The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Make Bets to Earn Money Over Break

3 min read

The holidays are right around the corner and you’re hard up for some cash. What can you do to earn a couple extra Benjamins? I know what you’re thinking. This girl is about to tell me to do something incredibly illegal. Although that thought did cross my mind, it’s probably not the best or most resourceful way of making money. Instead, I suggest you make friendly bets with family members, particularly older siblings or relatives with real jobs and/or money to blow.

I do not condone gambling, but rather a fair game of truth or dare…without the truth. It sounds simple, right? Make bets, earn money. What most people don’t realize is the strategy involved in such a contest.

I’m one of those people that can’t stand to lose. It doesn’t matter if I’m engaged in a thumb war or a simple game of checkers, somehow my competitive streak takes over and suddenly, a leisurely round of Mario Kart turns into a 60-minute screaming match between the TV and me.

This idea of betting came about in my family when a family friend gave us one of those Hickory Farms gift baskets complete with smoked summer sausage and an assortment of cheeses about seven or eight Christmases ago. What I don’t understand is how people still think this is a practical and appropriate gift. I mean I’d be happy with a bottle of wine and some store bought mozzarella, but that’s just me.

All of this food was obviously going to go to waste if someone didn’t eat it, so my older, much stronger brother decided to liven things up a bit. When mom and dad weren’t around, he dared me to eat an entire log of room temperature cheese, appropriately called a chub, for $20. I chuckled at how easy it sounded, but there was a catch: 5 minutes, no water, and no throwing up.

Although I accomplished the cheese-eating contest and went on to conquer bigger and better things, there was a point at which I thought I might have to bow out gracefully.

The contests became less and less frequent over the years until this year after Thanksgiving dinner when the sibling rivalry was back in full force.

Somehow my brother found himself betting $20 then $40 that I couldn’t eat a delicious chocolate brownie with vanilla icing wrapped in greasy leftover turkey skin from the 20-pounder we just devoured only minutes earlier. He made sure to choose the two foods that would make the most disgusting combination.

It was all a big joke until my cousin said she’d throw in $10 if I’d let her videotape it. I had visions of seeing myself on YouTube later that night, but my reservations were squashed when I thought about the new outfit I could buy on black Friday with my winnings.

I proceeded to make myself a napkin bib before grabbing a fork and knife and digging in. The first bite was slimy and for a moment I thought I might lose the entire contents of my stomach on the table in front of me. However, I pushed through with a smile and ate every last crumb.

Can you really blame me though? I’m a college student. If I can make the same amount of money in two minutes that I make in five hours at my job, let’s just say I’m in it to win it.

Luckily, I didn’t get sick afterward but despite my love affair with chocolate, I may never eat another brownie again.

Now that I’ve thoroughly grossed you out and made you lose your appetite, think of your own childish bet and dare your little brother or sister to do it. You’ll be surprised how quick some people are to say yes. The lesson is that some people will do anything for money or just the satisfaction of winning.