Thursday, May 12, 2005

A haypenny will do

Prize tickets at my favorite video game parlor buy about a half-cent to two-thirds of a cent of prize value. Some of the prize categories are stuffed animals, childrens games, Barbie stuff, RC cars, OSU memorabilia, CDs, game cartridges, consoles, and handhelds, and miscellaneous cheap doo-dads for the kids who didn't win very many tickets.

I've been playing there for the better part of a year now, and can bring in close to 1000 tickets on 8 quarters on my favorite game, VRS Marbles. That works out to somewhere between 60 and 80 cents of prize value per quarter spent (my old website has a lengthy article about my habit).

"So what, you foul braggart" you ask? Allow me to explain.

In the recent past, Stacey and I have used ticket caches to purchase birthday presents for her friends, usually a big stuffed animal, and usually a big hit. Last December, I used some tickets to buy Christmas toys for a children's charity that AEP sponsors, which felt good to contribute to.

Stacey saw a 20,000 ticket item that she wanted, and I don't know what it is, but I'm saving up the tickets for her anyway. I've been playing aggressively over the last two weeks, and have saved up about 18,700 tickets so far, each ticket counted and thrown into the back of my car in giant stacks. Good game play tonight will put me over the 20,000 mark.

Hitting the game's jackpot score takes intense concentration, good timing and reflexes, and quick planning. It's mentally tiring. I'm dreaming about patterns of marbles now, and I can't go more than a few hours without thinking about the game. After hitting my ticket goal, I'm going to stay away from the place for a little while.

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