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Jackpot John Says Be Happy

Hi Guy,
I’ve seen letters in your column and in other
columns in the Bingo newspaper written by people
who think other players in their Bingo halls/centers
are cheating. These letters seem mostly the same—
a particular person is singled out because she/he is
said to win more than anyone else. How the
cheating is happening is usually pretty vague, but
sometimes centers on the winner having some kind
of inside connection at the Bingo hall like a relative
or friend. Whatever the suspicions, these letters
always end up boiling down to the same complaint:
namely, the person doing the winning is, in their
eyes, winning too much, and something fishy has to
be behind it.

To be honest, I have seen a few big winners in my
day that I felt were winning too much, too. It made
me angry and a little suspicious because,
obviously, I wanted to be the winner, not them.
Whenever the gossip started, I was happy to agree
with whatever criticism was being directed at
Jackpot John or Jane.

Now, however, I have been forced to change my
tune, because this summer I became Jackpot John.
In a period of about two months I have won five
large jackpots, three of them on the same day in the
same Bingo hall. It has added up to a LOT of
money, more than I’ve won in years, and it has
been crazy exciting.

But there has been a bad side, namely, a number of
players started badmouthing me and concocting
stories about me being helped “from the inside.”
Suddenly, I am the cheat. I get dirty looks and
turned up noses from complete strangers.
It’s nuts! I am NOT a cheat! I don’t have any friends
who work at the Bingos I attend. I just hit a lucky
streak which is super amazingly exciting! But now
there is a shadow hanging over it all, namely, the
poor sports who are jealous and gossiping about
me.

All I can say is that I really regret thinking badly
about other big winners, and players need to
accept that sometimes people just get extra lucky,
with no cheating involved.

From now on, whenever I see a person winning big,
I am going to be happy for them and wish them well.
If I hear jealous gossip about cheating, I am going
to turn a deaf ear or tell the gossipers to shut up
and stop being so petty and jealous.

Let the winners enjoy their wins! Hopefully
everyone will have a turn!
Jackpot John, Arizona

Hi Jackpot John,
This is the first time I’ve gotten a letter from a Bingo
player on the receiving end of cheating
accusations. Not much fun, is it?
As you note, we have received many letters over
the years from people convinced that certain Bingo
players and certain Bingo halls are in cahoots to
enrich each other and cheat everyone else in the
room. I’ve never really understood it. Why would a
Bingo operation risk losing its license, being shut
down, and ending up humiliated (and jailed!) for
making sure in a very public way that Aunt Sally
pockets a couple hundred buck? The risks far
outweigh the rewards.
Now, if you track Bingo in the news, you will on
occasion come across a story about a Bingo hall
insider—typically a staffer—pilfering from Bingo
proceeds; but involving actual players in the scam
in the course of a live Bingo session with a room full
of witnesses? Now that’s a stretch.
—Guy

Hey guys! (And gals!) Write to: Guy’s Turn c/o
The Bingo Bugle, P.O. Box 527, Vashon, WA
98070, or email Guy directly at Tonder22@aol.
com. Be sure to include your name and
address (you may request that your name not
be published), as typically Guy will not include
anonymous letters in his columns.