I’m really not much of a gambler. But I do appreciate a good investment when I see one.
On my recent trip to Las Vegas I felt compelled to try my hand at gambling. I have to be honest here. Vegas has never been the same for me since slot machines stopped paying your winnings in cash, straight from the slots. The machines still make lots of noise when you win, but all you get is a small paper voucher. It can be redeemed for cash, but somehow that just isn’t the same. Then, to add insult to injury, slot machines stopped accepting coins. It has now come to the point where, if you want to play the penny slots, you need to pony up with at least a dollar. It’s just wrong.
In spite of this, I felt the need to part with a little of my hard earned money. And when I say “a little” I do mean a little. So I inserted a not-so-crisp dollar bill into a carefully selected slot machine sometime after midnight on my last night in Vegas. My luck instantly headed south, but then, miraculously, I hit the jackpot. I stared at the numbers in amazement. I was sitting on a profit of 50% in less than five minutes.
I realize there are people who say I was on a roll, and should have gone for broke. But I’m a mathematician, and I fully understand the odds. With that attitude, “broke” is exactly what you’ll get. And I know others would say “it’s only 50 cents” – but a 50% profit margin is a 50% profit margin. Full stop. If you annualize that, I have no idea what you get, but I know it would be a very big number. So I did what any rational person (one of the very few commodities in short supply in Vegas) would do. I cashed out.
And there is the proof. In a matter of minutes, I made a 50% profit. Amazing.