Odds, Luck, and Slot Machines

Question: On my last six trips to Gulfport, MS, I’ve come home a winner playing slots. I believe it’s beyond luck now. I just have this certain feeling when to play a particular machine. I’ve been so successful lately that I feel I should go to dollar machines, or higher, versus the quarter ones and win even more money. Am I on to something here? Jon S. Answer: Jon, may I share two stories with you? One deals with arrogance and the other with the incessant craving for more. An old Polish folk tale tells of a fisherman who lives in a hovel by the sea and catches a magical fish that grants his humble desire for a cabin and enough to eat. After a week, he is no longer satisfied and demands larger quarters, and once again the fish grants him his wish. The sequence of catch and release repeats itself for six weeks until the fisherman lives in a castle, then demands the finest palace. For his insolence, the fish casts him back to the hovel by the sea. For the second story, let’s stick with the water theme. “God himself cannot sink this ship.” Those were the quotes throughout the newspapers prior to the Titanic making her first passage across the big pond. She was appropriately named, as Titans always dared to challenge the gods, and for their arrogance, they were cast down into hell. At best, Jon, by challenging the gaming gods absorbed in your spirit of rapacity, you’re on the Atlantic ocean in a one-man lifeboat with a slow leak. And the sound I hear? Pssssssss.