Sep 27, 2017

It Turns On A Dime

Debbie's Dime Pitch
Bloomsburg Fair - Bloomsburg, PA
These guys have a really good racket.  I've been coming to the Fair since the mid 80's.  This game has been there every year, and it's always super crowded.

The rules are simple.  You can either bring your own dimes or cash in a couple of bucks for a handful.  You then take the dimes, one at a time, and toss them underhand toward the prizes (the round platforms you see with the glasses stacked on them are rotating).  If your dime lands in one of red shotglasses or on a plate, you win the prize associated with it.  The prizes aren't super special or anything.  Most of them are inexpensive coffee mugs and drinking glasses.

I called this game a really good racket with the utmost of respect and admiration.  Unlike a lot of carnival games, this one is not impossible, but it is more difficult than you're probably thinking.  This game hits the sweet spot of being easy enough to draw you in, difficult enough to keep you playing for a little bit until you win, and inexpensive enough to make you forget that you're literally throwing money away for the chance of winning something that you could probably just buy at the dollar store.  It's actually pretty brilliant.

My grandparents and my dad stopped every year to play.  They probably spent about five or six dollars total and usually won a small prize.  I've stopped every year too in my adult life.  Sometimes I win something.  Sometimes I don't.  And even though I fully recognize that I'm spending about three times the value of the prize, I don't feel ripped off in the slightest.  It's fun to play, and whether I win or lose, I feel like I got my money's worth.

You might think that this devolves into total chaos with people whipping dimes at each other and knocking the prizes over, but I've never seen anything like that happen even once in roughly 30 years of coming to the Fair.

That might have something to do with the rules that are clearly posted.  Most of them are pretty easy to understand: no leaning over the counter, no throwing the dime overhand, no hard throwing, you get the idea.  There are also two mystery signs which simply say "you can't do that here".  I'm not sure what, exactly, but whatever it is, people must have been doing it because no one was getting yelled at.