New Hampshire Man Loses Life Savings On Carnival Game

As the old saying goes, a fool and his money are soon parted:

EPSOM, NH (CBS) – Henry Gribbohm says he lost his life savings, $2,600, on a carnival game and all he has to show for it is a stuffed banana with dreadlocks.

“You’re expecting the kids to win a few things, let the kids have a good time,” said Gribbohm. “It just didn’t turn out that way.”

Gribbohm says he attended a Manchester carnival run by New Hampshire-based Fiesta Shows and wanted to win an Xbox Kinect at a game called Tubs of Fun where contestants toss balls into a tub. When he practiced he says it was easy, but something changed when he started playing for the prize and the balls kept popping out.

“It’s not possible that it wasn’t rigged,” said Gribbohm.

The 30-year-old from Epsom says he kept trying to win back his money by going double or nothing. He dropped $300 in just a few minutes, then says he went home to get $2,300 more and soon lost all of that as well.

“You just get caught up in the whole ‘I’ve got to win my money back.'”

Somewhere, P.T. Barnum is smiling.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Tony W says:

    This guy’s life savings was $2,600. Quite likely this was not his first carnival.

  2. Franklin says:

    @Tony W:

    This guy’s life savings was $2,600.

    And it was all sitting at home.

  3. grumpy realist says:

    I’m sorry, I don’t have too much sympathy for someone in this position. One of the responsibilities of being an adult is realizing that your chance at any roulette wheel/card game/whatever is very low. Decide how much you are willing to lose, lose it, then walk away. Never try to recoup. (Yes, I indulge in Powerball once a month, but I figure I can handle the strain of $24/year.)

    Given that this individual thought that “double or quits” was an appropriate gaming strategy….well, let’s say I’m not surprised that this guy’s life savings was $2,600.

    What I do think should have happened is that the Fiesta people should have cut him off, however. The negative PR they got from allowing him to dump all his money is far more than what they gained cashwise.

  4. Peacewood says:

    There are very few carnie games that aren’t fixed.

    In fact, the only one I played that wasn’t fixed was in Canada…. Go figure, eh.

  5. Andre Kenji says:

    NBC News dud a reporter about these Carnival games:

    It´s so exaggerated that´s fun.

  6. roger says:

    $2,600 spent to win a $30-$60 video game but instead winning a maybe $20 stuffed toy?

    I can understand hanging around a Vegas hotel and plunking a lot of quarters into the slot machine and getting into the thrill of it but this is just crazy.

  7. Brett says:

    He should probably see a psychiatrist. The guy clearly has an addiction problem with games.

  8. Argon says:

    Willing to waste $2600 to win an Xbox. That’s some bargain.

    And willing to be interviewed about it. That’s why we can’t have nice things.

  9. wr says:

    The real loser here is Sarah Palin. This guy is clearly the type to keep sending her donations…

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