Man who lost his life savings playing Tubs of Fun may have gained something more valuable

A New Hampshire man lost his life savings ($2,600) trying to win his kids an Xbox Kinect (~$300, depending on the package deal). On the one hand, that’s very sweet: he did it for the kids! On the other hand, I sincerely hope someone removes them from his custody before he can no longer afford to keep feeding them and they have to start feeding him (admittedly a tasteless joke… pun intended).

It’s easy to point out this was a poor investment, but the story has been making headlines because Henry Gribbohm managed to accomplish his impressive feat of fiscal irresponsibility at a carnival game stand:

Tubs of Fun is notoriously challenging. Gribbohm . . . practiced and thought he had a knack for it. But once the game began the balls started popping out of the water. His only explanation: “It’s not possible that it wasn’t rigged.”

Like a down-on-his-luck Blackjack player, Gribbohm began making riskier bets to win back some money and . . . at one point he dropped $300 in a few minutes. He went home and got another $2,300.

Gribbohm’s efforts were not entirely — ahem — fruitless: after he ran out of cash, the carnival stand attendants awarded him a consolation oversized plush banana. And while he might have been okay with a Chiquita banana (to feed his kids!), he was understandably less excited about bringing home Bob Marley (that’ll only make them hungrier):

rastafarian banana

As an aside, I’ll take this opportunity to note that while losing his entire life savings in one fell swoop is certainly regrettable, it would appear that Gribbohm has previously dropped at least the amount in question in an aborted attempt to join the carnival as the Illustrated Man and thereby earn the right to play carnival games as much as he wanted. Skee ball free or die! (New Hampshire joke.)

Meanwhile, all is not lost. College Humor stepped in and offered Henry $2,600 in exchange for the banana — but only if the site’s offer could accumulate 26,000 likes on Facebook first. 30,000, and it’d throw in an Xbox Kinect. It’s not entirely clear from the relevant page on College Humor where the count currently stands, but I have to imagine that if a bunch of kids could collect a million likes toward a puppy, 26,000 is an achievable goal.

Then again, this guy’s not quite as cute as a bunch of kids — or a puppy.

While College Humor’s bailout might sound like a happy ending to a tragic tale, I want to conclude with a word of caution to Henry Gribbohm: don’t be so quick to sell off your banana. First, take a peek inside. After all, if I learned one thing from Arrested Development, it’s that there’s always money in the (carnival) stand banana.


Yes, the point of this entire post was to make a bad Arrested Development pun, just as Roger Zelazny is alleged to have written a chapter of Lord of Light for the sole purpose of being able to write, “that’s when the fit hit the shan”. Three weeks and three days!


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