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.

Sunday, May 5, 2013 10:26 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

My impression of Mr Trump has always been someone who knows how to manipulate the system and the importance of marketing -- and something of a grifter.

I mean, he's filed for bankruptcy multiple times. Running casinos. How do you repeatedly go bankrupt running casinos?

Hm. So yes, I guess he is smart. Not business smart. He's "I can fool you into thinking I'm a competent businessman because my name is on things even though businesses I run go bankrupt" smart.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Sunday, May 5, 2013 10:42 AM

Trump filed bankrutpcy multiple times because of debt. Take any business, add enough debt to it and then have a downturn and you will very likely need to restructure your debt (typically done in a bankrutpcy).

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Sunday, May 5, 2013 11:16 AM
Jeff's avatar

ApolloAndy said:
Is winning the lottery a skill?

No, it's a probability dictated by known statistics. You aren't lucky to win the lottery, you're the outcome of a number.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Sunday, May 5, 2013 12:01 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I'll go with Jeff's answer. :)

My thought is that you have to pick the numbers. It's not passive. There's two sides of it - you pick numbers and so do the lottery officials. To me 'luck' implies something good happens to you for no reason whatsoever. I don't believe there's any situation in life where that's the case. You always have control over at least part of the equation. Luck is merely playing your hand well. It doesn't even have to be a conscious thing - it can be more instinctual.

Luck is the residue of design.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Sunday, May 5, 2013 12:03 PM
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Sunday, May 5, 2013 12:02 PM
ThatStrangeKid42's avatar

Epic. Fail.

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Sunday, May 5, 2013 12:06 PM
rollergator's avatar

You're only "lucky" if you're smart enough not to play the lottery (genetics being somewhat of a gamble)...

I've always subscribed to the notion that what people call "luck" is usually the end result of thought, effort, and preparation. "Bad luck," of course, is just the opposite situation...

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Sunday, May 5, 2013 12:32 PM
Jeff's avatar

I'll take it one step further. I can't stand when someone tells me that some event in my life occurred "for a reason." Yeah, that's true, but it's never because of some kind of fate or grand design. People get cancer for all kinds of reasons, like genetics and environment. People get hit by busses because they didn't look crossing the street. People win the lottery because the numbers chosen by random matched.

Yes, everything happens for a reason... one that can generally be explained.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Sunday, May 5, 2013 12:50 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

People misuse the ideas of luck and of providence (i.e. your mom got cancer for a reason. i.e. I have bad luck and always get bad results when I roll dice). But I can't understand how you could deny the existence of luck. (I personally believe in providence, but I can understand denying its existence and I'm not going to defend it in this post to keep the worms in the can).

Is it semantics? Clearly there's physics involved in which ball falls out of the tumbler, but it's not like anyone is doing the math. Call it chance, call it random, call it "way too complex math for anyone to be able to calculate it." Or call it luck. The fact is there's no skill involved at all and any decision made has no basis at all to choose one number vs. another. Whatever label you put on it, it's not "smarts."

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Sunday, May 5, 2013 12:51 PM

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Sunday, May 5, 2013 1:12 PM
rollergator's avatar

ApolloAndy said:

Call it chance, call it random, call it "way too complex math for anyone to be able to calculate it."

There's a PBS program called "all things considered." I subscribe to the belief that that can never happen. In a decision situation, you consider those inputs you consider most relevant, those which data is readily accessible (like the die rolls), you might even consider the weather before the Kentucky Derby, or which players are a given team are injured...(Derrick Rose and the Bulls).

You take in TONS of data, some portion of which is subconscious and not even available if you're asked to explain your rationale. Or, you don't take that in, but maybe oddsmakers do. Or there may be factors beyond *their* consideration (and they're PAID to think of those things).

It's my opinion that the last paragraph explains 80-90% of what people generally call "luck."

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Sunday, May 5, 2013 1:23 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

ApolloAndy said:

Whatever label you put on it, it's not "smarts."

For the record, I never said that.

I'm saying it's not just a random, passive, dumb luck occurance.

By the very nature of winning the lottery, you had to choose to play and you had to choose which numbers to play in some manner. The second you make a choice, you're not leaving it entirely to 'luck' to determine your fate. You've influenced the outcome.

And every single thing you do in life is a decision or choice.

Therefore, I reason that nothing that happens to you is 'luck' in any way. Everything you do influences what happens to you. It's really as simple as that.

rollergator said:

In a decision situation, you consider those inputs you consider most relevant...

You take in TONS of data, some portion of which is subconscious and not even available if you're asked to explain your rationale.

This.

People we call 'lucky' are just really good at this...whether it be conscious or subconscious...or both. They put themselves in favorable situations.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Sunday, May 5, 2013 1:26 PM
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Sunday, May 5, 2013 1:53 PM

To me 'luck' implies something good happens to you for no reason whatsoever.

I can think of one thing that meets this test: the circumstances of your birth.


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Sunday, May 5, 2013 2:01 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

That's about as close as you can get, I suppose.

But at the same time, maybe there are circumstances at play on a much larger scale - whether you believe in the spirtual (like God) or the physical (like some greater force or events in the universe) - that we simply don't perceive or understand that determine even the conditions of our creation?

Either way, the moment you pop out you start playing your hand...and I think life has shown us that it's only at the extreme ends of the sprectrum that you can't overcome the hand that you were dealt by playing smart.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Sunday, May 5, 2013 2:48 PM
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Sunday, May 5, 2013 5:50 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Wait a minute. So your claim is that if I flip a coin and you call "heads" and it lands heads, that's not luck?

I don't understand how any reasonable definition of luck would not include the outcome of this situation...unless you're getting spiritual and claiming that some greater force is at work directing the outcome...

Are you rejecting the notion that there is no a priori evidence to pick one or the other and that there are actually people who could do better than 50/50 (assuming totally fair coin etc. etc.)?

(Leaving quantum mechanics out, because that's a whole 'nother can of worms that doesn't need opening).

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Sunday, May 5, 2013 6:06 PM

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Sunday, May 5, 2013 5:52 PM

I view luck and dumb luck differently. Luck involves things that are uncertain but that have known causes with some correlation. You don't know whether the cause will happen or the correlation will hold. People who know what they are doing study the causation and correlation and know a lot about both. And they may believe the cause will happen (or won't) and the correlation will hold (or won't), and they act accordingly. But the luck comes into play in any given situation in terms of whether the cause actually happens and the correlation actually holds. Over time, if you know what you are doing, you will come out ahead. But in the short term, that may not be true. And on a long term basis, taking actions where the odds are in your favor make it more likely you will come out ahead than if the odds are not. Less certain that will be the case in terms of the short term.

Dumb luck are things where planning, knowledge, understanding, etc. produce no significant advantage in terms of success or failure. I think the womb from which we fall is an example of that. And as a pratical matter, so is the lottery. Yes you need to play to win. And you need to pick numbers (through some method). But tens of millions of people play and do not win. And from what I have read, most people now (including winners) are using auto pick numbers by the system and even if you pick your own numbers, your odds to not change on a given ticket. So you need more than just playing and method picking numbers to win. And what that is I call dumb luck (there isn't anything you can do to increase the odds of any ticket you buy to win).

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Sunday, May 5, 2013 6:40 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

But at the same time, maybe there are circumstances at play on a much larger scale - whether you believe in the spirtual (like God) or the physical (like some greater force or events in the universe) - that we simply don't perceive or understand that determine even the conditions of our creation?

Unless the person I would be determined my intelligence, physical characteristics, etc. at the moment of my conception/birth (which seems totally backwards and incredibly circular to me), I think all of those characteristics are luck to me. What did I do to deserve them or influence what they were?

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Sunday, May 5, 2013 6:45 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

ApolloAndy said:

Wait a minute. So your claim is that if I flip a coin and you call "heads" and it lands heads, that's not luck?

Not really...for the simple fact that you could've called tails. But you didn't. You control 50% of the outcome.

Are you rejecting the notion that there is no a priori evidence to pick one or the other and that there are actually people who could do better than 50/50 (assuming totally fair coin etc. etc.)?

At any given time under any given circumstances, your ability to choose correctly could vary. You win a coin flip, you may lose it. You might go 10-for-10 at some point and at another time go 0-for-10.

But in all those cases you used whatever info you have (and this goes back to the idea that it doesn't even have to be a conscious calculation) to make your call.

I don't understand how any reasonable definition of luck would not include the outcome of this situation...

Just because part of the equation is not in your control doesn't mean it's luck. It's still the result series of events. Nothing just happens. You don't win or lose a coin toss without making a choice.


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Sunday, May 5, 2013 7:48 PM

Gonch, Andy's right on the coin flip question. You are essentially trying to predict the outcome of a random event. Assuming an unbiased coin, there is no information you have to improve your chances beyond 50/50, and so the outcome is exactly that---random. Being "right" more often than is statistically significant about random things is more or less the very definition of "luck".

Also, regarding this:

I think life has shown us that it's only at the extreme ends of the sprectrum that you can't overcome the hand that you were dealt by playing smart.


I'll agree with you that the odds of success are almost never "zero". But, you can't possibly be suggesting that my kids' odds are the same as someone born in Sudan---or even most parts of Detroit. Likewise, my kids' odds are probably not the same as the children of my hedge-fund-manager fraternity brother. The initial condition is a vastly important contributor to the final outcome.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Sunday, May 5, 2013 7:49 PM
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Sunday, May 5, 2013 7:50 PM

But whether I call heads or tails or I let you call it, or I flip the coin or let you flip it, will not detemine whether the result of the flip is heads or tails. Which is why most people would say the outcome is luck. Seems to me you are saying because I was involved in the process (either making the call or letting you and flipping the coin or letting you flip it), there is no luck. Seems to me to be a narrow definition of luck. Certainly narrower than what most people mean when they say luck (including all of the successful business people I know).

The NBA lottery will be held soon. As far as I know, the teams do not pick numbers. The team with the worst record has the best chance to win the top pick. The second worst record provides the second best chance. Is there luck involved? What choice did the team that wins the top pick make?

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Sunday, May 5, 2013 8:03 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

Just because part of the equation is not in your control doesn't mean it's luck. It's still the result series of events. Nothing just happens. You don't win or lose a coin toss without making a choice.

But the choice you make is completely meaningless and there's nothing of consequence actually in your control.

What if I flip two coins and you win if they're the same (in which case you had no decision making capacity). Is there luck then?


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Sunday, May 5, 2013 8:51 PM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar

This guy has nobody to blame but himself for losing so much money. I agree that he should of just went out and bought the Xbox.

I consider all of those games rigged. This is why I stay away from them. I stick with arcade games and skeeball. At least those make it worth your while. :)

-Tina

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