Numbers can be baffling. For example: if you could fold a piece of paper 45 times, it would reach the moon. Casinos are all about numbers: big numbers, little numbers, winning numbers. Every table or card game has a statistical risk for both the gambler and the house.
So, when New Jersey grandmother Patricia Demauro grabbed the dice at the Craps table of Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa on May 23, 2009, she probably had very little idea that she would beat odds of… wait for it… one in 3.5 billion.
Just to put that in perspective. The odds of becoming President of the United States are one in 10,000,000; the odds of getting struck by lightning – one in 700,000, and the odds of shooting a hole-in-one on a par 3: one in 12,500, That sounds easy!
The fact that Mrs Demauro managed to hold onto the dice for an astonishing four hours and 18 minutes, and rolled them an unbelievable 154 times before hitting a seven is… to use the word correctly for once… incredible.
The odds of rolling a seven with two dice is one in six. In theory, you will hit a seven at least once with every seven rolls of two dice. It’s the most common number combination for a pair of dice (1+6, 2+5, 3+4, 4+3, 5+2, 6+1).
Test the odds yourself. Grab two dice and roll. Chances are, you will hit a seven fairly quickly. This simple exercise will make you realise just how remarkable Demauro’s performance was.
And it’s not as if Demauro was even a professional casino player. She had travelled to the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, in Atlantic City, with her friend John Capra because they both relished a little action at the tables.
Demauro decided to play things safe and propped herself up in front of one of the Borgata’s many penny slots. Meanwhile, her friend John decided to try his luck playing a few hands of three-card poker.
A few hours later, at 8pm, Demauro was bored and went to find her friend. He was in the poker room – directly opposite the Craps table. Demauro had only played Craps once before and was keen to improve her game. They decided to have a roll and test their luck.
There are 14 tables at the Borgata. At 8.13pm, Demauro bought into the game for $100 and was handed the orange coloured dice. It was her turn to be the shooter. She started to roll.
Snake Eyes and the Stickman
Craps can be a confusing game for the beginner. The Come Bet, the Hardway, the Inside Combination. All this and snake eyes, a stickman, pass lines, the boxman, and the shooter. If you’ve never played Craps before, you should take the time and learn.
A game of Craps starts with the initial roll – known as the ‘come out’ roll. It is either a four, five, six, eight, nine, or ten. Demauro rolled an eight. At this point, players bet the table.
Demauro rolled… and rolled… and rolled. By the time she crapped out and hit a seven, it was another day. Four hours and 18 minutes had passed and the dice had been rolled 154 times.
Prior to Demauro’s streak, there were a few claims to the Craps throne. In Las Vegas, a man known only as the ‘captain’ managed 147 rolls in 2005. Also in Las Vegas, Stanley Fujitake managed a three hour six minute streak at the California Hotel. Demauro eclipsed them both. (btw – the average amount of rolls before hitting a seven is about eight).
Demauro said: “I got on a roll and just kept going for about four and a half hours and I was learning the game as I went along. Most of the men that were there were really excited because I was bringing them good luck.
“There was a woman and we happened to catch each other’s eyes. She smiled at me, and I smiled and said, ‘I don’t know how to play the game.”
Demauro has never revealed how much she won on that fateful night but her winnings are estimated to be in the high $100,000s.
“It was a really a great table to be at, great vibes from everybody,” she said. “This was very exciting for me to be a part of history. I’ve visited Borgata many time and I always have a lot of fun.”
After her winning streak, the hotel treated Demauro and her friend to Dom Perignon, dinner and a complimentary suite. Nice job, Patricia…