The gambling life

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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When a new friend, who was visiting from another country, asked me, “Why Ashvegas?” I had to pause for a moment.

In God’s country
it is hard to explain to people who aren’t familiar with Ashvegas, especially people from another country. It’s ironic, I started. Ashvegas is a small mountain town in the Bible Belt. It has big dreams, and it thinks highly of itself. But it’s got a long way to go. Get it?

He did. Which was good. Because I didn’t know what else to say, except to add more explanations of irony. The stubborn mountain mindset of live-and-let live, versus the frustrating chaos that can create. Or the fact that, while North State lawmakers won’t even let its people vote on a referendum on whether or not they want a state lottery, people are gambling like crazy everywhere you turn. Even online gambling has risen in popularity in recent years. Thanks to websites such as Norges Casino it has never been easier to learn more about all the different types of online games.

So what does this all mean?

We’re on our way to gambling heaven. It’s happening as we speak, not just physically but online as well, many are putting bets down on their favorite sports teams as well as using other sites like as betting guides so they can try and increase their luck.

Take the laundromat. Mine just down the street has three video poker machines, a machine that spits out small “cards” – they might as well be lottery tickets – that offer little prizes. And one of those damn quarters machines that has piles of coins on the brink of slipping over the edge and into my sweaty palms. All it takes is for you to drop a quarter in and hit that hypnotic bar that is sliding back and forth, back and forth, just right so you’ll topple the tantalizing stacks.

It never works.

NCAA basketball tournament pools will be cranking up around the country later this week. Most of my friends participate in one. They’re hardcore sports nuts, plus plenty of people who just like the thrill of a great tourney.

The play

Here in Ashvegas, one can ride north, south or west and play big time lotteries in Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia, the newest being Tenn. You’ll play Fantasy 5 and Pick 3 and Mega Millions and Lotto South and PowerBall and more. It’s about an hour to the BP on the South Cackalaki line, 45 minutes to Erwin, Tenn., to the little way station there that sells tickets. I’ve never made a run up to Va. just for tix.

Hell, I even gambled when I had my taxes done at H&R Block. After they filled out my paperwork, they gave me a scratch off ticket to see if I won big bucks or a discount on my filing fee.

I got bupkiss.

stairway to heaven

But I still got dreams.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1
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