Unfortunately what you’re about to read is a true story; only the location and names have been changed. I would say it’s to protect the victim, but, in reality, I don’t care. I’m just covering my own ass.
My sophomore year college roommate and I lived in the same hall as freshmen, got along well, and ended up pledging the same fraternity, so it made sense to be roommates the year before living in the house. While living in the hall, however, we discovered an activity that has since become an almost daily compulsion for both of us: sports gambling. Our neighbor was already knee deep in addiction by the time the first semester of freshman year started, boasting about his superior knowledge of college and NFL lines, and “all these huge fucking parlays I hit week 1.” After a great deal of hesitance, a 100% “match bonus” for first-time deposits enticed both me and my roommate, let’s call him Matt, to throw our parent-given living stipend into the ring.
Things started off well enough, betting $20-$40 dollars a game which provided us with a not so high-risk reason to be interested in slogging ACC and Big Ten match ups. As is human nature, however, our wagers began to increase, as did the frequency at which we placed them, and the riskiness of our behavior.
Matt, for lack of a better and or less offensive term, can be a complete fucking idiot. He believed his overdraft allowance on his checking account just meant he had “more spending power,” he fucked more women of ill repute without a rubber than Charlie Sheen, and his use of dick enhancement drugs would have even Lamar Odom concerned. Naturally, he took gambling to the absolute extreme as well. Matt thought he was smarter than the offshore book, apparently considering the bonuses the company itself would offer to entice you into hopeless wastes of money to be some sort of secret code he’d cracked like a teenage Inspector Gadget.
One night, after losing $50 dollars on a Giants Monday Night Football debacle of a performance, Matt went back to his dorm solemnly, as if Eli Manning’s third interception had curb stomped his golden retriever. I’m sitting in my room about to throw on some Entourage while contemplating a Hail Mary “want to hang out” text to a newfound slam when my phone lights up like the New York City Christmas tree. It’s Matt.
“Yes, Matt, I know Eli is fucking terrible and this was my pick. I’m sorry.”
I hear indecipherable screaming on the other side.
He’s panting like an overheated Doberman.
“Siblings come here! Come here right fucking now!”
Befuddled, I made the 12-foot trek to his room and opened the door.
Shit was thrown about everywhere. As I began to wonder whether my maniacal friend had finally lost his mind completely, he appeared.
“Siblings, I fucking did it!”
He shows me his computer and my stomach almost comes out my asshole as if I was attached to a hot tub’s drain. Matt, with his idiotic strategy of setting money ablaze by depositing for casino and, specifically, slot machine bonuses, had hit the largest progressive jackpot featured on the site: $35,000 in his account, rollover satisfied, ready to be withdrawn. Probably the greatest and most statistically unlikely victory in the history of online gaming came from an 18-year-old college freshman sitting in a dorm room after a $125 dollar deposit. Needless to say, I was in Chris Brown-level jealous rage, but held my composure.
What followed was the most intolerably arrogant and cunty display by any human being I have ever encountered. Matt was car shopping, asking me outrageous questions such as, “Do you think the pink gold Rolex Daytona is too flashy? Maybe I should go yellow…” and giving these bizarre pep talks to our hall mates about how someday, they would “make it,” too.
Until Saturday came along, and our now alma mater was playing in what we thought was a “lock” of a matchup. Matt, in his unending pompousness, declared, “I might drop a couple Gs on this, would be nice to have some fuck around money after I pull out this 35k.” Just that day, he had set up a new account with his bank, contacted the gambling site and set the withdrawal in motion. It would take 24-48 hours for it to be processed, and he was on hour 12 or so when the game kicked off. I absolutely begged him, even though I couldn’t stand his antics and unfounded confidence all based on a fucking slot machine, not to touch that money. But he made a $2,500 wager and swore to leave it alone.
Sure enough, we lost. Matt laughed as if it was no big deal, and went back to his dorm “drunk sick.” I texted him repeatedly reminding him that $32K is a ton of money for an 18-year-old and not to play or bet anymore, but got no response. After an hour or so, worried he was destroying his collegiate finances, I went to his door. There was no answer. I knocked again, still nothing. Finally, I heard what sounded like whimpering.
“Matt, open this fucking door.”
Nothing at all.
A slam texted me, so naturally my interest in Matt’s gambling habits evaporated as I made my way towards eighteen seconds of sex.
The next morning, while basking in the instant regret of the unwanted sleepover companion laying next to me, I heard a knock at my door.
“Siblings, it’s about Matt.” Our RA stood looking at me solemnly, and I already knew what had happened.
“He’s going home for a while, but I wanted to talk to you about how dangerous gambling can be.”
It turns out Matt lost it all, playing $500 dollar a hand blackjack just “hoping to get back the football bet we lost.” He then proceeded to call the gambling company and claim his money had disappeared, to which they responded with a PDF file documenting every hand he had played — over 1,000 in total. After being banned from the site for his attempted fraud, he called a gambling addict hotline, then suicide prevention, which then notified the university. In the course of two hours, Matt went from Rolex shopping to broke on the troubled end of a don’t-kill-yourself number.
Naturally, he was a phenomenal roommate to have sophomore year..