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Best of John Grochowski

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A huge roulette win

29 August 2019

QUESTION: Have you seen the video where the man wins $3.5 million in one bet at roulette? He has a big stack on one number, and when it comes up, he goes crazy, hugging and dancing with everyone around him.

I’m wondering why the video exists. It doesn’t look like surveillance. It’s low quality, a narrow view, and the camera is jumping around. Surveillance video would be better. It seems more like someone recording on their phone. I thought pictures and movies were forbidden in casinos.

ANSWER: I have seen the video. A reader directed me to a link on Twitter that said the bet was $100,000 and that the player had won $3.5 million.

What I saw was a large stack of chips on one number, a lot of panning to people standing nearby and to the ceiling, then back to a group of players hugging and dancing in celebration. We never see the wheel, the number landing, the dealer placing a marker atop the winning chips or the bet being paid.

Naturally, that leads to some questions about authenticity. Even if we assume the big win was real and that we’re not just seeing a staged happy dance, we don’t know at a glance the host casino or how much the chips were worth. Was it really a $100,000 wager? How many large wagers had he made before the win? Was it one miracle spin of the wheel, or had the player lost hundreds of thousands or millions before the big hit?

I did a quick search for news stories and came up empty. I did find a couple of copies of the video on YouTube. One said the bet was by a Brazilian businessman playing in Uruguay.

Could it be the bet was in Uruguayan pesos instead of dollars? A win of 3.5 million Uruguayan pesos comes to $98,499 according to an online calculator. I’d happily accept it, but it’s on a much different scale than the $3.5 million figure.

I have no good answers to any of the questions. I’ll keep an eye out for more detailed reports.

As for your initial question, the “no pictures in the casino” rule has long been enforced by individual casinos in the United States, but it’s custom, not law. Is it also custom in Uruguay? That’s one more question to add to the list.


QUESTION: Do you believe in “beginner’s luck”? It’s one of those things I’ve heard all my life and never really set any store by.

Nevertheless, after years and years of my urging, my wife finally decided to play craps with me. She even took her turn as a shooter. The first time she ever rolled the dice, she made six passes in a row. Everybody at the table was saying, “That’s beginner’s luck for you.”

ANSWER: Your wife certainly was lucky, but I wouldn’t attribute her luck to being a beginner.

Does she play other casino games? Was she lucky on her first time on them? How many different games have you played? Were your first times memorable?

I’ve played more games than I care to think about. Given the range of topics I write about, I think it’s important to experience them in a wagering environment and not just on a calculator. I guarantee you the lucky debuts have been a minority of first times.

Congratulations to your wife on her first time being as shooter being profitable. But as for it being beginner’s luck, I remain a skeptic.
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

The Craps Answer Book

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski