Whammy!: The All-New Press Your Luck debuted on the Game Show Network as an in-house production in the summer of 2002. It is hosted by Todd Newton, who has been on such other game shows as Hollywood Showdown, and features three contestants trying to beat the Whammy to score Big Bucks.
The first round, instead of being the usual trivia-style competition (see Press Your Luck for the details) is a round-robin showdown. Each player starts with $1,000 and can freeze or Press Their Luck. Players get just one spin at a time: control passes to the left and more Whammies are added to the board after all players have had a chance to spin. A Whammy in the first round knocks the contestant down to $0 and freezes their score.
The second round consists of the usual trivia-style challenge where players get 3 spins for buzzing in and guessing correctly, or 1 spin for answering the multiple choice follow-up. Those spins are used on the board to play for cash and prizes. A Whammy zeroes out the player's total, and a Double Whammy also causes some large quantity of popcorn, ice, clothes, or other object to fall on the unlucky contestant. Four Whammies of any type (Double Whammies count only once for this purpose) will knock the player out of the game. Passing spins acts exactly as it does in the original. The winner gets to keep his/her winnings but -- unlike the old CBS show -- does not get to come back for another game.
The prizes are not adjusted for inflation relative to the 1980s show with Peter Tomarken, so winners take home relatively less now than they did then. The Whammies are now all computer animated and parody '90s and 2000s institutions like the Macarena and Verizon Wireless's "Can you hear me now?" guy. The old slide projector setup has been replaced with an abstract collection of plasma screens. Following Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?'s lead, the whole set is decorated blue, purple, and black to increase drama. The old "BIG BUCKS! NO WHAMMIES!" mantra is still as popular as ever on the show.
Purists will never like the new version of anything as much as the original, but Whammy! makes for some decent television. Game show junkies might be able to stomach a few episodes.