Who wouldn’t love to see returns like this? While it is true that I did in fact obtain this return on my money, it was certainly not done in a conventional way, nor do I encourage others to use this investment strategy.
This weekend my parents came down to visit and since we moved we only see them a few times a year. We spent Saturday watching some college football, which is always fun, but as the evening went on they were becoming bored. We live in the middle of nowhere and there really isn’t much to do, so they suggested we head to the casino (which is not even close to us by the way). I immediately object, it is already getting late and I’m perfectly fine sitting at home, and not to mention, I’m not a gambler at all. I see absolutely no reason to spend an hour riding in a car to go somewhere that I won’t enjoy, and then spend another hour in the car driving back. After constant hassle between my wife and my parents they convinced me it would be fun. I personally don’t see how throwing money away can be fun, but they insisted.
Anyway, to make a long story short, I went in with a single $20 bill. That is all I had on me and all I would spend. I figure I could spare 20 bucks to entertain myself while we were there and should be able to make it last a while. Once there, I took a seat at a 25 cent slot machine, and the only reason I did was because it was the same machine I recognized that I once put a few dollars in back a few years ago on a cruise and I’d be lost playing any card came. So I sit and pull the lever a few times, watching my account value decrease, which is not very exciting. Then suddenly the machine comes to life as lights and bells start going off. I have no idea what I had just accomplished, but I won something. After the noises stop it says I have $93.50 in the machine. I immediately and without hesitation hit the “cash out” button and proceed to the cashier. The money goes into my wallet and the rest of the evening I just watched others gamble away their hard-earned money.
I’m sorry this post isn’t about some really good investment and it is only about dumb luck, but regardless it was a nice return on my money. I’m not a gambler and fully anticipated walking out with $0 knowing that I was spending 20 bucks on some cheap thrills, but in this instance it worked in my favor. Of course I do not recommend this strategy to anyone and would advise against gambling. Unfortunately, many people do not adhere to this rule, or when they do gamble they go too far. I saw this many times at the casino, people were in line and writing personal checks out of their checkbooks to get cash in order to gamble. It was very sad to see how people could literally throw their money away for nothing more than a hope of actually gaining anything in return.
In the end though, I will gladly use the few extra dollars luck has brought me to help with the holiday spending. It couldn’t have come at a better time.
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About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.