March 14, 2006

Former game show host killed in L.A. plane crash

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A former television game show host
and his wife were killed on Monday when their light plane
crashed in the ocean off the coastal suburb of Santa Monica.

Peter Tomarken, 63, host of the 1980s series "Press Your
Luck," and his wife, Kathleen, had just taken off in their
Beechcraft about 9:45 a.m. PST (1745 GMT) when the engine
failed and the plane went down near Santa Monica Pier before
horrified onlookers.

The Tomarkens reported engine trouble soon after take-off,
according to federal officials. A rescue boat was quickly on
scene, and the bodies were recovered. There were no other
people on board.

They were headed to San Diego, about 130 miles south of Los
Angeles, to bring back a cancer patient for treatment.

"Press Your Luck," noted for the dreaded word "whammy," ran
on CBS from 1983 to 1986. If a "whammy" appeared the contestant
would lose all their money and prizes. Contestants would shout
out "big bucks, no whammies" each time they spun the wheel to
win cash and prizes, according to a statement from game show
cable channel GSN.