All Bets Are Off

Karen went ballistic when she found out that her husband, Kenneth, had gambled away their entire life’s savings.  He lost thousands of dollars betting on football, because of a week full of NFL upsets and bad calls by the refs.  He thought the fix might have been in after the Philadelphia Eagles lost that Monday night game to the Washington Commanders, as that should not have happened.  He knew that from watching the 1999 Al Pacino movie that on any given Sunday, any team can beat any other team, but this was a Monday Night game.  Kenneth only enjoyed the games when he had money on the line and his father was a bookie, so he grew up with gambling.  He thought this was a sure win as the Eagles were undefeated 8-0 on the season and the Commanders were at 4-5.  With Philly as a big favorite, at home, in primetime, he placed $331,000 on the Eagles to win on the money line, (this type of bet only includes odds, so there is no point spread) and this bet was valued at -550.  He could have potentially won just over $60,000, about five times less than what he invested.  This ended up being a sucker’s bet as his expected return did not reflect the odds of winning, and it was significantly lower, as he was lured into betting against large odds, blinded by the thought of making fast money.  Talk about your bad breaks, as he was cursed by bad luck.

Gambling addictions can, and most often do, negatively impact marriage, as more than 50% of these relationships end in divorce.  When a relationship goes sour, things will often keep going on a downward spiral till you reach rock bottom.  Kenneth’s big problem was that every time he lost a bet, he gambled more in the hope that he would win back what he had lost.  Karen told Kenneth that they needed this money to pay their bills and he said that he was sorry and that he understood if she wanted to leave.  She told him that she was leaving because there is no cure for gambling and that she wished that he was a drug addict, or a philanderer, or a wife beater, as she could probably handle that.  She told her husband that he had bet more than he could afford to lose and that she hoped he would have a nice life without her.

Written for Fandango’s Story Starter #73.

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