If you can recreate this … or make sense of it … you’ll be rich.
Our Vegas gambling budget is very, very low. We’re only spending $1 a day. Only $1. The theory being that if we’re going to luck-out, then it’ll just happen – there’s no reason to sit around wasting money waiting for it.
Lisa played on our first day. Put the dollar in. Bet-bet-bet. Poof, money gone in about 45 seconds. Later we drowned our sorrows with a cheap drink at Stage Door, a dive bar just off the strip that serves drinks for nearly nothing (Busch bottle + shot of Ancient Age = $2; hotdog + Bud bottle = $2.50).
Day two we never stopped at a machine. Without the sting of loss, we revert to pre-trip spending habits. We get a pair of pricey drinks at the Bellagio.
Day three, I wanted to play. I was looking for a penny slot (the strip is full of them thanks to the economy) with three actual spinner things (no screen) and only one line of betting. (I hate penny slots that have 10 lines that you can bet 10x on. That’s a $1 slot pretending to be a penny slot.) We were wandering around the Monte Carlo casino looking for a happy hour deal when Lisa pointed out a machine.
“How about that one?” she asked. It was either a quarter machine or a dollar one, but it had all the other qualities. Nope.
“Let’s do that one,” I point past her selection to a group of pennies. There’s one open machine in the cluster. It has three real wheels and a real pull bar. I put my dollar in before realizing its one of those multi-line fuckers.
The machine shows that I have 100 credits. Lights light up and flash and we’re not sure what to do. There’s a screen above the machine that tells us nothing. It’s not clear what’s good and what’s great on the wheels. There are no bars nor cherries, there are cowboys and horses or something. Who knows.
I know I’m supposed to max-bet because if I win the big jackpot, the maximum bet returns skew richer, so I push the button to bet the max per line. This automatically triggers a pull and the machine starts spinning. I’m upset. I just bet 90% of my money on one pull. The previous player was betting 9 lines, so that’s what I ended up betting – 9 lines, 10 per.
So it spins and spins and three cowboys or something stop in the window. That turns out to be good, but before we can figure out how good, they start spinning again and the machine starts shaking and making a ton of noise. I’m supposed to push the big button or something so I do and things stop, then spin again, then stop, then spin again. My credits are still at 10, but there’s some sort of credit multiplier or phantom credit number that’s up to 200 next to the remaining credit number on the machine. $2 is fine, I’m thinking. But what the hell is going on?
While I’m stupefied by the machine, Lisa looks at the woman at the next machine. She’s glaring. I still have no idea what’s happening. Lots of slot machines have a payout cheat-sheet at the top; this one doesn’t.
I’m getting upset. I’m sick of this flashing light crap and want either my remaining $0.10 or maybe the $2, so I push the cash out button. The blinking stops, my credit number starts spinning like a gerbil on steroids. It stops at 9,878. What the fuck?
The machine spits out my receipt: $98.78. What the fuck?
I show it to Lisa. What the fuck?
The woman next to us continues to glare. Her husband glares. What the fuck?
Let’s get out of here. Whatever happened was good and this receipt is clearly a mistake and now we’ve got nearly two tanks of gas worth of money almost in our pocket if we can just convert it to cash.
We flee the scene. Lisa takes my picture with the receipt, but we forget to get a picture of the machine in our rush to get real cash. The cashier guy takes our receipt, counts our money, and hands it over.
We leave the casino, happy hour forgotten. We realize this on the sidewalk. Damn. Fate smiles again. We’re handed $3 drink coupons by a guy in front of Diablo’s Cantina, a margarita bar. We seek refuge inside, keeping our heads down as if we just robbed the place.
“I can see how this is addicting,” Lisa says. “Winning money is fun!”