Host Ira Glass and producer Robyn Semien get a blackjack lesson from Andy Bloch, who played for the MIT blackjack team. He teaches them the basics of card-counting, the technique that gives players an advantage against the house — enough of an advantage that most casinos will ask you to leave if they catch you doing it.
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Ira and Robyn go to the casino to try out their newfound card counting skills.
It was two months into the tour. Katie Else and the rest of the Riverdance cast had been performing eight shows a week. They decided to pool their money for the Mega-Millions lottery.
Host Ira Glass visits Arlington Racetrack on opening day with four regulars who explain their quasi-scientific systems for winning.
Ira travels to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker, gets hooked, and tries to figure out what it would mean if he'd ditch his job in radio to become a professional card player. What he learns: A professional gambler can suffer two heartbreaking losses back-to-back, costing him over $100,000, and moments later, at the casino bar, calculate the million-to-one odds of his unlikely losses...in his head.
Todd Powell won $27 million dollars from the Florida State lottery. The windfall ended his marriage.
Ira with "The Hens," a group of nine middle-aged women who've known each other since girlhood. They play recordings of their recent three-day road trip from Chicago to a casino in a cotton field in Mississippi.
Host Ira Glass with Jan Tomare, who spent three years in the Auschwitz concentration camp.