Date:         Tue, 20 Sep 1994 14:59:04 EST5EDT
From: Gilbert Smith <>
Subject:      WHTMIBPPC 1
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L <>


    1) So, I know that I need to be in Brooklyn Friday afternoon to
get ready for the babe's party on Saturday.  I decide late Wednesday
to leave *now*, so that I will have lots of time in Atlantic City,
<just> in case I decide that pulling the handles is really a fun
thing to do.  Or maybe check out the cemeteries of AC, which have
always looked fascinating from the road but have never been able to
compete with the bright lights on the Boardwalk.
    2) I drive all night, stopping at several rest areas for a brief
nap.  Fearless and unafraid, in spite of all those rest area rapist
stories that have circulated of late.  I did not see a single rapist,
so far as I know.   I get to AC about 2 pm.  Good. Plenty of time to
lose my quarters.  I get lost three times trying to find a motel that
I once stayed in and liked, then finally settle on another one that
I have liked on other visits:  Very nice, new Comfort Inn by the bay,
$37 with full breakfast included.
    3) I am tired, but head for my favorite Casino right away,
thinking I will return for a nap in a few hours.  So, in Bally's, I
find the quarter machines that have <been good to me> in the past,
about 15 lined up along one wall hooked up to a Progressive Jackpot.
So, each time someone puts in a quarter, the Jackpot moves up by a
penny or so.
    4) I start putting the quarters in, 3 at a time, looking for the
big wins:  triple-bars in a row for 480 coins, double-bars for 160
coins, a double-jackpot symbol in the row doubles the win.  As
always, I count every coin I put in 3...6...9...12..., subtracting a
win so I always know exactly how much I am down or up.  Goes o.k. for
a while, with few double-bars and lots of mixed-bars for 12 and a few
single-bars for 30.   People around me are doing either very well or
losing all their money.  This is a perverse activity.  This is fun.
This is sort of scary.  If money means anything at all.
    5)  The crowd begins to build.  The noise is constant.  Bells
ringing all over the Casino.  Lights flashing.  People yelling when
they get a win.  There are no clocks.  No windows.  It could be any
hour of the day.  A woman down the line hits two triple-bars and a PJ
symbol.  960 coins.  She is happy.  I am irritated that I didn't sit
at that machine.
    6) I have been here two hours and by my count, I am down 68
coins.  That's $17.  I have gone from up 98 to down 120 to up 43 to
down 68.  This requires nerves of steel and a willingness to stay
with it and risk lots of silver.  Otherwise it doesn't work.
    7) Patrons come and go.  Some put in a few coins, then leave.
Others stay.  Some keep yelling for more change, which means they are
losing their money.
    8) Who thought this up?  This is a perverse pleasure.  I keep
reminding myself that this is fun.  Now I'm tired.  Maybe I'll just
*go* *home*.  Maybe not.


    9)  No, I don't go home.  Not yet, anyway.  It is now about 5 pm
and I am tiring of this repetitive action of picking up quarters,
dropping them in one at a time, one, two, three, and seeing a
*nothing* combination line up on the reels.  So, I entertain myself
by trying to figure out how this machine works, keeping count aloud
of how many coins I have put in.  Other patrons look at me,
exhibiting at the same time body language that says what are you
doing counting aloud, will you please shut up.
    10)  The story I read about how slot machines are programmed said
that they are, by law, completely random.  I take this to mean that
the machine is, like, a big bowl into which is put every possible
combination of the three reels.  When the reels spin, one combination
is chosen at random and if that is a winning combination, the machine
pays.  If, for example, combination A pays 200 and combination B pays
20, there will be ten B's for every A in the bowl.  And, most likely,
there will be two hundred C's, which pay nothing.  So, it works on
the same principle as the *big* *wheel* in the casino that has
various $$ signs on it and you put your chips on the $$ sign, hoping
your choice will come up.  There are two $100's, four $50's, ten
$20's, etc....
    11)  I keep playing, winning a few 30's and a few 12's,
but nothing big.  My neighbors are moving away, but then it gets so
crowded they have to put up with my quiet little 121....124...127....
My body language says please get the shit away from me I don't like
being crowded and don't talk to me I'll lose count if you do.
    12)  Then there are two possibilities, at least.  Every time the
reel spins, the chances are the same on *any* machine with the same
odds.  If you have just won 460 on this machine, you have just as
good a chance of winning 460 on the next spin on this machine or on
the next one that hasnt paid anything in 45 spins.  It's like, the
winning combination is tossed back in the bowl before the reels spin.
The other possibility is that each machine is programmed to go
through *all* the possible combinations in random order and then start
over.  But, that wouldnt be completely random.
    13)  Oh, forgot to mention that the story I read about how the
machines are programmed is published by one of the casinos.  That is
an important point.
    14)  199....3....6.....It's 5:15.  (Oh, BTW, when I get to a
multiple of 100, I put a quarter on top of the machine to keep up
with what I'm doing, then start over at 3.  It's too hard to go to
102...105.... etc....  you understand.
-- ggs
ps:  First time I've ever revealed my system to anyone.  You should
feel honored.


    15)  So, it's 5:15 and I'm at 60 after a few minor payouts and
I'm getting tired and think I'll take a break and go outside to look
for the future Miss America on the boardwalk.  This *is* the weekend.
I drop in three more...63... then, sort of distractedly, three
more... 66... then three more.... 69, and suddenly the machine starts
ringing, lights start flashing, and a siren goes off.
    16)  I look around, confused, and then look at the reels.  On the
left reel, a Double-Jackpot symbol.  On the second reel, a Double-
Jackpot symbol.  On the third real, a red 7.  I look at the chart of
wins on the machine and see that this means Progressive Jackpot, the
*BIG* one.  I can't really believe this is happening to me, then I
check the flashing numbers on the wall and see what I have won:
Oh, shit, it's *only*  Three Thousand, One Hundred, Forty One Dollars
and Seventy One Cents.  This is probably the only time this will
ever happen to me, and it's *only* $3,141.71.  Last time I was here
this jackpot was at something like $120,000.  Or maybe that was on
another set of machines.  I'm too confused to remember.
    17)  The siren continues, the lights keep flashing, the bells
ringing, and I just sit there in shock.  All I can think is:
There *must* be a god.
    18)  My neighbors are trying to hide their hatred for me, but
most just walk away, emptyhanded.  But, nobody official is coming
around, and I just sit there, wondering if I will get mugged on the
way to the car.


    19)  Finally, a casino employee comes over and inquires whether
anyone has been by to pay me my money.  I say no, she apologizes and
says she will send someone over.  Several more patrons come by, look
at the reels, either say good for you or go harrumph and walk away.
    20)  Very nice looking woman in a casino suit comes up and
congratulates me and asks for my driver's license and social security
number, then tells me that she will be right back.  I ask her if they
can give me a check, she says no, it has to be cash, but that I can
exchange the cash for a check at the cashier's booth.  She smiles a
beautiful smile, says she will be return shortly, then leaves.
    21)  The bells keep ringing, lights flashing, siren going, and I
am subjected to the stares of every disgruntled patron in my area of
the casino.  Others keep feeding coins in their machines, hoping for
some meager return.
    22)  A woman in a casino suit walks by and hands me a plastic
Bally's bag and says "Congratulations."  Then walks away.  I think,
what is this?  They're delivering my money in a *plastic* *bag*?  I
<never>.  No, it is a t-shirt that reads:  "I'm celebrating.  I've
been to Bally's Park Place and I won."  Nice.  But where's my money?
    23)  Nice woman returns, accompanied by a security guard, who
congratulates me.  Woman has me sign a yellow paper to acknowledge
getting the money and says I will have to show this paper to the
cashier to get the check.  I ask:  "Do they have my money back
there?"  She laughs, smiles her sweet smile, then says:  "No, just
wait now.  Put that paper away."  So, I put it in my pocket as she
looks at me admiringly, as one would look at a child putting away his
favorite toys.
    24)  "Now," she says, smiling, "Hold out your hand."  I do, yes
mother, and she starts counting out the $100 bills.  A whole stack of
them.  Then she congratulates me again, turns of the siren and the
lights and the bells, and tells me I can continue playing.  Bye bye.
I think "I'll do whatever you say, you lovely creature you."  But she
is gone.
    25)  I am overcome by the strangest urge:  to stop playing.  I
have done it.  I have won the jackpot.  I don't have to do this
anymore.   So, I go to the cashier, get my check (for $3000, might as
well save a little to use in case I need to drop a few more coins),
then go out on the Boardwalk and watch the contenders parade by in
their tight skirts and pretty legs.
    26)  God's in his heaven, all's right with the world.  And my
only thought is:  This *will* make a good WWTM.
    27)  I return to the same machine four hours later, after a spin
in the Showboat playing a favorite kind of machine there and just
about breaking even.  At the *same* machine, a guy is sitting waiting
for a casino employee.  He has just won the Mini-Jackpot:  $1700.  On
the *same* machine.  Maybe they *are* completely random.  Maybe not.