The Wizard of Odds

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The Wizard of Odds
The Wizard of Odds.jpg
GenreGame show
Presented byAlex Trebek
Narrated bySam Riddle
Charlie O'Donnell
Theme music composerStan Worth
Alan Thicke
Country of originUnited States
Producer(s)Burt Sugarman
Alan Thicke
Running time22 minutes
Production company(s)Burt Sugarman Productions
Original networkNBC
Original releaseJuly 16, 1973 –
June 28, 1974

The Wizard of Odds is an American game show hosted by Alex Trebek that aired on NBC from July 16, 1973 to June 28, 1974 in which people from the studio audience vied in a number of rounds, primarily games revolving around statistical questions. Sam Riddle was the show's first announcer; towards the end of the run, Charlie O'Donnell replaced him.

Broadcast history[edit]

Relatively short-lived, The Wizard of Odds replaced Sale of the Century at 11:00 AM Eastern (10:00 Central). The show did not perform well against CBS' Gambit (later replaced by Now You See It) and NBC dropped it after less than a year.

Wizard was Trebek's first American game show, after starting his broadcast career in his native Canada. He later hosted two more NBC games, High Rollers (which replaced Wizard), from 1974–1976 and again from 1978-1980, as well as Classic Concentration from 1987-1991. Since 1984, he has hosted the syndicated TV hit game Jeopardy!

Episode status[edit]

It is believed[by whom?] that the series was wiped as per network policy of the era, with NBC continuing this process until 1979. The May 20, 1974 episode with special guest Don DeFore exists in the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Rules of the game[edit]

Contestants were selected from the studio audience and answered questions based on statistical information, all for cash and prizes.

"The Wizard" (Trebek) began the show by choosing three contestants and asking them questions based on the law of averages, with cash and prizes awarded accordingly for correct answers. The next three players were given a series of phrases and told to pick the one that did not match. The person with the most correct answers was given the chance to pick one of five prizes, located behind windows that were either "open" or "locked". This person could continue to play or stop at any time, keeping the prizes; however, selecting a window that was locked lost all prizes accumulated up to that point.

Every contestant selected had his or her name added to the "Wizard's Wheel of Fortune."

Wizard's Wheel of Fortune[edit]

At the end of the show, Trebek spun the wheel and the person it landed on was eligible for bonus gifts. A list of averages was then brought out, with a number above it. The contestant had to pick a group of items whose average added up to exactly the target number. If the contestant was correct, he or she won the bonus gifts, including a brand new car.


The theme song was composed and sung by Alan Thicke, who was also one of the show's producers.


Nearly a week after the show debuted, Leo Guild (who has created numerous radio and television shows, books, and newspaper columns) filed a $2 million lawsuit against NBC for stealing his Wizard title, which had been used as a newspaper column during the late 1940s.[1]


  1. ^ "Quiz Show Sued". The Dispatch. 92 (68). Lexington, NC: New Media Investment Group. United Press International. July 23, 1973. p. 1. Retrieved July 22, 2012.

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