There are behaviors and events we cannot foresee, no matter how hard we try. Handling the million-dollar jackpot at an online casino might be one of them. Let’s try to do it anyway.
Intriguing concepts are quite explorative. The advertisement in a specialized military magazine twenty years ago had one. The visual depicted a guy gripping the other firmly from behind, keeping a knife under his throat, while the headline stated: What would you do in this situation? The body copy explained how the question does not relate to the subdued person’s position but the instigator’s perspective. The ad was about the challenges a favorable circumstance may conceal.
What would happen if you’d win a million-dollar jackpot?
There’s no gambler, including lottery player, who hasn’t contemplated this scenario. We all have our answers and visions. Every man and woman has at least a glimpse of an idea about navigating through a similar experience.
Heck, one doesn’t even have to gamble to indulge in such daydream.
Can we foresee the whole episode, including potential hurdles, or we envision only the outcomes?
Like, we see ourselves in a new house or car — in omnipresent plural — or traveling to exotic destinations, or making significant improvements in ours and other peoples’ lives. We picture us buying a sailboat, or going back to school, or indulging in any activity we always wanted to pursue, doing anything between partying all the time and living in seclusion.
The effects of million-dollar jackpot reverberations are as different as people are.
But the real questions for future navigators might also be: What happens in between? What do we go through from the moment our reality explodes in a once-in-a-lifetime win until we receive the money on the bank account? Furthermore, what happens afterward, that is, until we finally begin to use this new-found wherewithal properly?
Eye charts come to mind at this point.
You know those sheets used by ophthalmologists or optometrists to measure visual acuity, placed at a standard distance from the person tested? Eye charts start with the larger letters — optotypes — and continue progressively, row by row, with smaller symbols. The smallest ones we can recognize reliably measure our sharp-sightedness.
The same thing might be at play with a million-dollar jackpot: We only see the most extensive representations of our newly acquired wealth — lifelong financial security probably being the first one, right at the top of a pyramid.
One might argue the real challenges are in the smallest jackpot optotypes — anxiety, fear, possible paranoia, self-indulgence, loosening of inhibitions, perhaps even vices — and especially in those we cannot perceive, for they’re way too small.
‘You Like Playing Games, Don’t You?’
Now, thinking about the unthinkable and pondering on conclusions not as straightforward as we believe comes with gambling territory.
Although an individual may shrug off the inconceivable idea of a million-dollar life-altering win with casual ‘I’ll think about it when it happens,’ each player should have at least a resemblance of the plan before a similar godsend — or well-deserved reward — happens.
The anticipation or even prediction has nothing to do with hope, expectations, delusions, or jinxing, but instead, with prudence and responsibility, including positive thinking.
We use such reasoning regularly in business and our relationships.
Back in 2005…
I was working in a local rep office of a global IT behemoth. The company was a prestigious one to work in. Employees had great remuneration packages, approved annual expenses for frequent business trips abroad, including exceptional perks and countless opportunities to learn and grow.
There was a perfect reason for this stimulating environment in cut-throat corporate culture: The pressure of meeting revenue targets was out of this world.
Nothing less than fourteen hours per day would do the trick. Saturdays were used to catch up with trailing assignments, while Sunday evenings were the most sought-after time-slots to make at least some form of a weekly plan.
Such an operational tempo resulted in the complete absence of work-life balance. Infighting and meltdowns were common.
To steam off the week — an absolute necessity — we used to go out, together as a team, on Friday evenings. We usually went to the Silicon Valley part of Belgrade, Serbia — which had nothing to do with information technologies — and the scenery was always the same, more or less.
The senior team-guys, all in their forties, would put phones, car keys, and employee ID cards with branded key-chains, the status symbols if you will, on the table, next to their leather pocket cases for cigars. They would sip their single malt whiskeys or any equally exotic drinks, devoting the substantial chunk of an evening to flirting with younger girls at the bar.
Once relaxed — read: inebriated enough — we could either have hard-talks, brainstorm new business ideas, or analyze current corporate affairs.
The salacious segment was all for the show.
The majority of these guys were married, with kids at home. Their intentions did not include having an actual affair; they already had plenty of distractions in their lives. Although they would not hesitate to make advances on girls through ribald jokes and double entendres, they’d never go any further.
Instead, they sought admiration for their alpha male personalities, inflation of egos, and an adrenaline shot of winner-takes-it-all attitude through humble bragging.
On the other hand…
Young ladies joining them at the tables knew too well nothing serious could ever happen: The guys were much older and way too self-centered. The gals were not into having sex with them at all: They were simply killing time, enjoying good food and beverages, having fun, awaiting boys they were really into to show up.
While they were not shy to flesh their racks, giving the guys ‘oh my gosh, you’re so amazing’ pouting treatment, no phone numbers were ever exchanged.
Anticipate ‘Yes’ No Matter What
It was a non-zero-sum game, and both sides enjoyed it immensely — except for one guy.
My boss never took part in any of that. While he did invite girls to his table, he always treated them as nodding listeners and admirers of his endeavors and achievements. He engaged in zero flirting.
He wasn’t gay; he also had a wife and a kid at home. He was no puritan, either. Nope. His reasons had everything to do with anticipation and thinking of the unthinkable.
One Friday night, the other guys began to tease him with the usual, relentless alpha male jabs about his courage and balls. One of them asked:
“How come you never pursue any of the girls? All you do is sit here and talk business. What are you, shy or loyal to your wife — we know you’re neither — or you want to act like you’re resilient to the challenge or something?”
My boss took a puff from his Cohiba and quietly answered:
“You’re doing your stuff presuming she’ll say ‘no’ if you make a strong push. You know she knows who we are — married men who won’t leave their wives, having meaningful careers and reputation to care of — thus nothing serious can come out of this. Also, you’re aware that if she wants sex, she can have any other guy here. That makes you so bold and splashy like a whale. You count on hers ‘no’ in your game. But, what if she says ‘yes’?”
All the guys at the table sat in silence, somewhat dismayed by rationale, including myself. As the youngest member of the team, I was like a sponge, using every opportunity to learn something new (still am).
My boss continued:
“What if she says: ‘Look, I’m not into anything serious except for one-night stand, and I happen to have an apartment nearby. Let’s go. I want to go down on you in my elevator, and I want you to do me on a kitchen table.’ What would you do then? You’d have to retract yourselves from such an awkward situation, looking silly and weak because she called your bluff. Well, I’m not going to look like that. I know my limits. So yeah, I’ll just keep chatting, I’ll get my dose of admiration my wifey sure as hell ain’t gonna give me, and then I’ll go home, unabashed.”
A couple of uncomfortable seconds later…
The guys burst into laughter, instantly turning the discussion to business and ongoing projects. My boss’ notion of such a big ‘if’ was good enough to switch the conversation, but I think they dialed down their seductive excursions from that point on.
As for me, his phrasing and reasoning remain to this day as a way to describe unlikely developments in which we more often presume ‘no’ instead of ‘yes,’ serving as a reminder of the importance of having all angles covered — as much as possible.
Is There Pandora In Every Box?
So, what would happen if you were to open an account at a reputable online casino, place your deposit, and the Goddess of Fortune decides to do you full-on with a substantial Mega Moolah progressive jackpot after only 33 spins?
(That is a real-life case of a punter who won $2.46 million at the Captain Crooks Casino, qualifying him for a place in the most prominent online slots wins in 2019.)
How would you manage that situation?
The very first question you might have could as well be — will they pay me?
Your emotions could not even begin to scratch the surface of triumphant elation before the concern would kick in. Assuming that you’ve read the casino’s Terms and Conditions before your session and that you haven’t played in a shady online hub, you probably wouldn’t have to worry about that.
You would begin to wonder whether the casino’s head shed will suggest installments or lump sum payment. And, if they’d opt for the latter, you’d start wondering how much it could be. All of a sudden, you’re doing frantic calculations, cursing the fates for having to pay tax on your winnings.
Assuming you haggled over payments successfully, and once you gave a compulsory contribution to the state, you would have a certain amount of money in your account.
The worst is over — until you start to overthink, as the jackpot’s joie de vivre begins to fade away into a distant memory.
Wait for a second! What if my bank goes bankrupt? Don’t you even think about giving me a ‘that-cannot-happen’ look! I was there in 2008! Should I buy Google or Apple stocks instead? Or should I consider Switzerland?
Perhaps I could keep my money in the house, in my Fort Home?
But, if I keep it there, someone might try to rob me. Then, I’ll have to use my gun. And, what if I don’t live in America where I can at least have some form of legal protection against trespassers? Nuh-uh. I ain’t going to prison as a millionaire.
Okay, chill out, keep your money in the bank, and enjoy it for the rest of your life!
How’s my health? The last time I went to a regular medical check-up, my kid wasn’t even talking, and now she’s in elementary school! I’m scheduling it for tomorrow. I’m not getting an early heart attack or something like that.
Damn, I feel so exhausted; I have tachycardia. My God, am I facing emphysema or some other chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or something? Am I going to live long enough?
Relax! Think positively: I shall enjoy my million! If I was lucky enough to get it, I’m going to be lucky enough to keep it, staying healthy and safe and all!
So Many Types of Luck
Well, it all depends on how you look at luck. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, there are four different types of that phenomenon.
There is resultant luck: The outcomes of actions are affected by chance. You took a computer science degree in the late 1990s only to see yourself looking for employment during the internet bubble burst in 2000.
Or, you spun an online slot reel at the right time and got the jackpot.
Then, there’s circumstantial luck: The circumstances in which an act introduces a chance. You might have had a proper teacher who taught you how to make wise decisions, which later put you in a favorable situation to have the best possible conditions to thrive in your career.
Say, you did the casino’s due diligence correctly, guided by proper affiliate advice, which enabled you to avoid all traps of rogue online hubs.
Thirdly, constitutive luck: The kind of person you are defines whether you’re lucky or not. For instance, you might be a heavy smoker and still be at low risk of getting a tumor, just as some perfectly healthy women may have a high genetic probability of developing breast cancer, hence mastectomy.
In other words, you could realize that blackjack is more your cup of tea than craps, giving you a better way to utilize your intellectual predispositions.
Finally, there’s antecedent casual luck, wherein prior circumstances define and align one’s actions with chances. Kids growing up in a stimulating environment sometimes become more successful than those raised in duller settings, even though children cannot determine how their early or pre-teen education may look.
Equally so, players prone to learning and improving gambling skills may increase their luck, at least to a certain extent, by utilizing well-proven gaming strategies and betting etiquettes.
When you ask do you feel lucky to keep and live through your million-dollar win, it begs an additional question: To which luck are you referring?
And that brings us back to anticipation and thinking of the unthinkable.
We all have our wishes, desires, hopes, but also knee-jerk reactions caused by surprise, confusion, or bewilderment. To have a proper plan — in case we get blessings from the Goddess of Fortune, in any of her four outlooks — may help us navigate ensuing peregrinations of potentially nonplussed behaviors.
It is easy to see the biggest optotypes of the life-altering jackpot. But, once we have them in our sights, we may not act prudently by default, reminiscent of players who eventually lost their vast winnings.
Contrary to belief…
It is not difficult to envision the feelings of anxiety, concerns, doubts, even fears inhabiting our lives parallel with utter happiness and joy a huge win delivers. It sounds sensible to analyze these notions — including ensuing consequences — before we hit the jackpot, prior to effervescent ecstasy, while we’re still level-headed.
As players, we travel through ourselves — our skills, knowledge, determination, expectations, responsibility — in all the games we play, pursuing a better life, a winning streak, or just a modicum of fun gambling luck may or may not provide.
More often than not, the Goddess of Fortune denies our advances.
Yet again, we wonder what could happen if she says ‘yes.’ It would be an awful waste of our time and efforts not to anticipate the best possible answer to such a question, including the most resultant course of action.
After all, we always have to ask ourselves: Do our chances dictate our choices, or just maybe, it’s the other way round?