Sometimes it’s not about what you win but about how you win it. Case in point: the Rutgers students in the video above who were willing to risk being late to their midterms for the chance at hitting vending-machine pay dirt.
The setup goes beyond the typical stuck-bag scenario: Two rows below a row of stuck Sun Chips is a row with a broken vending coil and three bags of pretzels just waiting to be claimed. Mathematical thinking plus quarters plus gravity equals, well, a lot of money being thrown at a wonky vending machine.
“It’s not about the food, it’s about the achievement,” one of the students says, as he prepares to make a second try at the puzzle. “The next one should do it,” another says after the second attempt only knocks one bag loose. “I feel like a gambler at Vegas, but the next one should do it.”
The students spend a full six and a half minutes trying to game the machine into giving up its snack jackpot. And finally it does, but in a muscle-assisted way that will take you right back to the days of your troubled youth, when you rattled around vending machines for fun on Friday nights. (Or wait, was that just me?)
Check out the video. These kids are surely high-stakes gamblers in the making. High-stakes gamblers who, for now, are enjoying their hard-won mountain of chips and pretzels.