Category:
Gambling, Casinos, Lotteries and Other Games of Chance

April 10, 2016

The Science of Craps

If this is true, I assume the effect isn't significant enough to overcome the house advantage.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Sep 7, 1937

Posted By: Alex - Sun Apr 10, 2016 - Comments (9)
Category: Science, 1930's, Gambling, Casinos, Lotteries and Other Games of Chance

March 26, 2016

The Slot Sisters

Perhaps some of you living in the U.S. are playing the Safeway/Albertsons/Vons/etc. Monopoly game, which runs from Feb 3 to May 3. (For those not playing, it's a promotion in which you receive game pieces when you shop at these stores, and if you get the right combination of pieces you win various prizes).

Those playing might be interested in the experience of the "Slot Sisters" who committed themselves BIG TIME to the game when it ran last year.

By making mass purchases of Ramen noodles, they managed to acquire 42,000 game tickets. They also toured through 6 states, driving close to 3000 miles, because they thought that getting tickets in different locations would increase their chances of winning.

Their final grand total of winnings was $365 in gift cards and $800 in free groceries. Not a great return on investment. As they note, it's "not a game for people on a food budget."

And yet they promised that they'll be playing again this year.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Mar 26, 2016 - Comments (15)
Category: Gambling, Casinos, Lotteries and Other Games of Chance

January 15, 2016

Longshot Bet

In 1997 Steve Caldicott of Birmingham placed a bet with William Hill Bookmakers that his son Jack, who was 3½ months old, would score a goal for England in the World Cup final in 2018. If he scores, Steve will win $1.67 million.

Jack is now 19. Any sign that he's a budding soccer star? He's still got two years to go. But, of course, England will also have to make it to the World Cup final.

Southern Illinoisan - Jan 16, 1997

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jan 15, 2016 - Comments (6)
Category: 1990's, Gambling, Casinos, Lotteries and Other Games of Chance

December 9, 2015

The Dark Underbelly of Bingo

Over at about.com, I did a two-part series exploring the dark underbelly of bingo — articles here and here.

My favorite story was the 1990 case of a grandmother who started having non-stop orgasms and developed lesbian tendencies after a bingo scoreboard fell on her head.



Posted By: Alex - Wed Dec 09, 2015 - Comments (3)
Category: Gambling, Casinos, Lotteries and Other Games of Chance

May 29, 2014

Rat Roulette

Based on the description, it doesn't sound like this was particularly cruel to the rat, though perhaps slightly stressful for it. Apparently the Humane Society got custody of the rat once the game was closed down.


Source: Santa Cruz Evening News - Jun 15, 1939

Posted By: Alex - Thu May 29, 2014 - Comments (16)
Category: Animals, Sports, 1930's, Gambling, Casinos, Lotteries and Other Games of Chance

December 13, 2013

Confusing Cool Cash

Camelot, makers of a "Cool Cash" lottery scratchcard, thought the rules of the game were fairly simple. Users could win a prize if the number revealed by scratching off the window was "a lower temperature than the one displayed on each card." But the company had to withdraw the card after numerous people became confused by these rules. Case in point, Tina Farrell of Manchester who said:

"On one of my cards it said I had to find temperatures lower than -8. The numbers I uncovered were -6 and -7 so I thought I had won, and so did the woman in the shop. But when she scanned the card the machine said I hadn't. I phoned Camelot and they fobbed me off with some story that -6 is higher - not lower - than -8 but I'm not having it."

[Yahoo! News]

Posted By: Alex - Fri Dec 13, 2013 - Comments (12)
Category: Gambling, Casinos, Lotteries and Other Games of Chance

October 28, 2013

Lottery Tips



"Numbers are very unpredictable....Let's use a little bit of reality..."

Uh, yeah, right, um, just remembered, I left the cat boiling back home--gotta run!

Posted By: Paul - Mon Oct 28, 2013 - Comments (4)
Category: Eccentrics, Money, Outsider Art, Gambling, Casinos, Lotteries and Other Games of Chance

September 13, 2013

Orson Welles on Gambling

Back in 1978, Orson Welles did an advertising film for Caesars Palace, designed to teach would-be tourists how to gamble. I guess he needed the money. But he nevertheless goes through the rules of baccarat, craps, etc. with his distinctive style.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 13, 2013 - Comments (5)
Category: Gambling, Casinos, Lotteries and Other Games of Chance

February 15, 2013

Doc Owens, Con Man

As early as December 1900, the notorious Doc Owens was making headlines, having established his racket of fleecing sea-going sheep.



imageimage

READ LEFT-HAND COLUMN, THEN RIGHT-HAND COLUMN, THEN SAME FOR THE TWO FOLLOWING.

imageimage

Three years later, The New York Times did a special feature on Owens and his fellows (with his photo miscaptioned).

Click here for very readable PDF download.

image

image

But Owens was to meet poetic justice in 1912, as our final piece reveals.

image

Posted By: Paul - Fri Feb 15, 2013 - Comments (2)
Category: Crime, Death, Disasters, Frauds, Cons and Scams, Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, 1900's, 1910's, Gambling, Casinos, Lotteries and Other Games of Chance

October 29, 2012

Chicken Poop Bingo

The rules are that players bet on a 54-number grid. Then they wait for a chicken to poop somewhere on the grid. So it sounds more like Chicken Poop Roulette, than Bingo, since you don't wait to get a bingo. According to the Wall Street Journal, the game was invented in a New Orleans bar during the 1980s. There's also a version that involves cow poop.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Oct 29, 2012 - Comments (8)
Category: Sports, Excrement, Gambling, Casinos, Lotteries and Other Games of Chance

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Alex is best known as the curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the weird news "expert" at about.com.

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Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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