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What not to do in Sin City, Nevada


Winning the lottery is a big deal. One has to be wise with the way that they handle such a large sum of money to ensure that they do not blow it all at once. Carefully investing and consulting a financial advisor is a great first step if one was lucky enough to win big.

But I, Kate Linggi,  am not a wise one.If I hit the jackpot, the first thing I would do is scream as loud as I ever have in my life. You’re lying if you claim that you wouldn’t do the same. 

After exhausting my lungs on said long, cathartic scream, I would immediately book at least seven trips. The first leg of my Lottery World Tour would be Sin City, Nevada, home to all things extravagant and, well, sinful.

There’s no question that I’m flying first class — cushy seats and all. With sparkling water in hand and an endless supply of Biscoff cookies, I can imagine flying first class being my first taste of true luxury, an introduction to what’s to come. 

Once landed, I’m heading straight to the casino. I’ll find the biggest, most fancy, casino with marquee lights so bright it’ll hurt my eyes. There will be a random guy outside the casino selling self-help books he wrote. 

“No, thank you,” I’ll tell him, but then I’ll remember — I’m rich. 

I’ll turn to him, with an almost comical grin, and say, “I’ll take your entire supply.”

Now I have about 50 self-help books written by some guy who probably listens to Joe Rogan. I don’t want his advice — rich people don’t need help, after all — but I was feeling monetarily generous. 

This absurd number of books in my arms reminds me that I am still, in fact, enrolled in college. Damn. I have to email my professors! I let them know in an eloquent “Sent by my iPhone” email that I will be absent from class for the rest of the week. Usually I would feel bad about skipping class for such a long time, but if they have a problem with it, I could always slip them a couple thousand dollars. 

Now, back to the casino. I go inside, and my head is immediately spinning. I am seeing colors that I didn’t even know were on the electromagnetic spectrum. Too many lights are disturbing my vision, and my nose can’t expel the smell of cigarette smoke. I think to myself, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

So I buy a cigar as fat as my wrist from a nice man who yells in a nasally voice, “Ceee-garrsss! Ceee-garrrss!” 

I actually buy about 30 cigars. Now I have 50 self-help books, 30 cigars, and four lime margaritas that I picked up from the bar. Not even a dent has been in my bank account. I decide it’s time to begin to gamble. 

I actually have no idea how to gamble. 

I try poker, but I’m the youngest one there, and I keep giggling when I think about the phrase “royal flush.” I try slots, but the smoke from my cigar keeps fogging up the screen. I like craps — dice are fun — but I get kicked out after repeatedly asking the dealer why “craps” and not “poops.” 

By now, I have lost a significant amount of money and not won a single gambling game. Defeated, I decide to get some dinner, self-help books and cigars in tow. 

I choose the most upscale restaurant I could find on Yelp. I order oysters, lobster, a juicy steak, ten crab legs with butter, fettuccine alfredo, and a chocolate shake. I drunkenly read my server a couple of pages from my self-help books.

I’m halfway through the section titled “How 2 Hustle Harder” when I realize I have lost my phone. Panicked, I ask to use the server’s phone, and he complies. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it, exactly, but my stomach  full of crab legs and frozen martinis is churning so I do the only thing I can think of.

“Mom,  can you come pick me up?” 

Kate Linggi is from San Diego, Calif. Her major is English.

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