Gambling Addiction: The Day I Won $20,000 (And Then Lost It All)

I’m Beau Humphreys and I’m a personal
finance coach. Normally I blog about personal finance at or have a podcast called The Personal Finance Show and that’s obviously about
personal finance too. But today I’m going to tell a little bit of my story which
is about addiction and mental health because I think it’s really important to
talk about this stuff. People don’t talk about it enough and it kind of made
me into the person that I am today which feels like a completely different
person to be honest so I’m going to tell you a little story. There are probably
four major incidents in my gambling addiction period so I’m going to talk
about the worst one today which is when I was 25
I had a pretty bad relapse so I was working at a job I didn’t really like so
much well it was okay but I wasn’t really enjoying it I wasn’t I didn’t see
a lot of future there I knew I needed to make a change so you know what I thought
was I’m gonna take a little trip to my 25th birthday I found this thing called
the repositioning cruise and this was a like a one-night like two-day cruise for
like $100 on my birthday I’m gonna cruise underneath the Golden Gate Bridge
and it’s gonna be awesome and it was awesome person under the Golden Gate
Bridge but what I didn’t realize was this is probably the worst idea for me
at the time because it turns out as I found out later I have attention deficit
disorder and a DD it made me afraid of everything and
one of the things that I was afraid of mostly was new things and being in
uncomfortable situations because I didn’t know how to deal with them
there’s really something about focus and being able to handle new things and be
able to really pay attention to them that was really a struggle for me so
going on a trip at this time was not a good idea especially since I had been
kind of okay with the gambling for a little bit so I get on this cruise and
turns out this a casino on board and I’m all by myself and I’m not feeling I’m
feeling lonely and uncomfortable and so I turned to the thing that made me
comfortable and so I went and visited a casino and just one thing led to another
and I spent a little bit of money so but at this point I now like I have the bug
again and I cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge but I feel sort of guilty about
my family the casino like do I have to tell
people I spend money that I don’t have it’s always money that I don’t have at
this point what I did was the whole rest of my San Francisco trip I was either
thinking about gambling or actually looking for a casino I actually spent
two hours walking around San Francisco trying to find a casino I don’t know I
don’t think I don’t think at this point I had internet or a way to figure it out
so I was like maybe there’s one yeah it was pretty bad all I could think about
was getting home and getting home and gambling and I didn’t know how I just
knew I needed to get home and Gamble so I get home on the plane and the first
thing that I do is just go buy a bunch of lottery tickets and I wasn’t really
one to buy about a lot of ticks when I was younger but that wasn’t really like
gambling to me so if I just buy like I don’t know a couple hundred dollars of
lottery tickets and it just starts to get worse and worse from there
you know over a couple of weeks maybe two three four weeks from when I get
back I’m just not trying to I’m just like
we really started taking extreme a gambling approach like maybe thinking
that I’m just going all out or I’m not feeling good I’m not I can’t really tell
you exactly what caused it I mean maybe at this extreme fear of just not being
able to be comfortable somewhere other than where I am where I currently was
and my job and and when I didn’t want to go back to the job and I was just
miserable and there the way to cope was doing this gambling thing that I always
did to cope with life and funny enough I I had applied to a job a couple of
months before and I figured it was long gone but I heard back from the job and
it was a job at may believe sports entertainment place I end up working for
six years after that and the live entertainment department and
there’s a strike and so they weren’t really there was a hiring freeze so they
kind of were delayed in hiring so they came to me a couple months later and so
I went and I I started the interview process and that the interview process
made everything worse because this is like super high stress and I can I
couldn’t handle it I just you know at this point in my life
I just couldn’t handle it without gambling heavily and since I was already
into the gambling and just made it worse maybe if I hadn’t started on the Cruz
casino it wouldn’t be so bad but I started and so now I’m just like let’s
do blowing through all the money that I have maxing out the credit cards no
money in the bank and I’ve gone through these three
interviews for this job and I have to prepare all these presentations and I go
through these interviews and it’s going well
and during the day I’m at my current job at work and I’m I’m everything is going
well during the day and then I get home at night and I just basically gamble as
much as I can in order to cope but I don’t even think I was washing dishes at
this point probably not even cooking food because I have a takeout I would
just go to McDonald’s just anything that was easy anything that wasn’t effort
because I only had enough energy to put in say dad I knew that I needed to get
this job because the alternative was not good for me this kind of gave me an
option for the future maybe even a way out of the situation that I was in where
I might have more money that I could used to pay down debts so enduring this
this really kind of the worst relapse I’ve ever had one night I just I hit the
jackpot and it was twenty thousand dollars and that would have been enough
to cover everything that I just spent since I came back from San Francisco and
also some of my existing debt gambling debt and so the first thing I was like
this is great that was the first feeling that I had was this is great
you know finally I can start to get out of this and immediately after that
feeling I had a feeling that I wasn’t ever going to get to keep this money and
that I wouldn’t even be able to hold on to it for another day that
this this jackpot would just make me want to gamble more
and the thing about finding this out about yourself is a
really kind of a dreadful thing to know that you even if you win enough money to
pay back what you lost it’s never going to stick and it actually didn’t even
stick for another day and at the same time that I realize that I was going to
hold onto it I realized that I was never going to be able to get out of my
gambling by gamma there is no there’s no solution to
gambling that involves gambling because gambling would just lead to more
gambling and that always leads to more losses the only way to get out of the
gambling would be to stop and really try to figure out what was wrong
with me and it was causing me to do this so it was kind of a good thing but I
didn’t know it at the time it was really just probably the worst time of my life
because no I all my credit cards are maxed out and I probably had about seven
you know maybe five to seven at that time credit cards because I was just
whatever way I could get gambling funds and I had no money in my bank account so
I couldn’t even pay my rent so I had to reach out to a good friend of mine and
he he thought I stopped gambling a long time ago it was a very private thing for
me and so he was furious that that I was gambling again
but he did agree to lend me the money for rent and I told them that he could
you know have full access to my bank accounts my credit cards to have a look
at them whenever he wanted over the next a little bit and you know that that’s
always been a bit of a temporary measure you know holding on someone’s credit
cards or having someone look at your stuff it’s only temporary the real fix
for me was when I figured out what was wrong with me
ain’t got that treated and then then not instantly but the gambling the
need to do something extreme like gambling to cope and that went away but
you know the end of this story is I’m probably about $40,000 in debt and I’m
starting a new job which is I think it maybe it was paying me 40,000 a year so
it’s not ideal but it’s better than the situation I was in before but not really
because I’m probably another 15 or 20 thousand dollars in debt than when I was
before you know overall the story is a happy ending
but it didn’t happen right away and I really want to tell people about this
because you know addiction is hard mental health is also hard and the only
way that I was able to get through this it was by taking the time that I needed
to explore what was wrong with me and then taking the time to treat it and I
was only able to find out about the ADB after I went through a whole bunch of
different therapy options to figure it out
and even then it was an incident I you know I started taking the medication and
it did change my life but I still had these residual gambling behaviors I know
I want people to know that this is out there and then if you’re going through
something something like this not exactly like this but you know maybe you
just had a spending problem there’s there’s a way out you can get out of it
you know it might not be right away but as long as you know that there is a way
out then you can take the steps but usually there’s no way out of something
by doing the same thing that you were doing right they say that insanity is
doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result and I
was I just kept gambling thinking that somehow it was gonna fix itself or this
time was the time and now I had to change my life completely to get out of
this you know go work in a cigarette factory if you’re trying to quit smoking
you know I’m a big Cheers fan but I think Sam alone gave a really bad
example by working in a bar being an alcoholic you you don’t really do that
if you’re trying to change yourself because you’re always sucking there I
got a job you know about 10-15 years ago at a
casino in mice in my town I I’m a train roulette dealer I’m a croupier because I
thought it would be a good idea a good idea to not be able to gamble in the
casino that I worked in which is true but I’ve just exposing myself to this
world that I really really needed to get out of and so I’ll tell my other story
is another time but I think this is a good one to start with because you know
the your lowest point is there’s only you know they say you can only go up
from there and it’s you know I can I can talk about it now it’s so hard to talk
about it I can talk about it now but it was it was really terrible and I never
thought about suicide and funny enough I never thought about even going to get a
payday loan which is what a lot of people would have done instead of going
to their friend I think part of me wanted some accountability some help and
sometimes the only way I could get help was by causing some kind of disaster for
myself so that’s my story for today anyway and
it’s not the most uplifting one but it’s very important for people to know and
I’m here at the at fincon is a personal finance conference because today I help
people and I help them by just trying to give them some basic advice about what
to do with their money but I also want to help people by telling my story and
if you have a story you should tell it too because you never know who’s going
to be listening and then they say I have that too and then they go get medicated
or you know I have something similar and then they talk to you about it and maybe
they never even thought about it before but it’s something that they can work on
and fix but they never thought that they could or no one ever showed them for the
acceptance and this is important so thanks for
listening and I’ll see you next time

21 comments on “Gambling Addiction: The Day I Won $20,000 (And Then Lost It All)”

  1. Tammy Loehndorf says:

    Today I finally blocked all online gambling from my laptop, had a good cry due to an interesting combination of shame and relief, and started looking for anything to read or watch pertaining to gambling addiction. Your story hit home for me on many many levels. When you shared the moment you realized that the money you won wouldn't solve the problem, and only quitting would, I cried some more. Those were exactly the words I said to myself earlier today. Thank you very much for sharing this part of your life so honestly. It's made a difference to me.

  2. louis dorchin says:

    Good video and good job on making the right decisions to get away from a dangerous vice, I play online poker for my job but I have had struggle with sports betting and casino games so I know how addictive they can be, I stay away from them also now, I think I have ADHA as well, how does that syndrome go hand in hand with gambling , I've never heard of a link between the two ?

  3. Merry merry Girl says:

    losing to gambiling ruined my life, my career and I was depressed for quite a while. I just started making returns from trading forex, I came across this video on youtube that introduced me to trading forex and cryptocurrencies, I started out with a broker in my area in Montana. the returns have been awesome and consistent. My life never been better. This year alone I have racked up $5000 in profits.

  4. dieyoung says:

    Everything in moderation. Gambling, women, drugs and cheating on your taxes, all must be held in check or you are doomed!

  5. David Rynberk says:

    honest truth -thanks for bringing your story to help others

  6. Maria Casas says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve tried stop gambling many years ago and, I can’t!!!
    I would like your advice as to where to start for help.
    I don’t want a support group as I’ve tried that and I only expose myself other people to know my business and, they all relapse and then I feel is ok for me too to relapse.
    I am looking more for a one on one therapy. Please advise.
    Thank you

  7. chris folan says:

    Fuck this is boring

  8. Shelia Pea says:

    Insanity doing the same thing but expect a different outcome. Oh how we forgets to apply this truth. Stay woke everyone. Focus. Great video sir.

  9. David Poole says:

    Man, I identify with what he says…..the only way I stopped was to voluntarily have myself excluded from all the casinos. That was three years ago and my finances are so much better now.

  10. Micheal Williamson says:

    I won $56,000 over a. Of about 12 hours in Reno Nevada. My brother and I counted the money and I went in to cash a $25 chip Footnote if not for jealousy why did my brother let me go in there alone after being with me all night long? Anyway I lost it all in about 10 minutes. Went back outside I only had $10. I went through all those emotions drink a couple of beers went back in and in five minutes I won $7,500. Then I went home. Once I went with my sister to Reno Nevada we won $36,000 and she was in the bathroom for about 45 minutes trying to do some dope I later found out. I kept going back and forth to the dice table and blackjack table and before she came out I was broke. Once I put after losing about $600 at the El Dorado Casino in Reno Nevada on the dice table. Then I bet $10 and let it ride. My friend from work tap me on the shoulder and said Michael what are you going to do with that I said what? of course I had been drinking quite a bit by this time. Without me even realizing it my partner throwing the dice at throne 19 field passes in a row. I said that's mine and I pulled it in. I went to the cashier and cashed in my chips I had $17,000. They paid me 17 $1,000 bills. I was so fucked up I put them in my left front shirt pocket like they were a pack of Marlboro and walked right out the door. I started yelling taxi taxi taxi and there wasn't no Taxi insight. So I walked across from count Cal Neva Casino to Harrah's Club across the street and lost all of them in about 5 minutes. 17 fucking thousand dollar bills. There have been many smaller wins that I actually brought home however I figure I have spent about $1000000 in my life all together to know as much as I know about the casino industry. So I spent a lot of money in learning and every time I did they came up with another rule. It used to be if you have a 5 Card Charlie and win automatically. No more. It used to be they paid double for blackjack. It used to be you could pull out money and play it before it got turned into chips. Changing all money into chips interrupts the flow of everything. On the field at the dice table you used to be a 12 on the field paid 3 to 1 Now it only pays double. In the day Reno had many casinos and it was easy to go in and out in and out and you can smoke and nobody said nothing to you. Now it's dead because of the Indian casinos , they should have spent more money fighting them. Now there are little casinos all over the place and it's crap. But I had a lot of fun has seen the inside of a very fancy Suites That We're comped. Good times. The Lucky streak and it's a day ran from Sacramento California to Reno Nevada and they gave you $10 plus $5 or so for a meal a beer and it cost $17.50. The good old days fuck Indian Bingo casinos.

  11. Luke Joe says:

    Peoples brain don't function properly once they entered into gambling building , it's not money it's fantasy excitement !! Not many people stop with wining , they all play until everything gone completely then go home with reality kicks in with miserable feeling !! It's all self control to me but once become addiction ,this need mighty self force to quit like smoking , drinking and drug !!!!!!!

  12. J R says:

    This kinda sounds made up. Maybe he is just having problems remembering the details, who knows. Glad he got help

  13. Kenny Lee says:

    Your face you look a looser. All people know gambling is bad and always loose money. Remember not all.

  14. dottie erickson says:

    Casino's are dens.  And Casino money is phantom money.  It disappears.  Remember everything in moderation.  Learn control and to guard yourself. P.S. Handsome man.

  15. Nick King-Edwards says:

    Wait, what, you can't get out of gambling with more gambling!?? Noooo.

  16. campc1 says:

    I just bought a $2500 Certificate of Deposit. It is putting $5 a month in my savings account every month… I'm addicted to that


    The Best and Fastest Way to Wreck a Local Economy: Build Casinos!

    Casinos are parasites who prey on all classes of the community. The impact of casinos on neighboring property values is clearly negative. Casino gambling is associated with mental health problems, including depression, anxiety and mood disorders.

  18. Christine Sutton says:

    This looks like it is an interesting video, but the background noise is too distracting. Sorry, can't watch.

  19. Doni Dog says:

    Damn I cannot listen to him talk for 5 minutes straight

  20. Maryland Guy0326 says:

    Got myself into 20k of credit card debt over fkng gambling over a 2 year period. I'd end up going back up there with the "free" slot play that they would give me hoping I would hit the big one and make my money back, but you all know how that goes. I wish they never built those casinos in Maryland worst thing they ever did. Yea i know there is worse stories out there but it still sucks. It is what it is just gotta go forward

  21. chill zone says:

    who does a video with all that noise behind i gave up 20 seconds in !!!

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