When it comes the the Super Bowl, many Americans are faced with the question: who’s part should I attend or will we host? Rarely is it a question of how. But for two nomads in a truck, we weren’t sure how we could drink and watch the most expensive advertisements of the year without having to worry about finding a place to sleep. Last year, we got a hotel room, only to discover that the hotel did not have the channel showing the Super Bowl. We managed to stream it; but it was a hassle. This time, we wanted to find a location that we could watch the game and then roll into our truck for the night. The first, obvious thought was a sports bar. But many bars are not fans of vagrants sleeping in the parking lot. So, that is when we had to start getting creative. That is when we struck upon the casino.
We do not gamble. Our life is already enough of a gamble—between the dodgy truck stops and the startup—we don’t need flashing lights and ringing bells. But we do need some beers and a big screen.
The first step was to hunt down a security guard. All the ladies at reception were reticent to confirm or deny that we could sleep in the parking lot. The first security guard we spotted shrugged. Better sleep in the parking lot that drive drunk. It wouldn’t be a problem. With that tacit assurance, we bought tickets to the casino’s super bowl buffet and grabbed ourselves a beer. It’s game time!
In affirmation that, yes, this is a casino, all the Super Bowl party attendees have bingo cards with brand names. Any brand that runs in a the commercials can be crossed off the card. Did I win? No. But ten minutes after the bingo card winners were announced, my name was called for the half time raffle. Did I rise like a joyful rocket and perform the customary victory shuffle, as defined by Justin Bieber’s T-Mobile commercial? Well, in as much as I face planted in the middle of the ball room. Yes, I jumped up, caught my shoelace in a chair leg, and tumbled to the ground. But that’s still worth $100 of free slot play.
I was of the inclination to take the money and run. Unfortunately, the credits I won could not be cashed out. I had to play the principal and then I could cash out any winnings. It took me half and irritable hour to figure out how to use the credits on the slot machines. But after demanding multiple tutorials from smiling but exasperated attendants, I finally pulled the lever and won $90 on my first play. This was going to be interesting. I immediately cashed out the winnings and continued to play with the remaining credits. It’s fun to dance in my seat to the ringing bells and flashing lights when I’m playing on the casino’s dime. After each substantial win, I would cash out those winnings and continue playing. The game play was inscrutable and I wasn’t taking any chances that might have me playing with winnings rather than credits. In total, we spent $60 for dinner, won $100 in slot credits, and converted that into $281.72 in cash.
Now, we are off to the parking lot to sleep in comfort.