Monday, January 19th, 2009

For Just the Price of a Happy Meal

If you read my "16 random facts" blog a few days ago, I discussed how I could have won a significant amount of money bowling. That night I established my all-time high score, and for the price of a happy meal, I could have made a dent in my college loans.

For a number of years, I lived in Glendale Heights, Illinois. If you are not familiar with the town, it's a suburb just northwest of Elmhurst. I decided to join a full-season, semi-competitive bowling league on Thursday nights at the Brunswick Zone at North Avenue and Glen Ellyn Road. This league held a number of weekly contests. Generally, I participated in these every week.

One of the contests cost $5 per week. If someone would bowl seven consecutive strikes in a single game, they would win the pot. If nobody managed to accomplish the feat, the pot would carry over week-to-week. Several weeks and months passed without a winner. The pot grew and grew throughout the duration of the league.

Finally, the last week of regulation play arrived. Since no bowler reached seven consecutive strikes, whichever bowler ended the night with the most consecutive strikes would claim the pot. That night, I simply did not have any cash on me. Not sure if I had lunch with friends that day or what happened. I decided to pass. Besides, up to that point, the most consecutive strikes I had strung together was five.

We started our second game of three for the evening. We had to submit our cash by the end of the second game to be eligible for an contest. My first two games were good, but I was not having the best games. As we started the third game, I started bowling better. Next thing I knew, I had two strikes then three. Three became four. One of my teammates attempted to throw in $5 for me and act like she "forgot" to turn in my money. The league treasurer did not allow that to happen. Five strikes became six. The streak ended there when my next roll gave me an odd split.

When the evening ended, I was bummed to hear that a woman who bowled four strikes won just over $1,000. Seeing I was making progress on my college loans, that would have dropped the balance significantly. I did end the evening with my all-time high score of 225.

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