|Birth Day:||May 10, 1949|
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Moreover, Larson discovered that the fourth and eighth squares (from #1 in the top left corner then clockwise around the board) always contained cash and never a "Whammy", a bandit-like cartoon character that, when landed on, would result in the resetting of the player's score to zero, accompanied by an on-screen animation that showed the Whammy taking the player's earnings. Larson also learned that square #4 always contained the top dollar values and that, in the second round, contestants were awarded an additional spin if landing on those spots ($3,000, $4,000, or $5,000 in square #4, and $500, $750, or $1,000 in square #8). This proved crucial to Larson's theory, as he could retain control of the board in the second round as long as he wished if he kept following the patterns.
He drove a Mister Softee ice cream truck and cheated promotional bank offers by opening accounts under false names, withdrawing the $500 in new customer cash, and closing the account.
Michael Larson began recording episodes of Press Your Luck shortly after its premiere on CBS in September 1983 with his VCR. While watching, he noticed that the randomizer that moved the light indicator around the 18-square "Big Board" had only five patterns. Larson began memorizing these patterns, increasingly confident he could predict when and where the randomizer would land. As he locked in the patterns, Larson began playing along with the "Big Board" rounds to test his hypothesis, pausing his VHS tape at various intervals.
In May 1984, Larson used most of his savings to fly to Los Angeles to audition for Press Your Luck. Contestant supervisor Bobby Edwards was suspicious of Larson's motives when he interviewed Larson on May 19, and was unwilling to allow him on the show, but executive producer Bill Carruthers viewed Larson's claim to be a "small-town plebeian desperately in need of a chance to win some money", as a good sob story for the show, and overruled Edwards. Carruthers would later regret this move. Thus, Larson was added as a contestant on the fourth episode of the taping session, intended to air Friday, June 8, 1984.
The five original light patterns on the "Big Board" were replaced with five new ones for about a month, and those were replaced with a different set of five new patterns for another month. A further reprogramming of the board with 32 patterns was completed in August 1984, effectively ensuring that no one could duplicate Larson's trick; all subsequent versions employ this method. The show ended its run in September 1986.
In November 1984, Larson learned about a local radio show promotion promising a $30,000 prize for matching a $1 bill's serial number with a random number read out on the air. Over several days, he withdrew his remaining winnings in $1 bills, examined each dollar, and (upon discovering that he did not have the winning number) re-deposited roughly half of the money. Larson left about $50,000 in his house, which was stolen in a burglary while he was attending a Christmas party. Larson told TV Guide in 1994 that after the burglary he called on the producers of Press Your Luck to stage a "tournament of champions" for a chance to score big again. The producers declined.
While Larson was running up the score, the show's producers contacted Michael Brockman, then head of CBS's daytime programming department. In a 1994 TV Guide interview commemorating the Larson sweep, conducted at the time the film Quiz Show was released, he recalled, "Something was very wrong. Here was this guy from nowhere, and he was hitting the bonus box every time. It was bedlam, I can tell you, and we couldn't stop this guy. He kept going around the board and hitting that box."
In 1994, the release of the film Quiz Show renewed discussion about game show scandals, and Larson was interviewed on Good Morning America. By this time, he had been diagnosed with throat cancer, and his voice was noticeably weakened.
Michael Larson ultimately never saw the return of his winnings and failed at several get rich quick schemes, his all-consuming hobby. Ultimately, his cancer overtook him. He died on February 16, 1999.
A biographical feature film was planned in 2000 in which Bill Murray would portray Larson, but was never produced. Larson's performance on Press Your Luck was featured in a July 2010 broadcast of This American Life.
On March 16, 2003, GSN was allowed to air the episodes as part of a two-hour documentary called Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal, hosted and narrated by Tomarken. The documentary was produced by and aired on GSN (in association with Lionsgate and RTL Group, the latter of which now owns the Press Your Luck franchise), and broke all previous viewership records for the network. The Big Bucks documentary included additional footage, directly from the original master tapes, that had been edited out of the episodes for their initial broadcast. The original telecast was dedicated to the memory of Carruthers, who had died two weeks before the airing.
In 2017, Spanish author Javi de Castro published a graphic novel about the scandal, titled Larson: el hombre con más suerte del mundo (Larson: The Luckiest Man in the World).
On January 14, 2018, GSN aired a second documentary on the Larson story entitled Cover Story: The Press Your Luck Scandal. The debut airing earned 583,000 viewers. The Larson episodes themselves aired after the Cover Story documentary.
Both of Larson's episodes were edited together into one video and uploaded onto the Buzzr YouTube channel on July 17, 2019.
Michael was married to Teresa McGlynn Dinwitty from 1983 to 1994 and had three children.
Currently, Michael Larson is 72 years, 5 months and 13 days old. Michael Larson will celebrate 73rd birthday on a Tuesday 10th of May 2022. Below we countdown to Michael Larson upcoming birthday.