Jim Peck
Jay Stewart
Jack Clark
Joe Seiter (pilots/sub)
Pilots: 11/9/1976
SC 01
ABC Daytime: 3/7/1977 - 7/15/1977
Carruthers Company Productions/
Warner Brothers Television

"Today, (insert contestants' names) will be risking everything they've won every time they play "SECOND CHANCE"! And now here's the man who gives everyone a second chance, Jim Peck!"

"It's "Second Chance", Hollywood's most exciting new game! And here are today's players: (player intro by name and hometown). And each/all three of them will be risking everything every time they play "Second Chance"! And now here's the man who gives everyone a second chance, Jim Peck!"

Second Chance is the original precursor to Press Your Luck.


Three contestants competed in a question/answer game for points which would be turned into spins and traded for cash & prizes on a game board.

Question RoundEdit

In each round, the contestants were asked three questions. On each question the contestants wrote down answers on cards (ala Match Game-style) in five seconds or less and placed them down on their card holder (which were actually their scoreboards for when they go to the board) when they were finished. Host Peck then told the contestants how well they did (ex: "At least two of you are wrong" or "At least one of you is right") unless (in the series) everybody wrote the same thing; then gave three possible answers (aka Second Chance Answers). This was where the show got its name. Each contestant was asked to either stay with his/her current answer or replace it with one of the Second Chance answers (aka taking a Second Chance). When all was said and done, the correct answer was revealed (usually one of the contestants revealed the correct answer if at least one of them had it). A correct original answer scored three points, while a correct Second Chance answer scored one point. 27 points were up for grabs and all three contestants can earn up to nine points each. All points earned were turned into spins for the game board.

Second Chance Bonus BoardEdit

When the question round was over, the contestant island moved over for the contestants to see the game board which would open up like a book.

The board itself had 18 spaces (just like the Press Your Luck big board) with thousands of dollars in cash & prizes but with several differences:

  • The lights around the squares flashed really fast.
  • Whenever the board spun, a disco-like tune that loops continuously (a variation of the theme song) is played.
  • None of the squares changed except in the series when square #4 (the big money square) rotated amounts from $1,000 to $5,000 in round two and offered a free spin.
  • At first there was only one pattern, then nine, and finally even more.
  • The prizes were hidden behind gift boxes
  • A bell sounded when a contestant landed on a good square.
  • Instead of Whammies, there were devils on the board; a "waa-waa" sound was heard whenever a devil was hit. The devil squares were highlighted in red (just like the Whammy squares in Whammy!). There were three on the board. However, unlike the Whammy, the devil would not show any on-screen animation acting; once hit, the contestant's score just clears out and the character pops up, except on the pilot where the devil lit up.

In both rounds, the player with the fewest spins or the player at far right in case of a tie always went first.

The contestant in control of the board took as many of his/her earned spins as he/she can and on each spin the contestant stopped the board by hitting his/her button and by yelling "STOP!" If he/she hit a cash amount it was added to his/her score; if he/she hit a gift box, the prize behind it was revealed and its value was added to his/her score. If at any time the contestant hit a devil, he/she lost all his/her money up to that point, and hitting four devils puts that contestant out of the game. Originally when the devil was hit, the devil(s) appeared behind the player in lights; later the devil showed up on flip cards.

If at any point the contestant fears that a devil would show up on the next spin, he/she would pass his/her spins to the player in first place, or if he/she is in first place, that player had to pass them to the second place player. And should both players have the same score, the passing player would decide who to pass the spins to. The player with the passed spins had to take those spins until he/she ran out or hit a devil (at which point the remaining passed spins became earned spins). In the series, each time the passed contestant hit money plus a free spin, the spin just played became an earned spin.

The player with the most money at the end of the game won the game and kept all his/her cash & prizes won. Originally, winning players would come back on the next show; later it was changed to having three new contestants every day but with this one exception: should any players win the game with zero (and with fewer than four devils), they were invited back to play the next show.

More PicturesEdit

Production SlatesEdit


Score Productions

This theme was used originally on the short-lived 1976 version of I've Got a Secret.

Some of the sound effects were originally intended for Card Sharks/Double Dare (1).


Bill Carruthers & Jan McCormick

Episode StatusEdit

Three pilots were made for Second Chance. Only the third pilot exists. The episodes aired May 31 and June 27, 1977, and the series finale (albeit only in audio form) are the only three episodes of the aired series existing to this day. An opening sequence announced by Jack Clark is also available (albeit in audio form).

Australian VersionEdit

Not only Second Chance ran for a short while in America, but also in Australia as well in the same year on Network Ten, hosted by Earle Bailey and Christine Broadway. It was produced by Reg Grundy.[1]

Related ShowsEdit

Press Your Luck - the well-known cult-classic reboot that aired on CBS from 1983 until 1986.
Whammy!: The All-New Press Your Luck - (also shortened to Whammy! in 2003) is the short-lived reboot that previously aired on GSN from 2002 until 2003.
Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal - a documentary about the late Michael Larson that has also aired on GSN in 2003.
Gameshow Marathon - Press Your Luck was the 4th game of the 7 episode series that have also aired on CBS in 2006.
TV Land's Myths and Legends: Michael Larson - A shorter version of the Michael Larson episode that aired on TV Land in 2007.


“Until tomorrow/Monday, this is Jim Peck reminding you: It’s never too late to take a second chance. Bye-bye, everybody.” – Jim Peck (1976-1977)


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Additional PageEdit

Second Chance/Video Gallery


  1. The Saddle Club to Ship to Shore|Memorable TV Guide to Australian Television


Game Show Central: Second Chance
Second Chance information page

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