You can still win….even if you don’t play.   22 comments


I didn’t win the lottery again this week. I didn’t roll up the rim of my Tim Hortons coffee cup and become the proud new owner of a Toyota Corolla. I also didn’t scratch and win and I didn’t cry out “bingo”. There wasn’t even a knock at my door from the good people at Publishers Clearing House congratulating me and handing over a giant check. (Kind of crazy to give a person a check that big in my opinion. How would you ever get it in the bank machine?) but I digress.

I know you are probably thinking this is another one of my sad woe is me tales, and you’ve already grabbed your tissues and are mentally preparing yourself for a good cry. But fear not friends this is not one of those rants.

You see the reason I didn’t win anything this week is because I didn’t play. And I didn’t play because I don’t get gambling.

It’s not that I can’t grasp the concept, I’m not stupid. I just can’t fathom why people do it. Now before any of you Texas hold ’em fans come at me all guns a blazing. Relax. I’m not judging. If it makes you happy go for it. I’m a closet Trekkie and love blue bubble gum ice cream. So who am I to tell you how to spend your free time?

But here’s the question that begs to be answered…does it make you happy?

Recently I had the pleasure of spending an evening with some friends who love to go to the casino. It is probably one of my least favourite activities and falls somewhere between cleaning out my fridge and grocery shopping with a 2 year old. But not wanting to spoil their fun I slapped a smile on my face and followed them to the ATM.

After paying a ridiculous amount of money ($3 )to take out $20 I was already feeling like this was not going to be my night. That $3 could of bought me one scoop on a waffle cone and would have lasted a whole lot longer than the $20 bucks I was about to hand over to the obnoxiously loud slot machine.

We picked what was sure to be the machine that would lead us all to financial freedom and settled in on our stools. The greedy beast swallowed my 20 bucks like the vacuum it was and so began the fun. I pulled and lost and pulled and won. Sometimes a whole 75 cents. It was a crazy and I was bored.

So I stopped paying attention to my machine and the crazy rows of mining elves that never quite matched up and started watching the people around me. What I saw was quite surprising.

No one appeared to be enjoying themselves. They didn’t smile or laugh or do any of the things people generally do when they are partaking in an activity they enjoy. They just sat transfixed, mindlessly pressing the spin button and waiting for Lady Luck to show up and change their life.

Occasionally there would be a ding ding ding somewhere in the casino which would jolt them back to reality and make them look around to see who had just become the latest big winner of a whopping $274.

I guess that person had a good night. Of course it was not disclosed how much he had fed the giant chrome beast before he hit his jackpot. I guess that’s not really the point. He won.

I won too, but then I lost….it all. At one point I was up $15.35 and then just like that it was all gone. Which was fine. I learned a long time ago that if I was going to make money in life I was going to have to work for it.

And then it hit me. Maybe the reason some of the people didn’t look like they were enjoying themselves was because they weren’t. Maybe this wasn’t them having a fun night out it with friends it was actually them trying to make money. Maybe at some point this had become a job for them and they were just waiting to get paid. Sadly, this boss rarely handed out big bonuses and there were no paid benefits.

Now I’m sure there are lots of people who do go to casinos and enjoy every minute of the experience. They allot themselves a bit of money to gamble and from time to time walk away with a little more than what they came in with. They laugh and joke and at the end of the night they can honestly say they have thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

As for the others…a piece of advice. The house always wins, so go find the nearest ice cream shop, have yourself a double scoop of your favourite flavour, grab a newspaper and look for a new job. I hear they are hiring at Baskin and Robbins mention my name and you as good as hired!




22 responses to “You can still win….even if you don’t play.

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  1. Haha – I’m with you!

  2. I get this! It’s not just gambling. Weddings, family reunions, holiday gatherings. I noticed long ago, in my family, no one ever had fun. They were always stressed or mad or bored. So I just stopped going! My life is much more fun now.

    Oh and I never win when I gamble, so I stopped that too 🙂

    • I agree completely the stress and expectations involved are a recipe for disappointment. Good for you to recognize and avoid the drama and potential conflict. Life’s short don’t waste your time fighting the futile.

  3. Good point. I’ve been in Casinos as well and watched curiously as people are transfixed by these one armed bandits. I often find it interesting on the TV ads how they show people laughing and having such fabulous time. Not so much when you’re there. Thanks. Great read.

  4. I put a few dollars here and there on Keno but that’s about it. It’s depressing seeing people who can’t afford it feed $50 note after $50 note into poker machines, I don’t really get it either.

  5. I’ve never understood the lure or thrill of gambling. I feel like if I just flush my money down the toilet, I’ll have a better chance of breaking even at the very minimum (plus then I don’t have to dress and go out in public). And since I’m most definitely not willing to spend my hard earned spare money that way (I would much rather have ice cream too), I guess I’ll never know the “joys of gambling”. Hell I don’t even play the lottery—you know the saying–if it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all!

  6. casinos and golf courses – two places that are not on my bucket list. I don’t understand the appeal. Well, I suppose that’s a lie. Of course I understand that there is an appeal for some people. Not me, though. Great post. I love Baskin Robbins.

  7. I’ve done the Lottery and sometimes you win some and sometimes you lose. But when there are other things that need to be paid, Bills rent etc…the lottery tickets don’t call my name secretly from the background.
    But yes many times you find that desperation drives people or worse it’s an addiction. But if your lucky one and can go for little while to a casino and listen to the bells and whistles around you and walk out with a little smile, may the power be with you.

  8. I’ve always felt the same way as you. I have a very good friend who loves gambling. When she wins (and she normally does), she takes 80 percent of the money and gives it to charity. She seriously has the best karma of anyone I know, but for me, watching my money go away without anything in return gives me nothing but anxiety. I’ll play the nickel slots though. $10 can give you hours of entertainment!

  9. Actually – little known fact – casinos are designed – down to the very last insignificant detail, like the pile of the carpeting to purposefully “zone people out” so they become mesmerized by the machines etc. And even the machines – the screens, lighting etc. are positioned and designed to literally suck you in and turn your brain off. Add the “human factor” of the desire to beat the bank or house – and presto – magic! You’re right – most people don’t enjoy themselves at casinos, or when sitting in front of a VLT (video lottery terminal) precisely because of the machines and ambiance itself – and because they take it all too seriously. Pardon the pun – but it’s a total crap shoot.

  10. I’m so with you. It would be ok if people just gambled but I think the kitch decor, bling and bad taste built around it is obscene.

  11. I like the message wrapped in humour; easier to swallow. So, I just mention your name and the job is mine huh? 🙂

  12. Great post! All I can say is I don’t get gambling either! 🙂

  13. I don’t really gamble, except for the lottery ticket I buy each week. I know the odds are stacked against me but just for a few moments I can pretend I’m a multi-millionaire. And then the numbers come up and I haven’t won. But it doesn’t matter because I could be a millionaire next week 🙂

    Trails and Ultras
  14. I get it! I don’t like Vegas (well, maybe the people watching) b/c I could care less. I know the odds and they’re not in my favor:). Moving on to to other vices . . . well, no comment.

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