The loser syndrome

Jack wrote this in October, 2006:

Strange how often people throw away winning tickets.

Here’s a guy spending $600 on a draw, but who doesn’t take the time to bundle those tickets up and sit around looking at them trying to find out if they win.

The reason is that he didn’t expect to win.  If he did, he’d have gone over those tickets more carefully.  This guy was evidently finding a flat spot in the convenience store and sorting through 600 tickets, tossing the ones with no win, but doing it in a fairly cavalier fashion, since he threw away the one he was looking for.

So if he didn’t expect to win, why was he spending $600 on tickets?

That’s a strange phenomenon I used to discuss occasionally with an old burned out casino blackjack dealer acquaintance named Anthony.  Blackjack players tend to do the same thing.  They’ll sit around playing when the dealer or the table is hot, keep the green chips going to the tray hand after hand, grumbling, cursing the dealer.  Eventually they win a hand and you see shock on their faces…. surprise.

So, they’re surprised they won a hand.  They sat there pushing chips out front and losing hand after hand, and they must have expected to lose because they’re surprised they won.

Brings to mind a woman I mentioned from in an earlier blog entry…. young woman playing the slots, sneaking around because she was too young…. won a jackpot of several thousand bucks, but went wild-eyed and rabbited from the casino because she was under age.

So, why was this woman plugging her money she earned working behind the counter in a convenience store pizza wing into slot machines if she couldn’t  win if she won?

I used to ride to the casino with a couple of guys who played slot machine poker.  Once night the driver had finished playing, got me off the table I was playing on and went to find the other rider, George.

George had pushed a couple of hundred bucks into the machine, but he still had a handful of slugs left.  “Just a minute,” he begged.  “I’ll be ready to go as soon as I lose this.”

Anthony, the burned out blackjack dealer,  arrived at the conclusion that human beings are so stupid it’s amazing they can drive automobiles, much less manufacture them.

I’m more inclined to believe President Lyndon Johnson was correct when he said, “Americans would behave a lot more foolishly if they thought for themselves.”

People don’t grab the opportunity to think for themselves very often, but they tend to do so at a blackjack table, slot machine, or checking the 600 lottery tickets they bought.

They thought about it ahead of time and decided they were going to lose.

Jack

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