 A very close win in the end.
634 3/4 Grace Hal Randy $9,706 $20,626
  • Prize rotation changes - again!
  • Hal from 12/3/1985 returns due to a technical error.
635 3/5 Grace Glenn Tracey $12,436 $12,436 Tracey attempts to get a tie.
636 3/6 Joy Kathy Glenn $23,900 $23,900 One of the biggest one-day wins in the show's history.
637 3/7 Drew Kathy Louise $11,350 $35,250
  • Louise has the ability to tie cherry stems with her tongue.
  • Big win despite ten Whammies throughout the game.
638 3/10 Chris Kathy Robert $6,143 $6,143
639 3/11 Zena Robert Ellen $14,734 $14,734
  • Across the Board makes its first appearance..
  • Big Whammy loss thanks to Zena.
640 3/12 Bill Zena Deanne $7,000 $21,734
  • Deanne from 12/3/1985 returns due to a technical error.
  • Ten Whammies hit throughout the game.
641 3/13 Michael Zena Ken $13,546 $13,546 First day of "Lady Luck" Michael's run.
642 3/14 Meri Lea Lance Michael $6,350 $19,796 Not much won by Michael, but hold on to your seats...
643 3/17 Michael Jeff Etta $33,380 $53,176
  • Michael's massive win, despite getting three Whammies in Round One!
  • Michael is the only contestant to surpass the $50,000 limit in three days.
  • Lady Luck was on Michael's side, especially since it aired on St. Patrick's Day!
644 3/18 Chico Michelle Gene $13,895 $13,895
  • Three new players in this episode.
  • Chico is a female.
  • Two Whammies appear in Square #7 in Round One.
  • Michelle is the first player to hit Across the Board
  • Gene returns due to a technical error.
645 3/19 Frank Chico Calvin $22,838 $22,838 A huge win by Frank!
646 3/20 Tom Frank Stacey $3,500 $3,500
  • A lot of Whammies hit in this episode.
  • Big Whammy loss by Frank.
647 3/21 Naomi Tom Paula $13,668 $17,168 Naomi reveals she is a cheerleader.
648 3/24 Bill Kris Tom $10,152 $27,320 Kris is a female.
649 3/25 Brad Jacki Tom $18,568 $18,568 Tom gets defeated.
650 3/26 Ray Jacki Karl $7,822 $7,822
651 3/27 Cathy Karl Molly $12,558 $20,380 Molly returns due to a technical problem.
652 3/28 Susan Rick Karl $7,500 $7,500
653 3/31 Susan Joe Bob $6,750 $6,750 Last episode with Rod Roddy at the mic until mid-April.
654 4/1 Kathleen Bob Oretha $16,904 $23,654 Charlie O'Donnell announces for the next 11 shows.
655 4/2 Kate Robert Bob $7,000 $7,000
  • Robert from December 1985 returns due to a technical error.
  • Robert loses $30,518 to the Whammy on the final spin of the game.
656 4/3 Kate Rod Smittay $11,624 $11,624
657 4/4 Sandy Rod Leslie $21,038 $21,038 A lot of money lost to the Whammy.
658 4/7 Leslie Luz Fred $5,454 $26,492 Leslie passes a lot of spins in Round 1, and again in Round 2.
659 4/8 Leslie Rick Norma $13,295 $39,787 Charlie O'Donnell makes a cameo at the start of the show.
660 4/9 Ken Leslie Connie $18,030 $18,030
  • Start of Ken Ashford's run.
  • Double Your $$ + a spin hit.
  • $23,000+ lost to the Whammy.
  • Ken celebrates his victory by taking off his jacket, and Peter does the same!
661 4/10 Ken Jon Reggie $10,994 $29,024 Reggie is a female, possibly a nickname for Regina.
662 4/11 Ken Lisa Mark $14,675 $43,699 Ken sits in the same position for his third straight episode.
663 4/14 Albert Ken Robin $11,750 $11,750
  • Ken loses to Robin.
  • Fifth show in a row where over $10,000 was won.
664 4/15 Don Maria Robin $19,998 $19,998
  • Winner was two dollars shy of $20,000.
  • Robin leaves a Flokati Rug on the podium.
  • Don's relatives arrive to the stage to celebrate his victory.
665 4/16 Brian Michelle Don $7,554 $27,554
  • Rod Roddy returns to the mic.
  • GSN skipped this episode, but does exist on YouTube.
666 4/17 Mauribe Scott Don $8,344 $8,334
  • $21,000+ lost to the Whammy.
  • GSN skipped this episode.
667 4/18 Tommy Mindy Scott $6,600 $6,600 GSN skipped this episode.
668 4/21 Mindy Pat Scott $15,267 $15,267
  • Different Scott playing.
  • Peter claims Pat's voice resembles Mickey Mouse.
  • Version 2.0 of the board sound makes a very brief return during a spin in Round 2.
669 4/22 Scott Stephon Bea $14,057 $14,057
  • Peter sings the Davy Crockett theme during the question round.
  • A lot of money lost to the Whammy.
670 4/23 Bill Bea Barbara $5,568 $5,568 A rare occurrence where all three players have names starting with B.
671 4/24 Barbara Greg Dwan $11,200 $11,200 Start of Dwan's five-day run.
672 4/25 Vince Kevin Dwan $14,260 $25,460 Dwan has her highest total of all her appearances, and it's all downhill from here.
673 4/28 David Dwan Nadine $6,776 $32,236 Dwan's winning totals are getting smaller and smaller.
674 4/29 Barbara Dwan Nick $750 $32,986 Lowest one-day non-$0 win since 3/29/1985!
675 4/30 Hercules Peggy Dwan $13,050 $13,050 Peggy would not appear on the next show due to missing her scheduled flight, but would next appear on 5/5.
676 5/1 Aaron Laura Nancy (Unknown)
  • GSN skipped this episode.
  • Because of the GSN skip, the winning total is not known, though thanks to a circulating screenshot from a video uploaded to YouTube in 2007, that shows a Trip to Ireland in Square #15, and one of the contestants was noticed, it is safe to assume that the conrestants' names were the only information we definitely know.
677 5/2 Marc Aaron Kathryn $10,684 $10,684
  • GSN skipped this episode.
  • $10,000 Add-a-One hit by Marc, bringing his total to $14,000.
  • Kathryn chants "Whammy...Whammy..." repeatedly.
678 5/5 Peggy Aaron Vance $9,089 $9,089
  • GSN skipped this episode.
  • Two champions in this episode, due to Peggy missing her flight.
  • Vance defeated the two returning champions.
679 5/6 Vance Gail Joe $15,346 $15,346
  • Joe wins thanks to a $10,000 Add-a-One hit.
  • Joe is one of a small number of players to earn the maximum 12 spins for a round.
680 5/7 Llewellyn Dave Joe $0 $0 Llewellyn is one of only two known lone players who became the champion with $0.
681 5/8 Susan Llewellyn Kevin $12,700 $12,700 Susan receives a lot of passed spins in Round 1 and achieves $6,650
682 5/9 Mark Susan Rita $16,400 $29,100 Rita wants to offer a gift to Susan if she successfuly hits a big Add-a-One in Round 1.
683 5/12 John Susan Mike $9,734 $9,734
684 5/13 Rob John Donna $9,300 $9,300 Donna demonstrates her juggling skills at the start of Round 1 of the Big Board.
685 5/14 John Judy Jim $8,850 $8,850
686 5/15 Phil Judy Dani $9,550 $18,400
687 5/16 Tucker Frank Judy $8,750 $8,750 Add-a-One hit for $10.
688 5/19 Leselle Ed Frank $7,000 $15,750
689 5/20 Nealy Erica Frank $4,000 $4,000
  • Erica is one of only a small number of contestants who win just prizes on a single episode and no cash.
  • Alaskan Cruise hit for the first of two times, and the only time it was won.
690 5/21 Erica Rich Joan $19,172 $23,172
  • Double Your $$ + a spin hit.
  • Game ends with over $50,000 among all three players.
691 5/22 Erica Mordecai Jeannie $6,342 $6,342
  • Gameplay was pretty quick.
  • Last episode to air on USA Network on 10/13/95.
692 5/23 Mordecai Kieran Bobbi $9,850 $16,172
693 5/26 Sandra Peggy Mordecai $3,825 $3,825
  • No Memorial Day references.
  • Compact Disc Player hit for the first time, but not won.
  • First and third place totals separated by under $250.
694 5/27 John Mona Sandra $6,389 $6,389 Thanks to a $10,000 Add-a-One hit, Sandra achieves the highest Round 1 total, but loses it to a Whammy.
695 5/28 Mike Rita Mona $15,428 $15,248
696 5/29 Rita Joe Cheryl $12,262 $12,262 Latest episode aired on GSN on 4/8/2015.
697 5/30
698 6/2
699 6/3
700 6/4
701 6/5
702 6/6
703 6/9
704 6/10
705 6/11
706 6/12
707 6/13
708 6/16
709 6/17
710 6/18
711 6/19
712 6/20
713 6/23
714 6/24
715 6/25
716 6/26
717 6/27
718 6/30
719 7/1
720 7/2
721 7/3
722 7/4
723 7/7
724 7/8
725 7/9
726 7/10
727 7/11
728 7/14
729 7/15
730 7/16
721 7/17
732 7/18
732 7/21
733 7/22
734 7/23
735 7/24
736 7/25
737 9/1
738 9/2
739 9/3
740 9/4
741 9/5
742 9/8
743 9/9
744 9/10
745 9/11
746 9/12
747 9/15
748 9/16
749 9/17
750 9/18
751 9/19
752 9/22
753 9/23
754 9/24
755 9/25
756 9/26

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