They’re Called One-Armed Bandits for a Reason

After spending a couple of months living in Las Vegas, I decided to head north. I pulled my VW Bug into the parking lot of the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino and went inside.

In my pocket was around $800 and it was burning a hole. I decided to sit down and play a few dollars in a slot machine.

At first it paid out, adding $250 to my wad of cash. But like so many others who come to the gaming mecca’s of Nevada, my luck quickly stalled and I started losing.

However, I reasoned that my luck could return jus’ as quickly as it had left. This is where the casinos have it over their guests.

Within an hour I was down to a few bucks in my wallet. I realized that then I had jus’ blown all the money I’d saved to rent a place, buy gas and food and search for a job.

Disappointed in myself, I got up and walked across the casino to the restrooms where I washed my face with cold water and tried to rethink my situation. I knew standing there, staring at myself in the mirror, wasn’t going to make the situation better.

As I started towards the doors, I had to pass by the slot machine that turned into a one-armed bandit. There was an elderly woman sitting in the spot I had most recently occupied.

Without warning, I heard a scream, followed by flashing lights, bells and alarms. I turned back to see what was going on.

The elderly woman had jus’ hit the jackpot. It wasn’t jus’ “a jackpot,” it was “the jackpot.”

Not only did she win $86,000 in cash, she won the brand-new and very shiny Porsche Targa 911-Turbo on display in the center of the slot machine bank.

That night, I walked out of the MGM Grand having learned two things: God never meant for me to gamble and there is no such thing as luck. I lived for two-weeks in my VW Bug as a result of this lesson.

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