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Many of you have seen those game stands. Huge toys hanging from the ceiling, and placed all around, the kind of toys other games only give out as the “ultimateprizes. The concept is ingenious, there are no items you have to purchase, no electronics are involved, there are just plates…lots of huge glass plates. The standard stand consists of three large glass plates and several smaller plates located slightly below the large ones. This place usually draws a lot of attention and you can see kids and adults alike tossing their coins all over the place, hoping that somehow they can defy the basic laws of physics and land those coins right on top of the oiled, near-frictionless surfaces and win that huge stuffed elephant. I know this because I was an addict! I must have lost over fifty dollars from all the games I’ve played as a kid.

My last visit to Six Flags, however, was a little different than usual. Whether it was the result of Calculus or Physics, or just growing up, I realized that this game was incredibly easy to beat. My brother and I were walking around, looking for games to play. We walked up to the game stand and I pulled out a ten dollar bill, the smallest one I had, and asked for four quarters and nine dollars. My brother was very impatient and asked me if he could go first, but I told him “No, I think I figured out how to do this”. The Hispanic lady, probably with poor English (she didn’t say a word the whole time), took the bill and handed me my change. She stepped to the side to allow me to play the game and nodded. I tossed my coin, but in such a way that it went into the pack of toys hanging from the top. The lady looked at me like I was an idiot, then at the toys, and then back at me. She opened her mouth to say something, but the ting of my quarter dropping on the glass plate interrupted her, and she looked at the glass plate, genuinely surprised. The coin tinkled as it landed perfectly onto one of the larger plates.

The lady looked back at me, and by the expression on her face I could tell she wasn’t exactly a happy camper. I smiled at her and pointed to the stuffed tiger sitting next to her. Still not saying anything, she took it and nearly shoved it at me. “Thank you,” said I and stepped to the side to let my brother play. I could see he was quite impressed and wanted to test the new tactic out as well. The first time, his quarter completely missed the plate, but the second one landed perfectly in the middle, much to dismay of the woman, who, still quiet, handed him the stuffed dog he asked for. He wanted to go again, but I told him that perhaps we should go now before she calls the cops or something.

Now that you know the secret of the coin tossing game, I hope you try it during your next visit to a theme park or a fair. I advise that you don’t abuse this and stop after your first toy, or you may find yourself on yet another shit list. In any case, good luck!

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