THE ANATOMY OF A JACKPOT
Life after hitting it BIG
By Frank Scoblete
Winning the “big one” is probably every slot player’s dream. Those reels spin or those characters hop up and down, the music plays, the money symbols land, land and land, and baskets of fruits or flowers or animated figures pile together. The big money, the huge money, is yours!
“I won close to one million dollars on a machine, a Wheel of Fortune, and I was like paralyzed for a minute. I couldn’t believe it.” said Janice Davidson. “It is something I always dreamt about, you know, going home with so much money that your whole life changes. Well, my life did change.”
The first change that Janice experienced was how much rigmarole she had to go through just after winning. ‘They wanted to take pictures of me holding a big check. They had PR people all over the place and I was kind of like sleep walking. You don’t get the money in cash in your hand that’s for sure. I think they also had to check the machine to see if it was broken.”
When she finally got her money, after the necessary taxes were removed by the government, Janice finally made it home. She didn’t wait. She called her relatives – rather, the ones she was speaking to – and her friends. Everyone was happy for her.
There is a commercial running in the New York area about a man who also won over a million dollars. He explains that he knew he was going to win big that day so he shaved, dressed in a suit, went to the casino and in short order won a load of money. Did Janice have such a “winning feeling” before she entered the casino that day?
“No,” she recalled. “I didn’t feel anything. I was just hoping to have some fun, but I never thought this was going to be my day. I just wanted the money I brought to last me through the day.”
She continued: “I wonder if there are thousands of people who think ‘today is my day’ and they go to the machines and lose. I am guessing there are a lot more of those people, who feel so lucky before they go, but their luck just doesn’t produce anything more than a day of playing the slots. No big wins. I don’t think there is anything to the psychic stuff. The one guy who wins thinks he predicted it but all those losers who thought they would be winners; their ESP wasn’t working that day.”
What changes to her life has such a jackpot brought?
“Well, my life had gotten easier but really I still work and I have gotten some calls [she laughs], one from my ‘long lost cousin Jimmy who wanted to hook up and relive the great old times we shared as kids. I barely remembered the guy. I hadn’t seen him in decades but suddenly he talked on the phone as if we were friends. Who the heck was this guy? Finally he asked to borrow some money as he had hit some hard times. I hung up and never answered the phone again. I just get my messages.”
One wonders if such big wins are always good things. Janice thinks so. “Oh, yes, I am very happy I won that money. The nonsense was just a little compared to the joy in never having to worry about money ever again.”
Does she still play the machines?” I love playing slots, I do. I play about twice a month. The only real difference is that I give myself about twice the amount of money that I used to but that is the only change I have made. I have a certain amount that I’ll spend but no more than that. I am not about to lose my jackpot, I can tell you that plain as day. But I am a slot player through and through.”
Janice could be considered “every player” or at the very least every player that has had that great stroke of fortune meet her in a big bang. She was able to overcome the odds to win such an amount of money but she also recognized that slot wins are not predetermined.
No one really knows they will win. The games are random. The guy making the television commercial about his psychic sense that told him he would win that day, should say hello to the thousands who thought they would win the “big one” that day too but didn’t. This man should be grateful that his luck and the randomness of the machine coincided at that particular moment. Even the machine did not know what was coming next. How could the man?
But Janice? Blessed by Heaven? Or just blessed?
“The main thing is that I am happy I won.” That is probably more than enough!
[Read Frank Scoblete’s books I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage- Play Blackjack, I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps and Confessions of a Wayward Catholic! All available from Amazon.com, on Kindle and electronic media, at Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores. Visit frank’s web site at www.frankscobIete.com.]