Mr. Pappagiorgio, I presume?

Well, four slot machines and I won four cars. You know, I put a dollar in, I got a car. I put a dollar in, I got a car. I put a dollar in, I got a car. I put a dollar in, I got a car.

Who can forget that scene in Vegas Vacation when Rusty wins a car each time he drops some change in a slot machine. On a recent trip to Vegas my wife and I hit the casino floor after running the Vegas half marathon to try just that same feat. We stayed at the Mandalay Bay hotel and they featured a Corvette and a BMW 328 convertible on the casino floor.

Win a Car--Griswold Style

The Corvette stand even featured a Barrett-Jackson themed series of slot machines. Within a few minutes of sliding dollars into this slot machine the thrill was gone and my wife didn’t have a set of car keys in her hands. I guess the Corvette was not in the plans for this trip.

Win a Car--Griswold Style

A bit later I sat in front of the slot machines hosting the brand new BMW 328. A few dollars slid from my fingers into the slot and yet again I suffered the same fate of losing as my wife earlier did. The video displays touted the fact that a couple had won a 2007 BMW. Did they win the car in 2007 or did they win a 2 or 3 year old car. We started to remember previous trips to Vegas and went back through some photos.

Win a Car--Griswold Style

During a trip to Vegas in 2003 we tried to win a BMW Z3 roadster. That car was actually from 1998 and I had previously tried to win it in 2001. While I did walk away from that particular set of slot machines with a few coins more in my pocket than when I started I still did not get a set of keys.

Win a Car--Griswold Style

That Z3 is probably still sitting on the platform–except now it has made a million plus dollars for the casino over the many years. I tried to do some research on the odds of actually winning a car and it is like anything else in Vegas. I could not find any actual odds on winning a car but like the old saying goes, ” A fool and his money are easily parted.”

Win a Car--Griswold Style

The real question is:

  • Who wins these cars?
  • How often do they win them?
  • Why are they always sports cars?
  • I guess the casino’s know how to tap into our emotions with HOT cars and FLASHY lights and LOUD sounds.

    Win a Car--Griswold Style

    Next time in Las Vegas or any other gambling spot take a minute to drop a dollar in the slot machine and try your luck. You never know–you might pull the lever and take home a brand new (or few year old) sports car just like Rusty.

    Best of Luck!

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    Barrett Jackson 2008

    Sports Fanatics have Super Bowl
    Movie Fans have the Oscars
    Car Nuts have Barrett-Jackson

    This is the penultimate event in the car auction world. The cars seen and sold here are excellent examples of iron and steel. This year was no exception with over a 1,500 cars sold in a NO reserve auction format.

    The event itself is just one of 5 or 6 auctions that hit Phoenix each January. The Barrett Jackson event is by far the largest and most significant of all of them. Acres of cars, memorabilia and vendors fill the area and give the avid enthusiast hours if not days of fun. The event builds to a fury over the week leading to the Saturday Night Main event all broadcast on the Speed channel.

    Some of the highlights on Saturday included:

    Rondine, a one of a kind 1963 Chevy Corvette designed by Pininfarina for $1.6 million dollars. This car was gorgeous what else can you say about classic Italian design coupled with a Corvette.

    1963 Corvette

    Robosaurus, not your typical car auction item, sold for $575,000. The new owners are responsible for feeding and care of this beast. During the auction he swore allegiance to his new owner and tried to bid up his price I am just glad he did not breathe fire while sitting next to the stage.


    The real star of the evening had to be the sale of the very first ZR1 corvette to roll off the production line later this year. Jay Leno helped introduced the car and helped with the auction. In the end, the car sold for a cool million dollars with a bulk of the money going to the United Way. The new owner had two options pick the car up at the factory and get the VIP treatment or pick it up in Jay Leno’s garage. Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!


    Visit the Photo Gallery to see 85 photos from the event.? If you want to visit the Phoenix area next year to catch the auctions here is a list of all of the auctions.(Russo and Steele, RM Auctions, Silver Auctions, Gooding & Company and?Kruse.)

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