New Hampshire Man Loses Life Savings, Dignity on Carnival Game

How 30-year-old Henry Gribbohm blew $2,600 in one day.

WBZ-TV outdid itself on Monday, running an amazingly farcical story about Henry Gribbohm, a 30-year-old New Hampshire man who lost $2,600—reportedly his life savings—on a carnival game.

If you think the details seem to be culled from an Onion article, then you’re probably a sane, rational person. Because they’re utterly ridiculous. For example:

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.

And that, my dad told me during my first trip to the Topsfield Fair, is why you don’t play carnival games. It gets worse. After losing $300 in his first go-round, Gribbohm went home, collected another $2,300, came back, and promptly blew it all on the same game. Apparently, he was trying to win his money back. (Is that even an option at carnivals?) Gribbohm’s strategy immediately brings this to mind:

Like Homer Simpson, poor Henry Gribbohm also assumed he could stop himself from sinking but ended up making it worse. According to WBZ, the Manchester Police Department is trying to determine if this is a case of fraud. Also: the game, which is run by an independent contractor, isn’t going to be featured at the carnival’s next stop in nearby Derry, New Hampshire. Then there’s this:

Henry says he went back the next day to complain, and the man running the game gave him back $600. Henry split with the banana and the cash, and filed a report with the Manchester Police Department.

“For once in my life I happened to become that sucker,” Gribbohm said. “It was foolish for putting up my life savings.”

He’s right about that second part.

(Via @bumpasaurus)