A Fool and His Money . . . and His Banana: Man Loses Life’s Savings To Carny and Gets Over-Sized Banana

mqdefaultHenry Gribbohm is apparently irate. He went to a carnival and played Tubs of Fun hoping to win an Xbox Kinect. The 30-year-old man from New Hampshire continued to play until he had spent his entire life savings, $2,600, in a game that he now claims is rigged. When he complained the next day, he was given $600 back plus an over-sized banana. He was not satisfied and has filed a complaint.

First, I will admit that I have always wondered why the clearly rigged games at carnivals was not a violation of state law. Some games are simply overtly difficult like tossing rings over the top of bottles. That is fine. However, there are many other games which have miscalibrated or altered equipment from shooting games to throwing games. It is the stereotype of the Carny but it can also be fraud if the equipment is intentionally tampered with.

Second, and more importantly, most of us have been clipped by Carnies at one time or another for $5 or $20. However, only a fool would pour almost 3 thousand dollars into a carnival game in the hopes of winning X-Box Kinect that you can buy for $150. In this case, Gribbolm lost $300 in the first few minutes and then ran home and got his life savings to continue to play. He said that the balls kept bouncing out of the tub.

Gribbohm insists “It’s not possible that it wasn’t rigged.” Putting aside the double negative, there still remains that problem of running home to get your life’s savings, but Gribbohm explained “You just get caught up in the whole ‘I’ve got to win my money back.’” Well, not everyone, Henry. We tend to get ripped off and stop short of running for the family’s nest egg to resume the fight with the laughing carny.

Here is the New Hampshire provision on theft by deception, which could be a good fit if there was something wicked in the Tub of Fun:

637:4 Theft By Deception

Last revised 1971 § Leave a Comment

I. A person commits theft if he obtains or exercises control over property of another by deception and with a purpose to deprive him thereof.

II. For the purposes of this section, deception occurs when a person purposely:

(a) Creates or reinforces an impression which is false and which that person does not believe to be true, including false impressions as to law, value, knowledge, opinion, intention or other state of mind. Provided, however, that an intention not to perform a promise, or knowledge that it will not be performed, shall not be inferred from the fact alone that the promise was not performed; or
(b) Fails to correct a false impression which he previously had created or reinforced and which he did not believe to be true, or which he knows to be influencing another to whom he stands in a fiduciary or confidential relationship; or
(c) Prevents another from acquiring information which is pertinent to the disposition of the property involved; or
(d) Fails to disclose a known lien, adverse claim or other legal impediment to the enjoyment of property which he transfers or encumbers in consideration for the property obtained, whether such impediment is or is not valid, or is or is not a matter of official record; or
(e) Misrepresents to or misleads any person, in any manner, so as to make that person believe that the person on whose behalf a solicitation or sales promotion is being conducted is a charitable trust or that the proceeds of such solicitation or sales promotion shall be used for charitable purposes, if such is not the fact.
III. Theft by deception does not occur, however, when there is only falsity as to matters having no pecuniary significance, or puffing by statements unlikely to deceive ordinary persons in the group addressed. “Puffing” means an exaggerated commendation of wares in communications addressed to the public or to a class or group.

IV. A person commits theft under this section notwithstanding that the victim has suffered no actual or net pecuniary loss.

The alleged rip-off artist works for New Hampshire-based Fiesta Shows. Fiesta is investigating, but the carnival has moved on to Dover while police investigate.

Source: CBS

34 thoughts on “A Fool and His Money . . . and His Banana: Man Loses Life’s Savings To Carny and Gets Over-Sized Banana”

  1. That is probably one of the dumbest things I’ve heard one of the dogs say to date.

    Wait a second, people actually read that tired schtick? I mean, I once read a book where murders on a space ship were blamed on space cats, but it was really space vampires, but then it turned out the space vampires WERE the space cats (or were they…), but even I’m not that desperate for reading material.

  2. The skin on the pirate’s forehead must be quite distressed from all the facepalms lately.

  3. If you outlaw gambling then the gamblers would all leave and go to where its legal. Hmmm. So why do all these states expand gambling? Are the states so greedy for the tax dollars that they do not see the harm done to the addicts and their families? If you live in a state that permits gambling then you should repent.

  4. Dogs hardly ever gamble. When we are at the pound getting adopted we might take a chance and wag the tail at a prospect. Dont those bookmakers, loan sharks and casino owners all have kids and grandkids to support? I work around old farts who discuss their portfolios on Wall Street. They can know more than the guy rolling dice but the guy with a good hand of poker knows more than the smart guys on tv telling you how to bet on Enron or Apple. Some people are addicted to the stock market and it is gambling. Some people gamble on home values in Ft. Myers, Florida. That crowd is said to be addicted. I hope none of you have any real estate brokers or bankers in your tribe and are offended by my comments. Gambling addiction is good for them sometimes. Its good for lawyers who do bankruptcies. It is good for the people who sell groceries to the addicts whether the gamblers are in Vegas or Ft. Myers. But, I am just a dumb dog. What do I know.

  5. The effect of gambling additiction being beneficial is about as unreasonable as a person without health insurance who depletes his life savings and goes bankrupt because he couldn’t afford the $70,000 bill for the 3 days he spent in hospital after a heart attack.

  6. HDog,

    That is probably one of the dumbest things I’ve heard one of the dogs say to date. Gambling addiction isn’t good for anyone but bookmakers, loan sharks and casinos.

  7. Luckily for this guy, being stupid isn’t illegal, but a rigged game might be.

  8. Gambling addicts are actually good for society. Their money goes back into circulation and all sorts of things are bought and sold, which is economic stimulis. I am wondering if dumb schmuck got a battery for his banana stimulis.

  9. Were I in this gentleman’s shoes, I would have kept my mouth shut and hoped that none of my friends ever discovered what I had done.

  10. “He was not satisfied and filed a complaint”…………
    Kept the banana though didn’t he! haha

  11. The guy is an obviouis fool. That he accepted a giant banana as payment is the icing on the cake.

    It’s going to come down to whether or not the game he played was rigged or impossible to win and then the carnival is in a world of hurt. The barker could also get charged with bunco steering as well.

    here’s ours for reference


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