Picture yourself at the casino. It is getting late, and you are thinking that you might head home. You decide to give the machine you are playing one last spin for good measure. Sure enough, the planets and the symbols align and you find yourself looking at a $10,000 win. After cashing out, you make your way to the bathroom, and while you’re washing your hands you receive a phone call that requires your immediate attention. It’s not until you are driving home some time later that you realize you left your wallet sitting on the bathroom counter. You nod to yourself, completely sickened as you pull the car over and promptly start vomiting up your dinner in a fever of regret.

Enter the Thunder Valley Casino, near Sacramento, California, where a woman playing in the high stakes area walked out of the female bathroom leaving $10,000 behind, and in doing so taught us all a valuable lesson.

Avoiding Emotional Armageddon

Losing money to bad luck is one thing, but losing a cool ten grand to your own ineptitude is something else entirely. This is the realm of regret that makes grown men and women cry, or shake their fists angrily at the skies shouting “Why?!”

No one should have to suffer through the gauntlet of self-punishment that comes as a result of making such a costly mistake. So, unless you are completely badass and $10,000 is disposable cash for you, then read on, my friend. We have some helpful advice to dispense.

Profiting After You Win Big

Be it poker, table games, or slots, that winning hand isn’t over when you collect your winnings; it is over when you exit the casino with the money. Here are a couple tips on how to make that happen:

  1. Go to the bank. This is a radical idea, but if you win big, take a deep breath, exit the casino, and deposit the money. The games are not going anywhere. The casino isn’t going to close. You might leave the money somewhere, as per the example above, or it might simply get stolen. Why take the chance? Take a break and treat yourself to a nice meal.
  2. Don’t Gamble Alone. Besides the fact that gambling tends to be the most fun when it is a social experience and gambling alone is kind of depressing, there are some obvious tactical advantages that come with bringing a friend or two. Namely, they will watch out for you, both when you are winning and when you are losing.
  3. Save Chips. Spend Cash. The whole reason that most people gamble is in search of that big payoff that will make them some money. Often the big win is overshadowed by the need to ride out a “wave” of good luck. But this can often go south, fast. If you win big, you might consider switching out your chips to throw down a new set of bills. While this is functionally sort of useless, it creates the psychological discipline to distinguish between ‘the big win’ and ‘another gamble.’

Surprise Ending: the $10,000 Was Returned

Lucky for the woman in question, one of the Thunder Valley Casino janitors found the prize money and returned it to the casino. They tracked the forgetful female down and returned the money to her. The casino worker was rewarded $500 dollars for finding the cash and returning it in a professional manner.


Simon is an overactive gambler and the Staff Writer here at Silver Oak. He loves casino bonuses, online slots, and using the em dash too often. Currently, he rests his typing hands in Vancouver, Canada.