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.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 1:24 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
I believe it's totally possible to put yourself into advantageous situations. That you create your own 'luck' in life. You've made a series of decisions to play against the world's series of decisions. It may be complex, but it's happens.

Not sure that anyone was contesting that possibility. I know that I wasn't.

I think that when you look at someone's involvement in any given outcome, there are differing levels of involvement. If I buy a winning lottery ticket, I was definitely involved in buying a ticket and telling the store clerk "auto pick" for the numbers. But that involvement was so minor and random in the ultimate result that I think it should be discounted pretty much entirely. Whats left I call "luck."

On the other end of the spectrum, I think that someone who drops out of high school without a degree and then blames bad "luck" on the troubles he/she has down the road in life is wrong. His/her involvement in those future outcomes was neither minor nor random.

Do many people tend to put the "luck" label on situations where it doesn't really apply (at least not as the primary driver of the outcome) because of the significance of their own involvment in the situation? Sure. Doesn't mean that there is no such thing as luck though (at least as I define luck which at no time would involve any type of superior being influencing the cards that anyone is dealt).

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013 1:38 PM
rollergator's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

I think it's entirely possible to possess a 'feel' or a 'vibe' for those things. It's not that you have mapped each event - it's more like estimating the answer to an equation. I didn't do all the work, but I'm in the ballpark with the answer.

I'm known around the office as the guy to ask when the hard data is lacking, of poor quality, or too time-consuming - I'm a good guesser. If you want to know "about how many kids that have this condition end up in that program" or something similar...you come to me. I'm almost never *right*, but I'm typically pretty close. Part of that comes from the experience gained at guessing over the years. I've gotten better by looking at the results (when they become available), and figuring out what I missed or where my "instincts" needed refinement.

What is the purpose? To gradually remove "luck", and insert in its place actual experience working with those things that normally go (or historically have gone) unexamined.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013 1:59 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

GoBucks89 said:

I think that when you look at someone's involvement in any given outcome, there are differing levels of involvement...Whats left I call "luck."

I think that's what all of us do. It's just that on the sliding scale...

Involvement<------------------------------------------------------------->Luck

...we all place the line where involvement becomes luck in very different places.

I slide that sumbitch all the way to the end. :)

I believe I have (or at least potentially have) more control over things than most people would.

To get back to my original statement, "I don't believe in luck"

Nothing "just happens" regardless of if you personally control it or not or if you can observe and detail it. Everything is a series of events. The second I think that way, I slide my slide position to the end and luck ceases to exist. At this point, to me, all we're debating is the level in which we can capture and harness that fact.

rollergator said:

I'm known around the office as the guy to ask when the hard data is lacking, of poor quality, or too time-consuming - I'm a good guesser...

(edited for brevity)

Totally understand this.

I feel like I've always been one to just 'get' things. For whatever reason, I have a history of feeling, understanding, analyzing, reading, interpreting....whatever verb you choose...a given situation or thing. I've tended to get called 'lucky' a lot. I don't buy it.


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Tuesday, May 7, 2013 2:31 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
I think that's what all of us do. It's just that on the sliding scale...

Involvement<------------------------------------------------------------->Luck

...we all place the line where involvement becomes luck in very different places.

I slide that sumbitch all the way to the end. :)

As a philosophy/approach to life, I totally understand and think its a great way to live. Even if it does have you taking the position that there is no luck involved in winning the lottery or a coin toss because you have defined luck out of existence. :)

I feel like I've always been one to just 'get' things. For whatever reason, I have a history of feeling, understanding, analyzing, reading, interpreting....whatever verb you choose...a given situation or thing. I've tended to get called 'lucky' a lot. I don't buy it.

If you can repeatedly make predictions about future events that are more accurate than blind guesses, then its not luck (at least not entirely so). And the more you can repeat it over a longer period of time, the less luck is involved at all.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013 4:39 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

So Gonch, if I understand you correctly, because it's *theoretically* possible to predict the outcome of a coin toss better than 50/50, me happening to predict it correctly one time on a whim isn't luck?


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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Tuesday, May 7, 2013 6:55 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I'm going to say technically yes, it isn't luck. It happens for a reason - and not in the spiritual or philosphical sense, but in a very real physical sense. It's the result of your choice compared against the mechanics of the coin flip.

Let me look at it a different way.

It would be possible to produce a situation (whether by skill or machine or whatever) that resulted in the desired result of the coin toss. The coin toss can be controlled.

I mean, if anyone really wanted to go infinity-for-infinity on coin tosses, with a little work, practice, ingenuity, skill or whatever, it would be possible to create those results.

Would it be luck if I made a machine that would flip a coin that resulted in heads every time (or at least nearly every time) so that I called the result perfectly (or at worst well within the margin of error)?

It can be controlled. However, usually the point of a coin toss is the lack of control and seemingly random (although technically still based in the mechanics of the flip) toss.

Either way to me, the result of the calling the coin toss happens because of specific events.

If you call a coin toss wrong, do you say, "I was unlucky" or do you say, "I was wrong"?

I say the latter.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Tuesday, May 7, 2013 6:57 PM
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Tuesday, May 7, 2013 8:01 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

As a former carnival employee, I NEVER play any carnival game that I do not trust. The guy is a moron for paying that much to win a prize that cost a fraction of what he spent. If I was the carnival worker, I would have just given him the Xbox, at $1,000.00. Not only would that made him happy, it would appear to others that he won it. I worked the bottle game once, (the one where you pick up the bottle with a kind of fishing pole, and a guy spent over $200.00 trying to win his girlfriend a jumbo sized stuffed bear. The guy working with me, felt so bad, he gave him the bear. and said, consider it sold. He made more money, by people coming to play the game, by seeing that man leaving carrying the bear.Most games are not rigged, but they do make it next to impossible for you to win. On a Basketball toss, the hoop is just big enough for the ball to fit through, and they are mis-shaped, so that the ball bounces off the hoop, more than it goes in. You have to hit it exactly right, or you'll never win. Another one is the ring toss, where the square base that you have to get the ring around, just fits inside the hoop when it is laid flat. The basket game he was playing, also depends on the angle of the basket, the carnie will angle it so the ball stays in, and then change the angle so the ball always pops out. Even skeeball has a downfall, as the balls are uneven weight, so that it goes to the side if you throw it straight, or slows down faster than an even weight ball would. The best way to do skeeball is to throw in from the side, or bounce it off the edge, just ike bowling with trainer walls, the ball will go toward the center.The only games that have high chances of winning, are the race games. Someone always wins, though the prizes for those games suck, and you have to trade up for bigger prizes, which involves paying to race many times, and win, to get a good prize. It would be nice if they had a prize for placing in those races. But, they are far too cheap for that.Those carnival prizes don't cost jack for the carnivals to buy, and they make a ton of money.

Last edited by Timber-Rider, Tuesday, May 7, 2013 8:04 PM

I didn't do it! I swear!!

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013 10:44 PM
kpjb's avatar

Just checking... are all of you high right now?

What if there's no such thing as luck, man? Whoa... heavy!


Hi

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013 10:50 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Man, the crap I say when I'm high is even weirder.


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Tuesday, May 7, 2013 11:01 PM

Every March and October, Daytona Beach has a Biker Event (Bike Week in March, Biketoberfest in October). An insurance Company sets up a "Bobs Space Racers" Water Race Game on Beach Street, and you can play it for free. This past March I won a Race and got a medium-sized Stuffed Animal in a Biker Outfit. I will be donating it to my Church's Toy Drive this December.

Last edited by Regulus, Tuesday, May 7, 2013 11:02 PM
Answer my Prayers, Overbook my next Flight!
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Tuesday, May 7, 2013 11:20 PM
kpjb's avatar

Noted.


Hi

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013 11:35 PM
sws's avatar

I'm going to be donating a giant banana with dreadlocks. Oh, wait.....

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013 11:47 PM
bjames's avatar

kpjb said:

Just checking... are all of you high right now?

Nope, drunk ;)

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Friday, May 17, 2013 1:53 AM
Timber-Rider's avatar

Carnival games are designed to make money, pure and simple. If you walk up to one thinking you are going to win a huge prize off the bat, you are going to get suckered into spending a lot of money. I actually had a carnie try to take a stuffed bear away from me that I won on a crane game, on just 50 cents. he was trying to tell me that I cheated, and that I should not have won it, and demanded me to give it back to him. I said, ok, I will, but first we are going to the carnival office so you can explain to your boss, that you are taking prizes away from people when they win them. And, he gives me the finger, and says keep the fricken bear. But, your done playing here, and don't wan to see you over here again. Also had a kid remove a prize from a coin push game while I was playing it. It was a blue disc, that if you get the disc you get a medium toy, and he took the disc out, just as it was getting ready to fall. Again...can I see the carnival boss? What the heck!!The carnival boss came, and made them give me a free medium toy. I got a big pink stuffed dog, which is exactly what I was trying to win. So keep an eye on those games people. If you walk away from a game to get more money to play, and go back, they will have re-arranged the items while you are gone.


I didn't do it! I swear!!

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Friday, May 17, 2013 11:20 AM
LostKause's avatar

You got me thinking about something. What did the games operator claim that you did to cheat to with the prize in the crane game? How could one cheat a game like that? Did you climb inside if it?


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Friday, May 17, 2013 9:28 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

You got me on that one LostKause. All I know is, I pulled the bear out of the win slot, and he started yelling at me right away. When I play those games I go for the easiest target, instead of the popular toy. There was also a cartman southpark doll in there, and a homer simpson doll. The bear was just there, with nothing attatched to it, and I snapped it up on the first try.The trick those crane games use, is to place the toys so that they are linked together, so when you try to pull out one, wou are actually pulling out 2 or 3, and the crane slips off. Finding one that appears loose on it's own, is the easiest target. Some people even know how to "lift and seperate" by shaking other toys off from one they want. Then using the crane to push the toy into the win tray rather than trying to pick it up. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.


I didn't do it! I swear!!

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Saturday, May 18, 2013 12:23 AM

Back when I was a kid, my Father and one of his friends blew over $20.00 on the Fascination game at Cedar Point, and won nothing. I went to that game, spent a Buck and won TWICE (I got a set of coffee mugs with the coupons) My dad REFUSED to use those mugs when he drank coffee. I still have one of them, and I cherish it, reminding of that day when I has "The Skill, The Daring, THE LUCK!!!" :)If you are going to play these kinds of games, Just like in Casinos, HAVE A SET LIMIT, and when you exhaust that limit tap out graciously and enjoy the rest of the day at the park.


Answer my Prayers, Overbook my next Flight!
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Monday, March 3, 2014 1:02 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Just looking ahead to see what was scheduled on the DVR in the next week or two and saw that Morgan Freeman's Through The Wormhole is premiering this week.

But what really caught my attention (and made me bring back this old thread) is that the second episode of the season - airing March 12th - is titled, "Is Luck Real?"

Seemed appropriate given the discussion on luck that took place in this thread and I was immediately reminded of it when I saw the episode title.

I'll be very interested not only because of my take on luck, but because the show has sort of touched on similar concepts in the discussion of other topics in the past - finding patterns in supposed chaos and reverse engineering a formula to describe the movement of a randomly spinning arm to find that it's movements were entirely predictable (a couple of ideas eerily similar to my take on luck).

Just thought I'd share.


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Monday, March 3, 2014 2:48 AM

Like a trap, you are. The thing I remember from that old thread is that our T-R was very unhappy about getting cheated out of something by somebody somewhere. Then again, now that I think about it, that's what I remember about most threads.

But thanks for the heads up! Sounds interesting. What channel?

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Monday, March 3, 2014 7:16 AM

Speaking of luck, have you seen this?

http://www.npr.org/2014/02/27/282939233/good-art-is-popular-because...good-right


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