Strike it Rich

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Some people are lucky, some aren’t. Take Larry Langford, a maven of machines of chance. He’s one of the blessed ones. Lucky Larry won more than $1.5 million from more than 500 jackpots in a Shorter, Alabama electronic bingo casino — so says a lawsuit recently filed in an Alabama court. Five hundred jackpots! He often won ten on a single night.

I forgot to tell you that Langford is also the ex-mayor of Birmingham and a convicted felon — bribery. He was convicted of accepting cash, clothing, and jewelry from a crony in the state capital, Montgomery. In exchange for those glittering gifts — even when it wasn’t his birthday or Christmas — he directed government business toward his generous benefactor. Now this: while Lucky Langford filled his hat with jackpot earnings, the owner of the slots in Shorter was trying to get electronic bingo okayed in his race track in Birmingham. What a happy convergence of events! Probabilities be damned.

South Chicago politicians must be green with envy at this innovation. It’s so much more sophisticated than dumping a briefcase full of bills on the mayor’s desk.

“How can one man win ten jackpots in a single night?” hollers the prosecutor. “That’s a 10 million to 1 shot.”

“He’s just plain lucky — what can we do? Happens all the time in South Chicago,” choruses a battery of defense attorneys.

I’m sure that will be the core of the defense when the case comes to trial. And I’ll bet the former mayor won the Super Bowl pool, too.