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Beat the Odds
Beat the Odds was a syndicated game show that was first produced for and aired on KTLA in Los Angeles in 1961.
Two contestants competed to form words. Two revolving wheels with letters on them are stopped by each contestant per turn. The contestant had to form a three, four or five-letter word starting with the first letter and ending with the second letter. Ten points are scored for an acceptable word (No hyphenated words or proper nouns). On the wheels as well is "Sammy The Whammy," a cartoon ghoul. A contestant who stops on Sammy has their score wiped to zero. Along the way, a player can freeze his/her score. 100 points wins the game.
Beat The Odds first premiered locally in Los Angeles on July 17, 1961 and ran till August 23, 1963. Mike Stokey was host; he was replaced a year later by Dennis James. That edition had a bonus game in which the winner chose one of seven tiles that spelled out the word "Champion". One tile had a bonus prize; the other six had Sammy the Whammy on it. (The Whammy would go on to iconic stature in 1983 on CBS's Press Your Luck.)
At a Glance: Additional information about the series