Just Heard That Something Happened in Vegas of Which the Odds Were 114 Billion to One. Have I Seen Too Many Movies or Am I Correct About Questioning the Legitimacy of This? Bogus Story?

Jun 20, 2012  •  Post A Comment

By Chuck Ross

This just in from our friend RJ Bell of Pregame.com:

“Monday night, June 18, 2012, at the Rio in Las Vegas, the number 19 hit SEVEN straight times at a roulette table. Hitting a roulette number even once is 37 to 1 against. The odds of the same number hitting seven straight times is 114.4 billion to 1 against.

“Winning the Powerball Lottery is 586 times MORE likely than a roulette number hitting seven straight times. If you played roulette every day, 24 hours a day, your favorite number would hit seven straight times once every 217,000 years!”

RJ also sent along the following picture of the tower that shows the winning roulette numbers of that roulette table at the Rio. Here it is:

rio roulette.jpg

I did a little more research and found out the RJ had gotten this information and picture from an article written by Jim Katsilometes in the Las Vegas Sun. In his article Katsilometes wrote, “Pro poker player Jeff Romano took a photo of a roulette wheel display screen showing the No. 19 hitting on seven straight spins.” The only real difference between what Bell emailed me and what Katsilometes wrote was the odds of this happening. Katsilometes says it’s only 3 billion to one.

Now, as you can see, the picture has 19 showing up, then 5 and then the run of 7 19s. Then two 20s, a 5, a 23, and two more 20s.

This may not hold me in good stead with the Rio, but come on guys, I’ve seen too many movies. We all know how this works. The casino guy pushes a button under the roulette machine and the little ball goes into the 19 slot. Clearly the only thing not working here was the button, which somehow screwed up when it was pushed and got the ball in the 20 slot those other four times.

In Katsilometes’ article, posted on the Las Vegas Sun’s website on Tuesday, June 19, at 2:49 in the afternoon Vegas time, he writes, “Contacted this afternoon to ask for verification of the event and if the wheel has since been tested to make sure it is properly balanced and calibrated, Caesars Entertainment officials had not yet learned of the event. We’re awaiting word on what is certainly one of the rarest documented roulette runs in the city’s history.”

The story has not been updated about the verification of the event at the time of my writing this at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 20.

I called Katsilometes to find out whether he had heard anything more from Caesars Entertainment, which owns the Rio. I got his voicemail and left a message. Haven’t heard anything back from him.

Hold on, I’m gonna make one more phone call and see if I can find someone at Caesars who knows anything about this.

Success. I got ahold of Gary Thompson in the press office for Caesars. He laughed and said, “No, it’s bogus. The machine was in diagnostic test mode and was displaying the test numbers. There was no such run.”

Why the Las Vegas Sun would print such a story without verification (even if they said the run wasn’t verified in the story) is beyond me. And it’s unconscionable not to have updated the story 24 hours later to say the event was bogus.

Meanwhile, the fact the run never happened restores my faith in Vegas. Now, where’s the nearest craps table? Come on, 11!


  1. The 114 billion to one event was that an internet journalist did more research before reporting than a print journalist!

  2. That something is highly unlikely does not make it impossible. The ball doesn’t know where it landed the previous time. And the theory about a button being pressed is.
    Not so long ago I watched a televised poker table for the World Series of Poker. (Ray Romano was a witness at the table.) Two players locked horns. One had pocket aces and the board paired the other two aces, yet another player who won had a royal flush. The guy holding four aces was stunned. The odds of a royal flush in Texas Hold’em are 1/649740 and the odds of four of a kind are 1/9799 so that televised round was 1 in over 6 billion, probably more because it was aces, not any quads.

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)