When New Jersey grandmother, Patricia Demauro, stepped into the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City on the afternoon of 23 May 2009, she had no idea how her life was about to change. By the end of the night, she would become a craps legend and the winner of nearly US$200 000.
All of this despite the fact that she had never stood at the craps table in her life before that day! Of course, it’s all down to luck, but we’re sure you’d still like to know what happened,
even if you have less than a trillionth of a chance of repeating Demauro’s success.
A Quiet Start
Demauro actually had no notion of playing craps when she arrived at the casino that day with friend and fellow gambling enthusiast, John Capra. Whilst Capra went off to the try his hand at the table games, Demauro stationed herself at one of the penny slot machines to while away the hours and in the hopes of winning a little pocket money.
By around 8pm, however, Demauro had little to show for her time at the slots and lost interest. So she made her way toward the tables to find Capra, who had been similarly unsuccessful. Despite this, the pair were not quite ready to give up so Capra offered to teach his friend, who rarely partook of table games, how to play craps.
Capra began his lesson by playing a few rounds himself but soon struck out by rolling a seven. (If you’re unfamiliar with the game, suffice it to say that rolling a seven is the last thing you want to do in craps because, well, that’s how you lose.)
This is where things began to get interesting.
The Table Heats Up
Unwilling to take any further risks on an already luckless night, Capra now handed the dice to Demauro at around a quarter-past eight. Demauro went in with a frugal US$100 wager. Three hours later, a huge crowd (including a dealer from a neighbouring casino) has gathered and talk began of a world record in the making.
So far, Demauro had not rolled a single seven and had begun to attract the interest of the “men in dark suits”, as she referred to casino management, who were now keeping a watchful eye on her progress.
All the while, Demauro repeatedly expressed her shock – “I don’t even know how to play craps,” she told one bystander – and ask Capra to explain complicated craps terms that she didn’t understand.
Rolling into the History Books
Demauro’s luck held out for another hour and 18 minutes, when the seven finally made an appearance. By that time, she had rolled154 times and amassed almost US$200 000 (although she declined to reveal the exact amount).
Despite their initial concern, casino management couldn’t put Demauro’s win down to anything other than beginners luck. So they did the sporting thing and celebrated her victory with a champagne toast and a free night’s stay at the hotel.
Although Guinness has no official world record for the most successive rolls of the die at craps, Patricia Demauro is undoubtedly the unofficial Queen of Craps. The previous record is said to have been held by an experienced player, known only as “The Captain”, who rolled 147 times one night in 2005.
A Winning Woman in a Man’s World
Demauro’s historic craps win was even more noteworthy because she is a woman. Statistics show that, for whatever reason, women tend to prefer slots whereas men are fans of table games. In addition, research indicates that women are more conservative players and so will also play less often and make smaller wagers.
In short, the odds against Demauro pulling off this coup, were virtually unsurpassable – more than a trillion to one, according to some statisticians.