Man loses life savings on New Hampshire carnival game trying to win Xbox

Posted Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:43 AM | Contributed by Vater

Henry Gribbohm says he attended a Manchester carnival run by New Hampshire-based Fiesta Shows and wanted to win an Xbox Kinect at a game called Tubs of Fun where contestants toss balls into a tub. When he practiced he says it was easy, but something changed when he started playing for the prize and the balls kept popping out.

Read more and see video from WBZ/Boston.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:46 AM

Moron. Why not just spend the $300 on the Box?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:52 AM

Stupidity knows no bounds.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 10:08 AM

Since when does one get to "practice" before playing?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 10:20 AM

Or just wait until the 720 comes out and the 360 drops further in price?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 10:25 AM

Seems to me that if your "Life Savings" is only $2600 there are bigger issues than not winning a carnival game.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 10:34 AM

Mike Gallagher said:

Since when does one get to "practice" before playing?

Obviously, I don't know what happened here but if it is the standard bucket game I'm thinking of its common for the carny to throw a ball in from the side so that it stays in and say, "See, its try" then gives you a ball which you throw in from a straight angle. Your ball hits the carny's ball in the tub, softens the landing, and both balls remain in tub. When you pay, the carny removes both balls and now when you throw your ball it is free to hit the back (bottom) of the tub directly and bounce back out.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 10:42 AM

"When he practiced he says it was easy, but something changed when he started playing for the prize and the balls kept popping out."

People of New Hampshire, do you declare "shenanigans" on the carnival operator?

Get out your broomsticks!

Last edited by rollergator, Wednesday, May 1, 2013 10:54 AM
Wednesday, May 1, 2013 10:49 AM

I've seen stories about how badly rigged some of these games are on various news shows such as 60 Minutes and 20/20. In some cases you'd have to break every known laws of physics in order to win. Stay away from these kinds of games! If you just have to play Midway Games play the ones that give out coupons that you can redeem for prizes. During the ACE Summer Conference that was held in Denver, Colorado in 1990 one of the members was a "Super Expert" on the Skee-Ball Games. I swear this fellow could roll the ball and hit the 100 point hole BLINDFOLDED. We paid him $2.00 to play a game, he'd pocket $1.00 and play the other dollar. We got 3,600 Points, 3,500 of which was good for a HUGE Stuffed Animal. As for the remaining 100 points, 85 Points got you a keychain, 10 Points got you a "Halloween" sized piece of candy. the remaining five points went into my scrapbook.

Last edited by Regulus, Wednesday, May 1, 2013 1:17 PM
Wednesday, May 1, 2013 10:56 AM

The moral of this story is stay away from carnival games if you have a gambling problem.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 11:08 AM

^ I do, and I do.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 11:35 AM

I get the whole "wrapped up in the excitement" thing. You're in the moment, you're involved, you just know you can win it. Carnival games and casinos rely on that.

Here's what I don't get: walking away, driving home, getting thousands of dollars, driving back, and at no point saying to himself, "Hm, this may not be such a good idea."

Also: he keeps his life savings, in cash, in his house? What they say about a fool and his money is true....

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 12:05 PM

^Maybe his mattress pays a better rate of interest than his money market account?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 12:15 PM

The Tempur-Pedic Bank & Trust? :-)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 12:36 PM

I can't help but think this is fake but if it isn't, this guy is the biggest moron of our time.

“You just get caught up in the whole ‘I’ve got to win my money back.’”


Wednesday, May 1, 2013 12:42 PM

I played a game at a local carnival years ago and the girl let me practice twice. The game setup was 3 pool balls racked in a triangle formation with a little peg or something standing up in the space between them. I think the object was to not knock the peg over on the break.

I'm a decent pool shot, so I figured it would be cake, and it was...until I paid the cash that made my shot count. I think I officially tried two or three times and then realized she had to have been racking the balls (heh) differently for the practice shots. Obviously rigged, I left feeling really stupid...and that was after only losing something like 10 bucks.

I can't get my head around making the conscious decision to go home, grab 2300 dollars, come back and continue to fail many, many more times until I was broke.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 1:07 PM

Hey, at least he won a banana.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 1:25 PM

Part of me wants to think it's a fake story, but it IS on the internet, so...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 1:30 PM

Way to go, to further the notion that no longer do people need to learn from their stupidity or be accountable for their idiotic mistakes.

I refuse to "like" them on that premise alone.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 1:53 PM

How much did the game cost?

Even at an outrageous $10 per throw, that means he played it 260 times!


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