This is never happening again.

It’s not often that you get to see a 180 million-to-one shot happen at work.

Tonight at work, a regular player sat down at a Three Card Poker table, and plays a pretty sizable bet for the game – $60 a spot. (Most people play $5 or $10, for reasons that will become apparent as we continue. Rarely do you see more than $25 per spot. And if you’re wondering what this “per spot” business is about, read up.)

On one hand, she gets three of a kind. This pays 30-to-1 odds on the Bonus spot, and hence scores $1800 on her Bonus bet, on top of whatever she won on the other two spots.

On the very next hand, she gets a straight flush. (That’s three cards, in sequence, all the same suit.) The bonus for this is 40-to-1, and even though she brought her bet down to $25 a spot, that still means she gets paid $1000 on the Bonus.

This lady, figuring this is her lucky day (and how!), bumps her bet back up to $75 a spot on the next hand.

Royal Flush. 200-to-1. That’s $15,000, for those of you scoring at home.

This woman just got the three biggest bonus hands in the game, all in a row.

(For the record, this wasn’t my table, but as you could surmise word of this occurrence spread through the place very quickly.)

I’ve had nights on a Three Card table without seeing any big ticket hands. I’ve had nights when I’ll see eight or nine of them in the course of a couple of hours. I’ve even had a couple of instances where two people both got trips on the same hand. But never have heard of anyone getting trips, then a straight flush, then a royal flush, on three consecutive hands.

And there’s good reason for that – the chances of this happening are freakishly astronomical. There are 22,100 different three-card hands. Fifty-two are triples, 48 are straight flushes, and only four are royals. That means the odds of getting each of those hands – just once, mind you – are 424-to-1, 459-to-1, and 5524-to-1, respectively.

The odds of getting one, then another, then a third, all in a row, are 180,022,916-to-1. And that’s if you ignore what order they come in.

By comparison, the current California Lottery Mega Millions jackpot is $12,000,000, and the odds of getting all the numbers right on that is “only” 175,711,535-to-1. You have a better chance of being struck by lightning, being bitten by a dog, and getting accepted into Harvard – all at the same time.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if she lost it all back in a week.


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