World’s Dumbest Man Loses Life Savings On Carnival Game
‘I happened to become that sucker’: N.H. man says he lost life savings playing ‘rigged’ carnival game
Henry Gribbohm, 30, ended up sinking $2,600 on the ‘Tubs of Fun’ game, he said. With nothing to show for it, he returned the next day to complain, and ended up getting a stuffed banana and some of his money back as a consolation prize.
A New Hampshire man was so bonkers for a carnival prize that he tried desperately to win an Xbox — and ended up spending his entire life savings in a fruitless pursuit.
After landing $2,600 in the hole, 30-year-old Henry Gribbohm says he didn’t win the gaming console, but later took home an oversized plush banana wearing a hat and dreadlocks. It was an unappealing consolation prize.
“For once in my life I happened to become that sucker,” Gribbohm told CBS affiliate WBZ-TV as he toted the banana around on his son’s stroller. “I was foolish for putting up my life savings.”
Gribbohm’s tale of woe began Saturday, when he attended a carnival in Manchester and decided to try his luck at a game called “Tubs of Fun.”
Players pay $5 for a chance to toss two softballs into a large tub tilted at an angle. If the ball stays inside, the player wins.
Gribbohm wasn’t successful, but two workers goaded him to keep trying.
“They said they would double my money if I could get 10 balls in the bucket,” Gribbohm told The New Hampshire Union Leader. “I was loud and into it, and they said I was helping to draw a crowd over to the booth. They said I would win my kids an Xbox Kinect, which are like $400 I think. So I gave it a try.”
Initially, his tab rose to $300. But he was so consumed with winning, he said, he went home and took out another $2,300.
He gave up when all of his money ran out. The next day, he returned to complain to management. He was able to get $600 back — and the oversized Rastafarian-themed banana.
Gribbohm suggests the game wasn’t just rotten, it was rigged — and he filed a complaint with Manchester police. A spokeswoman said they were reviewing the claim.
Fiesta Shows, which operates the carnival, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday.
A Fiesta official, John Flynn, previously told WBZ-TV that the game was run by an independent contractor, and there were no previous complaints about it.
Flynn said it was “pretty next to impossible” to burn through as much cash as Gribbohm supposedly did playing “Tubs of Fun.”
The game, however, isn’t exactly fair either, according to Bill Howard’s book, “Carnival Fraud 101.”
Howard explains the setup: From inside the booth, a carnival worker easily tosses a ball into one of the tubs as an example. Then he asks a participant to throw the second ball for practice.
With the first ball already inside the tub — acting as a sort of anchor — the second ball doesn’t bounce out, Howard writes.
But when it comes time for the player to give it a legitimate try, the carnie clears the tub of all of the balls — and the task becomes near impossible without that anchor ball.
“You might as well throw your second ball across the midway because no way it will stay inside the tub either,” Howard writes.