back to article Poetic justice: Mum funnels £100 into claw machine to win single Dumbo teddy for her kid

We'd do anything for the fruit of our loins – like buying them not one, but two train sets at Pecorama and almost instantly regretting it – but a doting mum from Folkestone, Kent, has really taken the biscuit after shoving a hundred quid into an allegedly rigged claw machine. Cheryl Holden, 34, was holidaying at that Great …

  1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
    Facepalm

    One born every minute demonstration. We have politicians who seem to think that if they chant 'I beleve in Unicorns' loud enough they can manage them into existence. I have seen similar actions from managers on cost free securiy and quality.....

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Why do you have to bring your obsession here.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        What the irritation that the stupid introduce?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I beleve in Unicorns

      What? Are you telling me they don't exist? Are you making me a liar to my children?

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: I beleve in Unicorns

        There is a whole religion worshipping the invisible pink unicorn. The fun comes when Christians try to convince me she does not exist.

        1. holmegm Bronze badge

          Re: I beleve in Unicorns

          Yes, that's just so clever ... when you are 13 ...

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: I beleve in Unicorns

          >The fun comes when Christians try to convince me she does not exist.

          She? You belong to the heretical female invisible pink unicorn sect ?

          Kill the unbeliever, persecute the heretic.

        3. Unoriginal Handle

          Re: I beleve in Unicorns

          Much like Pastafarians, who worship The Flying Spaghetti Monster...

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster

      2. theblackhand

        Re: I beleve in Unicorns

        "What? Are you telling me they don't exist? Are you making me a liar to my children?"

        the exist AC and they're dancing on rainbows...

        1. Paul Herber Silver badge

          Re: I beleve in Unicorns

          Rainbows only exist because of unicorns!

          1. STOP_FORTH

            Re: I beleve in Unicorns

            Irrefutable logic, how could I not have seen this before? Take that, so-called science.

      3. MrDamage

        Re: I beleve in Unicorns

        Unicorns exist, they just don't look like how they are described in the fairy tales.

        They are somewhat more rotund, grey in colour, and go by the common name of "rhinoceros".

  2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
    Trollface

    A fool and their money...

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Pint

      RE: Aladdin

      Exactly. People like this should stick to those special gambling machines you can find everywhere, that pay out sweets and drinks. The odds of winning are much better too.

      1. jmch Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: RE: Aladdin

        I prefer the gambling machines that give out cash.

        I always win :)

    2. mark4155

      A tale from 1977

      At 16 I left school with few qualifications. My first job was as a "key boy" in a large amusement arcade in the seaside town of Morecambe. 80 hours and £20 a week.

      An elderly. lonely, lady visited the arcade every day from 1100 till around 3.00 in the afternoon, whatever the weather.

      Her name was Annie, we called her "banging" Annie, yes I was 16 and regret the terminology now.

      Annie used to play the pushers, money in the top, cascades to the pusher, like a waterfall, and supposed to fall off the end into Annie's hands.

      Annie was clever, well so she thought, she had a rather big handbag which she attempted to use as a battering ram on the side of the cascade, little known to her was the "tilt" switch, a pendulum surrounded by a ring. Pendulum touches ring caused by Annie's handbag and the money on the edge of Annie's grip is diverted into the.....cashbox...the alarm rang and we carried on as normal.

      Annie we never told you off, even when you hated the new number one top 40 song we played over the "Tannoy! , Hotel California, Great days!

      Dedicated to "Banging" Annie. RIP

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: A tale from 1977

        "At 16 I left school with few qualifications. My first job was as a "key boy" in a large amusement arcade in the seaside town of Morecambe. 80 hours and £20 a week."

        You was done over good and proper! I started my first job in 1977 too. Part time, because I stayed on into 6th form. 20 hours over Sat and Sun at the local swimming pool for a take home of £20. Four times what you got for sitting on my arse all day handing out and collecting towels in the Sauna suite :-)

        1. mark4155

          Re: A tale from 1977

          Now you bloody tell me! :)

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: A tale from 1977

            Did I mention the constant flow of pretty young ladies passing through every day too?

  3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    Did she learn nothing?

    She spaffed away £40 before they staff changed the setting to let her have the toy. She then saw them put the setting back, but then she still went back and pumped another £60 into the machine. What sort of idiot puts money into a machine that they already know is rigged, and have seen the evidence of with their own eyes?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Did she learn nothing?

      It takes a lot to get to 34 years and have this level of skill in the dark arts of stupid. Either that or somebody is telling porkies.

    2. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

      Re: Did she learn nothing?

      [sniff] [sniff] Do you smell something that usually belongs in the sea?

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Did she learn nothing?

        Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

        1. a pressbutton

          Re: Did she learn nothing?

          The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing - Margate Fhtagn

          www.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DFfSLnRTMkgY&usg=AOvVaw1Em2RxKP_p6BoUUTsyTD1X

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: Did she learn nothing?

            It's a top song, I've seen them several times...

    3. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Did she learn nothing?

      "What sort of idiot puts money into a machine that they already know is rigged, and have seen the evidence of with their own eyes?"

      The same idiot who admits in public to a newspaper that they did it in the first place.

      Although, saying that, I might make a complaint to Camelot about the national lottery. I've spent £100 this year on lucky dips for the Euro Millions and I haven't even had one sodding number.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Did she learn nothing?

        No bigger idiot than one admitting they also do it. Though I assume you don't, and it's just a joke.

        But I know a lot of "intelligent" and "clever" people who play the lottery. For example, though, look at the returns if that same money was actually put into investments!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But I know a lot of "intelligent" and "clever" people who play the lottery.

          Well, I play, about twice a year with random numbers. £4. Investing that would get me precisely fuck all.

          Yeah, I know I'm really unlikely to win the lottery, but I'm a fuck sight more likely to win than you are because you never buy a ticket.

          But then I'm not as "Intelligent" or "clever" as you obviously are, I just think it's a bit of fun.....

          1. Bloodbeastterror

            Re: But I know a lot of "intelligent" and "clever" people who play the lottery.

            "...because you never buy a ticket."

            "Lord, Lord, please let me win the lottery."

            "Oh Lord, please please let me win the lottery."

            "Please, Lord, please let me win the lottery."

            "Jock, meet me half way - buy a ticket."

            (Please don't flame me for national stereotyping - I'm just repeating the joke as I heard it... :-) )

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: No. I actually win more.

            I win more. I have £4 a year more than you. Over average, you may win 1/3rd of that back. Guaranteed. I though, guarantee 100% of that £4 all year. Still 2/3rds more than you. But thanks for still thinking it's an "investment". and you are "more likely" to get more.

          3. MonkeyCee Silver badge

            Re: But I know a lot of "intelligent" and "clever" people who play the lottery.

            "£4. Investing that would get me precisely fuck all."

            Sure, but using it as a poker stake or putting it on a nag to win give you much higher chances of winning something.

            Oh, and buying random junk perhaps, some chess piece that was bought for a fiver went for a pretty penny recently.

          4. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

            Re: But I know a lot of "intelligent" and "clever" people who play the lottery.

            but I'm a fuck sight more likely to win than you are because you never buy a ticket.

            well probly not , I dont know what the odds of finding a lottery ticket are , but compared to the odds of winning it , tiny.

            So yes you are slightly more likey to win it than the other guy , but the difference is microscopic.

            "you got two chances Buckley's and none" as the aussies say

        2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: Did she learn nothing?

          I play the lottery. For a relatively small sum it allows me to dream that I might actually win.

          I won't. It's a waste of money in investment terms. But the dream of "I might not have to go to work tomorrow" is worth it.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: but the odds are a hell of a lot better.

              So the sensible would do a lot of the first and a tiny bit of the second.

              No sneering necessary (that's directed at the original "I know 'intelligent' people" comment.)

            2. antman

              Re: Did she learn nothing?

              > ...I have never bought a lottery ticket.

              Neither have I but I did win once. As part of a secret Santa present we were each given a scratch card. I quickly uncovered the panels, saw no matches and cast it aside. My friend, knowing I'm not used to this kind of thing, checked the card and found it was worth a fiver. Don't know what the odds are for that but I'm not tempted to buy them. I only enjoy gambling (for small amounts) when it's social, like a card game or taking part in a sweepstake.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Did she learn nothing?

                Scratch cards are the worse. Fixed odds at on average 1/3rd pay out across the boards. Small payouts very common, to keep you coming back, but payouts always reach 1/3rd. (Distributed evenly throughout the stacks except for the 1 big ticket winning)

                "Winning tickets" are known to go through the system, as it's all digital and centralised now. Yet, even if the million/100s thousands of pounds ticket has been claimed, all the posters "you may win" stay up, and they keep charging the £1-£10 or so for the tickets.

                1. Cederic Bronze badge

                  Re: Did she learn nothing?

                  Interestingly I saw a sign by the scratch cards at the weekend stating that all of the 'top' prizes had been claimed, so there were only smaller value prizes now available.

                  No discount on the cards though, so hopefully nobody was daft enough to actually buy them.

          2. The Nazz Silver badge

            Re: Did she learn nothing?

            "It's a waste of money in investment terms. But the dream of "I might not have to go to work tomorrow" is worth it."

            Can't you have that dream for free on a Friday*? Or, more likely, the price of a few beers.

            * for the majority, presumably.

            1. jmch Silver badge

              Re: Did she learn nothing?

              "Or, more likely, the price of a few beers"

              a couple of lottery tickets is cheaper, for those as don't drink (yes they do exist)

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Did she learn nothing?

                "a couple of lottery tickets is cheaper, for those as don't drink (yes they do exist)"

                Of course you can. But the odds are much worse if you didn't stake something on an unrealistic gamble. Not impossible of course. There may well be a rich relative who just karked it and left everything to you but the odds of that are probably worse than winning a lottery jackpot :-)

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Did she learn nothing?

                  No actually. Number of winners per year, 52. Number of people in the UK dying and leaving inheritances?

                  I will let you do the math.

                  1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                    Re: Did she learn nothing?

                    "Number of people in the UK dying and leaving inheritances?"

                    Try adding in significantly large, life changing inheritances and level of relationship such that you are the potential beneficiary, then get back to me.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Did she learn nothing?

                      Dependent on each person. If you do not have a family, then probably no. But you have friends? They can also leave you something.

                      I doubt the national lottery are really your friends...

          3. DuncanLarge Silver badge

            Re: Did she learn nothing?

            "It's a waste of money in investment terms"

            Its not an investment anymore than sleep is your free time.

        3. MiguelC Silver badge

          Re: Did she learn nothing?

          I played the lottery for some time even though I understood the odds.

          All my team decided to play together and I just joined them because I didn't want to be the one stuck at that shite job if those sodders ever won it!

          1. tfewster Silver badge

            Re: Did she learn nothing?

            Think of the lottery as giving to charity, with the side benefits of a miniscule chance of being one of the beneficiaries and not being stuck with all the work if the rest of your team win.

            1. MJI Silver badge

              Re: Did she learn nothing?

              I used to do the lottery until it got expensive.

              Gambling, did it once lost 2p or 10p not sure, my grand national horse came second to Escargot

          2. Martin
            Happy

            Re: Did she learn nothing?

            All my team decided to play together and I just joined them because I didn't want to be the one stuck at that shite job if those sodders ever won it!

            I once saw where a manager of a small firm had written to the financial advice section of a national paper, saying his team had formed a lottery syndicate - could he take out insurance against the risk of them winning and all resigning? They said that, no, you can't get insurance. They then suggested that the best thing to do was to join the syndicate...

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    4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Did she learn nothing?

      Just another stupid SJW trying to make a point. It's not like a 5 month old even knows what mom did. As more and more of these kind of folks run amok and get attention, I worry for future on the human race. Even sadder is most of these types seem to end up in politics.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Did she learn nothing?

        I'm not too up-to-date with the nomenclature, but I believe SJW's are about things like racism, sexism, homophobia and the like whereas this lady is simply wants the teddy for her precious five-year-old even though the baby can't understand what's happening.

        And that's what happens when they're not told 'no' as a kid. The employee should have just told her 'no', explained it's a game of chance*, and let her have a meltdown.

        * licensed robbery

      2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Did she learn nothing?

        Just another stupid SJW

        In what way is this woman a "social justice warrior"? Where's the "social justice" element?

        More to teh point, what's wrong with "social justice"?

        Methinks you just use that term because you misguidedly think that people who campaign for actual social justice are in the wrong. Perhaps you're a big fan of injustice and inequality, in which case you're either someone who has a lot of money they don't deserve, or an idiot. Either way, you're not painting yourself in a good light by throwing terms like "SJW" around.

        Of course, using the term "SJW" does nicely mark you out as someone to avoid for the rest of humanity.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Did she learn nothing?

          I'm not the original commenter, but the "Social Justice" probably comes in where she thinks that people are being systematically screwed over by "the man", in this case the amusement company, and that she thinks that she is a being a warrior in going against them.

          There is nothing wrong with real social justice of course, but my experience is that most of those who IDENTIFY as "Social Justice Warriors" are in fact twats looking to something to offend them so that they can pontificate about it and not looking to effect real social justice.

          You find them all over the place on twitter and facebook, signing online petitions, or in some "safe place" on campus where those who think or look differently are excluded, but you won't find them on the street, in the homeless shelters, writing original letters (not form letters) to their representatives, or the like. Those working for actual social justice rarely, if ever, self-identify as SJW.

          Since you seem to be offended, can we assume that you self-identify as an SJW? I'd sit around and discuss it with you, but I have to pull a shift at the food bank sorting canned goods. It is unfortunate that you think that people like me and the original commenter should be avoided for all humanity because we are realists and don't conform to your particular brand of political correctness, but those of us in humanity realize that it is your personal choice and won't miss you too much.

    6. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

      Re: Did she learn nothing?

      @Loyal Commenter: What sort of idiot ... ?

      A scientist in search of reproducibility?

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Did she learn nothing?

        Where's the control experiment?

        Also, I don't think the local rag counts as a peer-reviewed journal.

  4. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    30-40 quid before she complained? That's 120-160 goes on the gripper. If at first you don't suceed, go to the toy shop and just buy an 'effing toy.

    And didn't someone (Einstein?) say the definition of insanity is repeating the same action and thinking something different will happen. Sticking in another 60 notes makes her a candidate.

    1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

      That quote is usually attributed to Einstein.

      Far be it for me to be a physicist, but I've read somewhere that on a quantum level, certainty is replaced by probability, so it wouldn't be at all stupid if something was done once and twice and a different outcome happened.

      1. Jonathan Richards 1

        Einstein, probably

        > on a quantum level, certainty is replaced by probability

        Einstein was appalled by the idea of quantum uncertainty, hence writing to Max Born:

        "Quantum theory yields much, but it hardly brings us close to the Old One’s secrets. I, in any case, am convinced He does not play dice with the universe."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      We have an arcade like this. The claw machines are rigged. The arms never grip strong enough to win. The most I've lost in there was £2 before realising it was rigged.

      We have ticket machines elsewhere. Again - my children know that there's roughly 20p return for £2 worth of spend. So a £10 later, and a fun day out (some of the machines are quite fun) - they come away with sweets from the tickets.

      There is a gaming console in for stupid amount of tickets, but no-one will ever win that.

      1. Suricou Raven

        It's not that the arms 'never' grip. They will grip hard enough - either at random, or once ever N attempts. On many models there's a switch hidden in the coin box that lets the operator adjust the frequency with which it grips tight enough to grab a prize (assuming the player also won the skill-based part of the game).

        The arcade needs people to win sometimes. Not often, but enough to maintain the hope.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Yor best bet is still to wait until they have filled the machines with fresh "prizes" and pick the one that is overloaded (because the minimum wage bod doing the filling gives exactly 0.000000 shits about it), then let gravity do the work when the claw knocks the toy on top into the chute.

        2. David Given

          My understanding is that gambling machines aren't random --- they're regulated by law to present certain odds of winning, and they decide ahead of time whether each play needs to win or lose in order to maintain those odds. With, obviously, enough fuzz to prevent obviously regular cycles of lose-lose-lose-lose-win, because the manufacturers aren't idiots.

          This one clearly needs adjustment because its _obviously_ rigged, but being rigged is WAI.

          1. Ashentaine

            That's how it is in the US at least. Depending on how much a wager costs, the machine has to have a minimum percent of hits for each possible payout. Electronic slot machines have to run for 24 straight hours once the software is installed by a state gambling authority (the casino itself never gets to touch that part) to certify they meet that percentage. I learned this when I had to do some work in a newly built place that was still setting up, it's rather interesting to see firsthand.

            Not surprisingly, the penny machines out front have a much higher payout rate then the big bet machines in the back...

          2. david 12 Bronze badge

            Gambling machines are heavily regulated. That's why the claw machines are "skill" machines. If it's not a skill machine, that gives her the basis of a complaint.

            1. markr555

              These claw machines aren't actually skill machines - they come under the 'Amusements with prizes' category, and are only required to 'pay out' a given percentage of prizes according to input. The other category - Skill with prizes covers things such as quiz machines, where getting the skill part right is guaranteed to result in the offered prize. Skill with prizes machines manage their payout percentages by reducing/ increasing the prizes offered according to previous win history.

        3. MonkeyCee Silver badge

          Ethical arcades

          "The arcade needs people to win sometimes. Not often, but enough to maintain the hope."

          It also depends on the purpose of the arcade.

          Bear in mind most of them buy plushies (the soft toys) in bulk, and get 2-5 for a buck.

          Once you've spent more than a fiver (or less if it's a kid) you can usually ask and they'll give you one. Revealing the magic switch is considered a no-no.

          I don't really get how this is news. Next there will be shock that carnie games are rigged, those six cans aren't all the same weight, the darts are blunt, and the games are easiest at the start of the day, so people walk around with the big prizes.

          Other news, water confirmed as being wet.

          The ones in Vegas, much like the arcade machines, are set on the most easy, generous settings. So the parents can give the kids a bucket of quarters and use the casino arcade as daycare while they gamble. Not compaining, 11 year old me got to complete TMNT and Streets of Rage, which was pretty sweet.

        4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "The arcade needs people to win sometimes. Not often, but enough to maintain the hope."

          Not helped by the TV and film industry who, when showing the hero taking his girlfriend to the fair, always wins a huge enormous teddy for her.

    3. rmason Silver badge

      The exact same toy will be available for £something.99 at one of those generic chav tat shops that populate parts of our seaside..

      I'd bet the amount this woman wasted on there being one within a 10-120 second walk of where she was stood piling money into machines.

  5. pavel.petrman Bronze badge

    Here's one

    How about every citizen everywhere is given a hundred tokens in the shape and weight of local currency accepted by machines such as the one mentioned in this artice. Every citizen will be then allowed to cast their vote in the next election if and only if said citizen presents the whole of hundred tokens to the voting comittee. I strongly suspect a voting right would have been lost quite willingly over one lousy teddy bear here.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "If you think you might have a gambling problem, you can get some help here.®"

    It's only called "Gamble Aware" because "Intentionally Piss-Weak and Transparently Insincere Token Gesture from the Gambling Industry to Stave Off Further Regulation" was too longwinded.

    It's quite obvious from the evidence that the industry encourages and exploits problem gambling, regardless of such PR bullshit.

    1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

      It's weird how world+dog (at least governments) would expect the gambling industry (and the smoking industry, and the pr0n industry, yadda yadda) to piss in their own pool?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        and they won't do anything about it when they are in the pockets of said gambling companies. I'm not even go to post a link it's ridiculously easy to confirm.

    2. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      > It's only called "Gamble Aware" because "Intentionally Piss-Weak and Transparently Insincere Token Gesture from the Gambling Industry to Stave Off Further Regulation" was too longwinded.

      Tokens can be bought from the cashiers office if you wish to avail yourself of this service

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Dan 55 Silver badge

      It comes to something when gambling rules are actually stricter in the US than in the UK.

    5. jmch Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Yep. Just look at for example sports betting. It's literally impossible to watch sports on TV, visit sports site on internet etc without bumping into some betting site, and the whole shebang is expressly set up to hook young people early and hard.

  7. Just Enough
    Facepalm

    Brain not included

    Difficult to say what makes this mother dumber; not knowing these machines are blatantly rigged, spending £100 before figuring it out herself, or telling everyone that her head unzips at the back, next to where it's labelled "SUCKER".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Brain not included

      The only suckers here are those who think she didn't do this deliberately after being paid by the newspaper.

      1. Just Enough

        Re: Brain not included

        You honestly think some local newspaper has got £100 to piss away on some non-story? If they were looking for an exclusive expose, they give their junior reporter a tenner, with instructions to get the full scoop before that ran out.

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Trollface

    Oh El Reg

    What are chances of this story getting your commentariat all riled up?

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Oh El Reg

      The commentariat looking down their noses at the plebs? Say it isn't so!!!!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh El Reg

        and indulging in a good old fashioned victim blaming session

  9. Martin Summers Silver badge

    It's been nearly 20 years since I briefly had to look after arcade machines. The grabbers were set to whatever 'payout' setting the venue wanted. It's fairly obvious that you're not just going to get a toy for aiming in the right direction once or twice. The only complaints I had to deal with were when the toy had managed to get stuck just over the chute, which was fair enough. I don't think I ever encountered anyone stupid enough to think they weren't weighted in favour of the venue in some way. This is up there with the uncertainty whether fruit machines have to pay out when they're full for some people though.

    Always remember. The odds are always never in your favour.

    1. jmch Silver badge

      Everything is always rigged, even the games of 'skill'. I remember a football game on Brighton pier, shoot at a player silhouette to knock it over and get a prize. The impression given is that they are hinged at the bottom, but they're actually hinged half way up, so you need to hit the 'head' part to flip it over. Plus the silhouettes are on a raised platform to make it more difficult.

      Luckily I hit my first shot at the base hard enough for it to bounce a bit so I realised where the hinge was and directed my remaining 2 shots at the head and made one of them count. Won a hat for my friend :)

      hoop throwing games - objects are only marginally smaller than hoop. Throwing games - the targets are heavier than they look and the balls are remarkeably light. etc etc etc.

      Do it for the fun! If you're doing it for the prize it's not worth it!

      1. not.known@this.address
        Mushroom

        Games of skill

        I can remember 8-year-old me (a few years ago now!) winning three Cadbury Curly-Wurly chocolate bars on the "Sink the Tirpitz" game at my school summer fete - a dart held by electromagnet onto a plastic Lancaster running along an 8-foot track about 6 feet above a line of chipboard sheets with an A4 page with the outline of a battleship drawn on it; the control was simply a push-to-break switch that cut the electricity to the magnet and dropped the dart.

        Oh the fun watching all the "popular" kids and their parents missing completely before I had a go - and they carried on missing again afterwards because none of them realised they needed to drop the dart *before* the 'plane got over the target. Sometimes there are advantages to being a geek ./+ a nerd!

  10. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "Complains attraction was rigged"

    Is this her first time?

    This is the lesson most children learn the first time they use one.

  11. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    My only comment would be that the odds should be displayed clearly on each machine.

    That way you can play for fun, to keep the kids quiet while the thirteenth rain cloud passes over or because you're a total muppet and think you'll win. At least there is no excuse as you have the data required to work out how much you're likely to lose.

    On the other hand, anyone who has watched "Tipping Point" on the tv(*) should be well aware how uncoordinated and, quite frankly, stupid some of these game players' decision making capabilities can be ...

    (*) The author vehemently denies the deliberate watching of the aforementioned 'entertainment' product but the tv may have been left on by another person resulting in short term intellectual contamination of the audio-visual environment.

    1. AdamWill

      It's sort of difficult to post odds for claw machines because the player's actions do matter. If you don't manage to actually position the claw over the item properly your chances are exactly 0, after all.

      The nature of the item probably affects things a bit too.

      They could have a sticker showing how often the claw strength will be high enough to get anything at all out of the machine assuming all other actions are performed perfectly, though, I suppose...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Same with burglary.

        Really hard to write up those legal documents for burglary too.

        Yeah, because they scammed the system, is little excuse it's hard to make the legal requirements.

        "I'm not able to put the ingredients on guv, because I made sure I was blindfolded when I made it!"

  12. Chris G Silver badge

    I think this comes under the misconception that 'I'll do anything for my kids' is the same as good parenting.

    This kid fortunately was too young to learn either a out parenting or how stupid his mother is.

    1. The Mole

      That is the worrying thing, the kid was too young to even care. If it had been an annoying 5 year old constantly yammering on about wanting it and badgering the mum to try one more time then it would at least be a bit understandable, but for a 5 month old?

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Also, what was the 5 month old doing whilst she was playing this 400 times!!!

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Don't worry, she made sure his bottle was full of cola first...

          (I have actually seen this happen)

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
            Holmes

            Why the downvote? Was it not obvious that this was a joke? Does the downvoter doubt the veracity of my having seen this happen? Do they think that it is perfectly fine to give an infant cola? Or... Is that you again CodeJunky?

            1. codejunky Silver badge
              Paris Hilton

              @Loyal Commenter

              "Or... Is that you again CodeJunky?"

              Ffs I have just come onto this topic, reading through the comments, upvote your humour and then see this. I am sorry dude I am not interested I am already taken, but I understand you cant get me out of your head.

          2. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Cola, really? That is bad.

            I usually see the toddlers in pushchairs with a bottle of tea in one hand (no doubt heavily sugared) and Greggs sausage roll in the other.

            This is usually accompanied by the "mother" (I suppose it could be an elder sister) dressed in pyjamas chainsmoking.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              I've never seen chain-smoking pyjamas, though there was this girl once ........

              Anon cos the missus might just read this

              1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
                Thumb Up

                Ok, I missed the comma. :D

                Still it could be worse, it could have been helping your Uncle jack off a horse...

                Or was that help your Uncle Jack, off a horse?

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I have actually had experience of a family that fed their pre-schooler cola on a daily basis; the child ended up hospitalised with what the doc described as "total systemic fatigue".

            IE, the stimulants in the cola had burnt through the child's energy reserves until they had nothing left and they collapsed.

            Did the parents learn from this??

            Did they fuck.

            Anon, cos the family are scary; very, very scary.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Probably outside smoking the fags mum got cause dad isn't back yet from the shops.

      2. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

        That is the worrying thing, the kid was too young to even care. If it had been an annoying 5 year old constantly yammering on about wanting it and badgering the mum to try one more time then it would at least be a bit understandable, but for a 5 month old?

        Honestly, if it were a 5 year old, I'd be more concerned about the useless job they were doing as a parent to not be able to tell said sprog "No" and be done with it. I know kids don't always listen, I know they can get downright stroppy about it, but that's part of the job of a parent. And I speak as the parent of two "we're in double figures but not quite teenage yet" sprogs. Who do know what the word "No" means. And they also know that incessant arguing of the point will result in the playing of one of the Dad favourites, such as "going home early", "no you don't deserve to stop at McDonalds on the way home" or the more serious option of "You'll lose your phone for a week"

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I hate to be judgemental, but something tells me she shared her outrage / indignity on FB which was then shared, and icked up by media, as fb appears to be one of the two main sources of media stories. OK, make it three, with twitter AND instagram. Or whatever those "services" are called.

  13. Andy Non

    That explains it...

    The "gripper has an adjustable strength". Many years ago at such a machine in a ten pin bowling club, I pulled out 8 cuddly toys for my then girlfriend in almost as many goes, before a member of staff suddenly appeared and declared the machine "Out of Order" and turned it off.

    No it was working just fine as far as I was concerned. :-)

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: That explains it...

      Ah, ten pin bowling at Wells-next-the-Sea - happy memories of the pier. Goes all dewy eyed with nostalgia...

      It was a rubbish arcade, with old machines, still had the original mid-80s Outrun game, even though it was now the mid-90s. Those 1p/2p machines with the sliders, where you try to tip the money over the side. And best of all, the shortest 10 pin bowling alleys I've ever seen. There was a piece of string acrosso the end of the lane, to stop you stepping into it, as I think I could have got from the bowling position to the pins in 2 steps. Just having long arms was a massive advantage. We got a lot of strikes playing on that - then outside for fish and chips on the seafront. Watch out for dive-bombing seagulls!

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: That explains it...

        I remember a sweet vending machine outside a dodgy arcade in Cleethorpes in at least 1998 that was full of Marathons.

        Marathons were renamed Snickers in 1990.

        1. Flywheel Silver badge

          Re: That explains it...

          We lived in Southport for a while and noticed that (at least) one shop selling that bright blue-green antifreeze-colour ice cream still had the same stock level at the start and end of the season.

  14. cosmogoblin

    These machines have to cover their operating costs. That includes machine purchase, maintenance, electricity, staffing, floorspace ... AND the purchase of the frigging prizes! Plus they're put there to make a profit. It should be pretty obvious that if they weren't rigged they wouldn't be economical.

    If the boy wanted a toy, go to a shop and buy one. If he wanted THAT toy ONLY, use the machine to teach him about gambling. Of course if he's 5 months, we can safely assume that neither of the above is true, and that the mother is not only a problem gambler, but a really stupid one as well. The prize was probably worth less than 1 go on the machine, let alone 400.

    It does sound like the arcade was partly to blame, for setting such a low payout rate, but I'm mostly on the side of the gambling industry here. Ugh, it hurt to type that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > It should be pretty obvious that if they weren't rigged they wouldn't be economical.

      Bullshit. The toys cost peanuts - < £1 each. One in 5 wins would make plenty of profit for the arcade.

      If these places weren't so rigged more people would come in. Instead its drunks and druggies trying to get out the rain/cold and the owners wonder why they're not making any money.

    2. Graham Cobb

      If it appears to be a pure skill machine, it should be so.

      If it is a gambling machine that is also fine but it should be clearly labelled.

  15. SVV Silver badge

    Prize Dumbo

    I can remember when the prizes in these things included packets of fags. Great fun for the kids.

    And yes, the cash in the Penny Falls machines was (is?) often secured with superglue.

  16. MJI Silver badge

    They used to work

    About 27-28 years ago a friend nearly emptied a machine of toys. Every 4th or 5th go, a toy would plop out.

    Put in around £20 or so.

    But then they relied on skill more than luck. He had the knack.

    I still reckon they made a profit as the toys were probably cheap.

    And he had to cart home a large pile of cheap cuddly toys.

    I noticed the change last time I had a go, definetely a lot weaker grip. I think it took 3 tries to see it, not £40

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: They used to work

      It woudn't suprise me if the "prizes", bought in bulk, cost less than one go on the machine in the first place.

      For machines with more "expensive" looking prizes, it should really be obvious that the pay-out rate will be lower than 1 in (cost of prize) / (cost of go).

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: They used to work

        "For machines with more "expensive" looking prizes, it should really be obvious that the pay-out rate will be lower than 1 in (cost of prize) / (cost of go)."

        There is (was?) one of those grabber things in the corridor just outside the entrance to the Gents (and on the way to the Ladies) at Wetherby Services that had Mobile phones and handheld console games (Nintendo?). I never saw anyone try it. Ok, I was only ever in there a couple of times a week for 5 mins, but usually happened to be calling in on my past about during the lunch rush. I dread to think what the odds settings must be for a "win" on that machine!

  17. georget

    Is this really IT news worthy?

    It might just be me, but really reg, is this IT news worthy?

    Don't get me wrong, we all need a laugh every now and again to drown out the sounds of the data centre....But it really must be a slow news day if this makes the main page.

    1. Excellentsword
      IT Angle

      Re: Is this really IT news worthy?

      Forgot your icon.

    2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Is this really IT news worthy?

      Welcome to bootnotes.

    3. jimbo36

      Re: Is this really IT news worthy?

      IT? Yes, because the dial that they altered would have changed a setting on some form of micro-processor. They're certainly not mechanical anymore ..

      News? Maybe not.

    4. simonlb

      Re: Is this really IT news worthy?

      There is possibly a tenuous link somewhere, but that was overshadowed by then quoting from a survey which had been published in The Sun.

      Mind you, finding out that a dodgy seafront arcade has a 'people and social responsibility director' was definitely a revelation. Don't think any of the large corporations I've ever worked for had someone with that job title.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Is this really IT news worthy?

        "Mind you, finding out that a dodgy seafront arcade has a 'people and social responsibility director' was definitely a revelation."

        Probably has a few other job titles as and when needed.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Most people safely assume that not just claw machines, but entire arcade attractions from shooting galleries to those 2p coin pushers are heavily rigged."

    The 2p coin pushers are based on a bit of the money going down the side. Shooting galleries are about trying to hit things that are rounded. Legit, but a bit of a trick (and you lose because you're a mark).

    The only gamble that works is getting on a one-arm bandit after someone has just dumped a large amount of money in and got nothing much back. The machine is below the payout percentage and will pay.

    1. Andy Non

      "The only gamble that works"

      Quiz master machines used to work for us. Three of us used to go from work to the pub every Friday lunch time and used the Quiz master to pay for our lunch and beer. Between the three of us, we covered everything from science, history, politics and general knowledge. The machine also only had a finite number of questions so we quickly picked up the correct answers to the more obscure questions like "How many cups of tea are drunk each week in the house of commons".

  19. ForthIsNotDead
    Stop

    Kill me

    "The firm's people and <<<<social responsibility director>>>>..."

    Just fucking kill me know. Honestly. I'm done.

  20. Peter D

    There's a phrase invented for this woman

    Silly cow.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: There's a phrase invented for this woman

      That is deeply offensive. I have known some very fine cows

      1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        Re: There's a phrase invented for this woman

        To be fair, he was only commenting on the silly ones. Of course if you know some very fine silly cows then - fair enough.

        1. ForthIsNotDead
          Pint

          Re: There's a phrase invented for this woman

          That's an important distinction, Eddy. Beer! ---->

  21. Baldrickk Silver badge
    Trollface

    Was at a theme park the other day

    Basketball - dunk 3 balls, win a large prize.

    Hoops were nice and wide, but you could get around the stall and look at the hoops from the side - they were barely deep enough to accept the ball. If you're off even slightly, you're bouncing out.

    One for the suckers.

    1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      Re: Was at a theme park the other day

      "One for the suckers."

      Or the netballers :)

      Friend I was with carrying plushie polar bear that was about as big as her. After the fourth time she got asked if "her boyfriend" (we weren't dating) won it for her, she lost her rag and said that she didn't a funking man to win her anything.

  22. LeahroyNake Bronze badge

    I won, once

    I have children and don't mind letting them have a go at the claw games but it's one go each and not £100 or until they win.

    The last time I won a lovely blue whale thing. I walked out of the toilet at a motorway service station and was waiting for my partner when I spotted the claw game had a free go available. Both of us were amazed when it actually grabbed the thing and the youngest one know knows I'm awesome lol.

  23. Lee D Silver badge

    "Rigged" makes it sound like they're doing something illegal.

    They are fixed-odds of success, like a fixed-odds betting machine. Like scratchcards. Like any online lottery. A predetermined outcome from the second you start, but that choice of outcome is made at random as you press the button / buy the card. There are not billions of scratchcards out there, any of whom stands exactly 1/1,000,000 chance of magically letting you win the car, where you could win the car 2, 3, 4 times over if you're lucky. There are huge number of cards, pre-printed, already determined, and the people who printed them know *exactly* how many "you won a car!" cards that there are before they cover them in that silver scratch-off coating. They know, because they put them there.

    When you play the little Monopoly scratchcard game on the National Lottery website, you're not "playing a game". You're assigned one of several million randomly-generated numbers which results - completely predictably and reproducibly when given the seed number - in either a win or a loss. That number will ALWAYS result in that outcome. That's how they know you can't just "reload" the page and get another go - it's already determined whether you won or lost the second you pressed "Buy", but you get to spend five minutes "playing" it out before they tell you.

    They already know *exactly* which cards win or lose. They already know *exactly* how many prizes they have to give out (if you did things entirely at random, you might bankrupt the lottery by a run of good luck... instead they create a million card seed numbers, then they run the game for every one, then they remove all the ones they don't want, leaving only those that result in the exact, stated, guaranteed odds, the prizes they actually have available and the number of cards they intend to sell over time). They know *exactly* what card they have given you. They know *exactly* how it's going to play out, and even how much money to set aside each day for prizes.

    But the card is selected at random from a huge bunch of cards with pre-determined outcomes. That's modern gambling. That's how it's worked since video poker was first used in Vegas. The outcome is random, from a set of pre-determined outcomes, which removes *all* uncertainty for the casino/lottery while providing you with EXACTLY the odds they state. It's a tombola, where you know that you're not going to be able to win three of those ugly Christmas jumpers, because there is only one prize like that anyway, but the chance of winning the sweater is still fixed and provable.

    Grabber machines are no different. Inside the machine is a binary "grip / don't grip" bit. If the odds on the machine says the chances are winning are 1 in 100 then in 1 in 100 games it will grip, averaged over its lifetime. To not means serious investigations. That doesn't mean "play a hundred times and you'll win". But there's a 1 in 100 chance of winning overall. Guess what... if by chance a thousand people won earlier in the day before you, it might well not have any prize allocations left in whatever unit of time it averages over (e.g. 24 hours, a week, a month, etc.) - everyone after that is going to be a loss. But walking up to the machine at random at a random time gives you a 1 in 100 chance, still. That's not true of a truly random event, but it doesn't have to act like a truly random event to be a licensed gambling machine (hey, kids, let's introduce you to licensed gambling venues as a bit of fun when we go to the seaside!) - it has to be "fair" and it has to stick to the stated odds. If it saw, say, a woman coming and refused to pay out because she was a woman, that's unfair. But if it gives out 1 prize for every 100 plays, on average, over time, and takes nothing else into consideration, then it is considered fair. That's what happened.

    If anything, the operator here has literally *biased the odds in her favour* to give her a toy, guaranteed, out of pity. She received better than the advertised odds. And she's complaining. They can do that if they want... they are giving you BETTER odds than advertised. So long as it doesn't affect the rest of the time for the worse, then it's actually a courtesy they can exercise. No different to giving you a machine that says you could win 1 in every 3 but they actually just let you win 1 in every 2 because it makes you happier.

    If he'd done it the other way - SAW YOU COMING and switched the machine into a-billion-to-one mode, while still advertising 1 in a 100, then they'd have a case to answer. He didn't.

    If you don't understand maths, don't gamble.

    If you don't understand the game or mechanic, don't gamble.

    And if you only "think you know how it works", you almost certainly don't.

    Don't even get me started on the "game of chance" / "game of skill" thing.

    These things are gambling machines that randomly give you a prize. But more often than anything, randomly DO NOT give you a prize.

    Stop introducing your children to them, especially possibly as casual entertainment with a tiny amount of disposable income(*). Buy the damn teddy instead. And stop pretending that they are games... they are not. They are gambling machines. Even the penny falls is a gambling machine, designed to make money for the operator only, and they make that money from you.

    (*) I'm a mathematician. I've been to casinos, been to Las Vegas and gambled aboard a cruise ship (the QE2). I don't pretend for a second that I'm not just spending money on entertainment. But even a few pounds, at the right priced table (which they have far more of than the high-rollers** tables) can last you hours. I'd spend that on a movie that I will have no right to see except for that single instance for that price - seriously I can pay over £10 an hour just to watch a movie once! Or a drink in London. Or an entrance fee. Or any number of other things that cost more and give back less. I know the money will go to the venue, eventually, the game is to eke it out - rather than blow it all in ten seconds by just handing a £10 note to the croupier, you hand that same £10 to the croupier and play a few dozen games a minimum stakes against people you have a chat with (depending on the venue). Yeah, you might walk away with £20. But you *know* that you're more likely, by orders of magnitude, to walk away with £0. Else you're an idiot who shouldn't be anywhere near a card table or roulette wheel.

    (**) "High roller" is casino code for "rich idiot with nothing better to do than throw money away".

    1. Joe W Silver badge
      Pint

      Good grief! What a wall of text!

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
        Trollface

        is gg;wwt; the new tl;dr;?

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Nah, it's just millennials with a short attention span thinking they discovered something new :-)

    2. the Jim bloke Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      several years ago -thinking about it, it is becoming several DECADES ago- McDonalds were running promotional campaigns based on some kind of scrabble theme... buy their crap, get given individual letters, put them together to make words and receive prizes on achieving specific words..

      The control on the number of prizes was on the prize winning words containing a specific letter which McDonalds only printed in the required number, while all the trash letters were basically unlimited.

      All well and good, campaign run, job done.

      So well done, they ran the same kind of campaign 6 months or a year later, with different prize words - using different prize winning letters.

      Thing is, some people were still hanging onto the previous campaigns trash letters (totally understandable, I'm a packrat myself) and those letters were able to build the major prize winning words.. Overseas holidays, cars, that kind of thing.

      McD was trying to say that previous promotional material was not eligible, and the consumer groups were saying that was not specified in the T's&C's. I believe the government or courts told McDonalds they had to pay up, but its all a bit hazy now.

  24. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Unfortunately, the woman has spawned progeny already, so her genes are possibly going to be replicated at some time in the next 50 years or so. I despair for the human race.

  25. adam 40 Bronze badge
    Facepalm

    If the FUN Stops

    FFS - STOP!!!! You silly mare!

    Seems like she went past the fun stage on the second pound.

  26. Blackjack

    Think with your mind, not your wallet

    If this mother had just looked online, she could have got at least two plushies with the same amount of money and free shipping.

    If she remembered the age of her kid, she could have just cloned her car keys for a few bucks and give them to the little tyke, for some reason babies love car keys.

    And she could have never come back and avoid wasting the extra money after she got the plushy.

    Lawsuits cost time and money, and the time you don't expend with your kids never comes back.

    Years from now, the kid will be like five and the lawsuit might still be going.

    Oh and if she had ever watched cartoons, she would have know in advanced that these things are evidently rigged.

    And whatever happened to those machines with gumballs and or small toys inside transparent pokeballs? At least you always got something when you put money on them.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Think with your mind, not your wallet

      "If she remembered the age of her kid, she could have just cloned her car keys for a few bucks and give them to the little tyke, for some reason babies love car keys."

      Note: the baby wants car keys. They don't actually have to operate your car. (The 'they' in the sentence can mean the keys or the baby.)

  27. TheProf
    Alien

    Points skywards "The Claw"

    How these machines are 'rigged'.

    https://www.vox.com/2015/4/3/8339999/claw-machines-rigged

    Now I want to watch Toy Story again.

  28. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Crackers. Christmas Crackers.

    I bought a box of Crimbo Crackers supposedly with "great toys" in them. They were shit. The second box was no better. Nor the third. Two hundred boxes later and nothing but shit toys. I blame the EU.

  29. IGotOut

    Has no one considered the alternative?

    Maybe she's just shit at it. The attendant felt sorry for her, put it in idiot test mode, let her win, then put it back to normal mode.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Has no one considered the alternative?

      Shit at working out that she wasn't going to win. And at working out that she'd been felt sorry for. And at working out she still wasn't going to win after it was fixed.

      1. taxythingy

        Re: Has no one considered the alternative?

        That.

        Felt aggrieved that she'd spent so much with no payout the first time, so complained. Then went back and donated more money, just so she'd have something else to complain about. Hence the public knowledge of the sordid affair.

  30. Pete4000uk

    Was this money

    Earned or handout?

  31. Potemkine! Silver badge

    It's weird to read all these comments blasting this woman, when the real scandal is these rigged machines are a scam intended to extract money from the most vulnerable ones. Is ripping off people becoming legal?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Is ripping off people becoming legal?

      Absolutely, and that horse has not only left the barn, it had grand-foles too. Since the 1980's ripoffs, scams, looting and straight-up fraud has become the very foundation of our "liberal market-based economy".

      What did people imagine that "Deregulation", "Competition" and "Getting rid of Bureaucracy" was intended to do?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, ripping people off is LEGAL in many, many areas, and I'm blasting you for acting surprised.

      ...

      Probably legal in almost ALL aspects of human interactions, job, business... Even if you tighten the definition of "ripping off", I would claim as above. Sad but true, we're deceiving cunts, and our civilization is based on it.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Yeah, just ask HP what it feels like to be ripped off :-)

    3. the Jim bloke Silver badge

      Re: Is ripping off people becoming legal?

      Read the Article

      Please be advised that Playnation Limited is a professional organisation

      Only amateurs are penalised for ripping off people.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    people and social responsibility director

    they certainly have style!

  33. smilerbaker

    Admission time

    I used to own an arcade, and we had claw machines, they are total cash cows and this is how they work

    You have 2 setting you can change, one for the power when the claw is at the bottom, so it grabs the booty, and one for the power by the time it reaches the top of the machine, so the power reduces as the claw lifts, and so it drops the booty while its lifting it up, very very occasionally (ie almost never) it will ignore the setting and give a win (assuming you managed to grab the booty in the first place), its always good to have a mug, sorry, punter walking around the place with cheap chinese knock off bart simpson under his arm.

    If you want punters to win just max out the power at the top claw position, the electromagnet holds the prize and you win.

    Another trick was wrapping some 5/10/20 pound notes round a tube, mugs - sorry, punters would always go for those, except the tubes where loaded with marbles, so you could pick them up but as soon as the marbles moved the tube would slip from the claw.

    now, who wants to know about fruit machines lol

  34. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Happy

    Big spender?

    Last year, for £1 I bought five tickets at a tombola stall. I first won a half bottle of whisky and the fifth ticket won me a whole bottle of whisky. Nice!

    This year at the same fete I spent £2 and won nothing :(

  35. 97browng

    Was this a game of chance or skill?

    I will agree that putting this much money into the machine which is clearly rigged is idiotic. However are we not missing the point a bit, I assume this game was being sold as a game of skill not chance.

    These claw machines are generally sold as a game of skill where if you are good enough you should be able to win a prize. Yes we know all the games are rigged but it seems in this case that without complaining there was 0% chance of anyone ever winning anything. I assume that this was no information on the box clearly stating that the chance of winning was X%.

    Of course most of us would have stopped at some point far short of this, and not put in even more money after seeing the switch changed. But still I would have thought there are some regulations to not allow a 0% chance of winning.

    You can't compare this to betting on a horse, playing the lottery or a gambler. All of these are either a game of change or odds. In fact gamblers have to state what their payout rate is and if you read the notices on them many will say 'No matter what option you chose on certain turns you will always lose' (well perhaps not in these exact words). With this information you should know exactly what the likelihood of winning is and then be able to make an informed decision on how much you put in or not.

  36. Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

    Umm, moron alert?

    Rigged is an emotive term, they're classed as a game of skill so the usual rules about percentage returns on gambling don't apply which means they can give you a prize every go or never or anywhere in between

    They are configurable to 'win' a prize every so many goes with a variable 'fudge' factor which gives the owner a guaranteed return (An ex colleague owned an arcade in a holiday resort, the grab machines made the most money of any machine in the building apparently which is why there are arcades stuffed with the things)

    But, the crucial bit, it still won't give you a win if you're a dullard who can't position the grab properly.

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