Car Talk’s web lackeys spend a lot of their “work” time doing critical “research” in online social media clubs related to cars. It’s a swell gang of folks, a great way to stay current on all things autos, and a perfect way to avoid finishing that article on the 20 Best Aftermarket Fitzer Valves for the Acme Thirster!
We recently stumbled upon a post by a fellow we will call JC. It showed him standing next to a new Ford Mustang Mach-E battery electric vehicle and a sign saying he won the car. We had to know more, so we connected with JC and asked if he could share his story with us. It turns out, JC didn’t win one car, but two! Here’s JC’s story. Let us emphasize his message that he doesn’t recommend gambling to anyone.
Car Talk: Hello JC, Please tell us how you came to be the owner of not one, but two very cool automobiles.
JC: I like playing slots. I probably like playing them too much. At the casino I like the best, Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo Michigan, they give away about 20 cars a year. You get entries into the drawing by gambling. For every $2 you gamble, you get 1 point on your “Players Card”. For every 10 points you accumulate ($20 in gambling), you get 1 entry into the drawing. The window to earn entries is about 5 weeks. I went into the casino on May 1, 2021 with $300. I hit a jackpot for $3,200 after about 20 minutes. The slot manager came out and gave me $3,200 in cash and a W-2 for taxes. I put $2,000 in my left pocket and the W-2 in my right.
JC: I kept playing slots with the other $1,000. I just kept winning. I was there for 9 hours and had 17 W-2s in my right pocket and $20,000 in my left. That night I had accumulated about 7,000 entries into the drawing for the Ford Mustang Mach-E. Over the next few weeks, as I slowly lost about $15,000 of my winnings, I had accumulated another 7,700 entries. I ended up with a total of 14,727 entries. There was a small overlap in the window to accumulate entries for the Mustang and the Charger. So, I ended up with a few hundred entries into the Charger drawing. Also, when they draw your name, you have 5 minutes to take your player's card and ID to the gifting center at the casino to claim your prize or they draw another winner!
Car Talk: Are you a professional gambler, just super lucky, or somewhere in between?
JC: I’m just a guy who likes the thrill of playing slots. It’s really expensive, actually. A lucky idiot is probably a good description, if you ask my wife. On a related note, my request for the vanity plate, LUCK AF was denied by the state of Indiana. Apparently, it’s offensive or something. LOL.
Car Talk: Did you head to the casino saying to yourself, "I'm gonna go win that car!"
JC: I actually did. Every time I was at the casino, I walked around the Mustang twice chanting under my breath, “I really want this car. Oh man, I really want this car”. Then, after I won, I did the same thing with the Charger. Then, I won that! I thought this might really work so, I did the same thing with the next 2 cars, a BMW and Ford Bronco. No luck on those. So, it only worked half the time, I guess. Lol.
Car Talk: Tell us a bit about the cars you won.
JC: The Ford Mustang Mach E, AWD SELECT standard range. It’s Star White with a charcoal imitation leather interior. It’s the coolest car I’ve ever driven. It’s like James Bond’s golf cart. Haha. The other car was a 2021 Dodge Charger. It’s blue, rear wheel drive. I ended up selling it back to the dealer that the casino got it from for $1,500 below MSRP. My tax burden for 2021 was getting pretty big so I thought it was the smart decision.
Car Talk: What was the biggest surprise from the cars you won?
JC: The biggest surprise was that I won them! The second was how much the people I knew actually resented me for winning. Sour grapes, I guess.
Car Talk: Have you ever won anything else interesting aside from Benjamins?
JC: Well, I met my wife at the same casino so, I’m going to say that the biggest and best win was her heart. Corny, I know. But, 2021 was the first year I won anything of consequence.
Car Talk: Any more plans to drive home in a newly won automobile?
JC: I literally always plan to. But, the odds are clearly against me, even if the gods of chance have thrown me a couple winners.
Car Talk: If you had some advice for a person in a casino standing in front of a car on display, what would you suggest they do or don't do?
JC: Honestly, I was extremely fortunate to have won the Mustang, not to mention the Charger. But, so many people lost thousands of dollars trying to win something. I wouldn’t recommend spending more than you can afford to lose. Casinos can be fun. They are like adult versions of the video arcades of the 80’s. But, even though I have been slightly successful, I have never recommended gambling to any of my friends.
Our thanks to JC for being kind enough to share his story and images with Car Talk.