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Best of Barney Vinson

Gaming Guru

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Barney Vinson's World

13 February 2000

Here's a true story that happened in New York some 20 years ago. A cub reporter was looking for his first big scoop. His job, however, left him little time to sniff out a story. The office where he worked was in a cramped room over a jewelry store. His job was to take calls from other reporters, type up their stories, then deliver them to the main office of the newspaper.

One day he came down the stairs of his office to find a crowd of newspaper reporters and policemen inside the jewelry store. A band of masked men had robbed the store while the reporter was upstairs, getting away with over a million dollars in jewelry and cash.

The cub reporter was crestfallen. All he wanted was one good story, and here it happened in the same building where he worked! Feeling sorry for himself, the reporter sat dejectedly on a bench outside the store. Suddenly he looked up to see a woman in a trenchcoat and dark glasses standing over him.

"What is the matter?" the woman asked him softly.

"I don't want to talk about it," the reporter mumbled.

"But sometimes it is good to talk," the woman replied. "Perhaps I could help you."

The reporter shook his head angrily. "Please, just leave me alone."

The woman shrugged and walked away, leaving the reporter alone with his thoughts. Suddenly another newspaper reporter came running up. "Hey!" he said to the man on the park bench. "What were you and Greta Garbo talking about?"

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Les Krantz has written a fascinating book called What The Odds Are.

According to Krantz, the odds of being injured at work are 1 in 24,000. The odds that the pilot of your plane has been convicted of an alcohol-related driving offense are 1 in 117. The odds of being audited by the IRS this year are 1 in 100. The odds of drowning in your bathtub are 1 in 685,000. The odds of hitting a hole in one are 1 in 15,000. The odds of being killed in your next car ride are 1 in 4 million. The odds of your child being born a genius are 1 in 250.

So what are the odds of hitting one of those state lotteries? Better sit down, folks. The odds of hitting six numbers out of 50, which is how most lotteries work, are 1 in 15,890,699. In lotteries where two extra balls are used, the odds are 1 in 20,358,519. No wonder French philosopher Voltaire called colonial American lotteries a "cruel tax on the poor."

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A rich Texan took a break from the dice tables to go to the bathroom. A few minutes later he walked back to the casino in his socks. "What happened to your boots?" the pit boss asked him.

"I gave the attendant in the men's room $100 to shine them for me," the Texan replied.

"Oh no!" the pit boss cried. "We don't have an attendant in the men's room!"

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While visiting the Mirage in Las Vegas, an Englishman struck up a conversation with the bellhop. During the conversation, the bellhop told the Englishman the following riddle:

"If my mother has a baby and it isn't my brother and it isn't my sister, who would it be?"

"I don't know," the Englishman said.

"Me!"

When the Englishman returned home, he met a friend of his in a pub. "Say, I've got a typically American riddle for you," he told his friend. "If me mum's to have a child, and it isn't my sister and it isn't my brother, whom would it be?"

"I don't know," his friend replied.

"Most extraordinary. It appears to be some chap at the Mirage in Las Vegas."

Barney Vinson

Barney Vinson is one of the most popular and best-selling gaming authors of all time. He is the author of Ask Barney, Las Vegas: Behind the Tables, Casino Secrets, Las Vegas Behind the Tables Part II, and Chip-Wrecked in Las Vegas. His newest book, a novel, is The Vegas Kid.

Books by Barney Vinson:

> More Books By Barney Vinson

Barney Vinson
Barney Vinson is one of the most popular and best-selling gaming authors of all time. He is the author of Ask Barney, Las Vegas: Behind the Tables, Casino Secrets, Las Vegas Behind the Tables Part II, and Chip-Wrecked in Las Vegas. His newest book, a novel, is The Vegas Kid.

Books by Barney Vinson:

> More Books By Barney Vinson