Would Jan Flato have Won $100k without Marina Navarro?

jan-flato-slotsAn ethical debate has sparked up after gambler Jan Flato saw his friend, Marina Navarro, walk off with a $100,000 slots jackpot after he covered the spin. As we discussed, Flato is justifiably angry because he paid for the spin, yet Navarro gets to keep all of the money just because she pushed the button.

Many commenters on 7News Boston believe that Navarro should’ve, at the very least, shared her jackpot with Flato.

Poster BK_6 writes: “Seems as if the rule should be changed. Sadly, rules are rules no matter how foolish they are. She is truly a piece of work.”

Tucker writes: “What a total witch. He should sue her. If I were on a jury, she’d lose.”

Vee comments: “WOW what a friend – NOT. She should have had the decency to split it 50/50 with him. Damn right, I won’t let anybody push a button for me on a slot machine!”

marina-navarro-facebook-slotsKeep in mind that these are some of the less-harsh comments written about Navarro, and there are far worse. You can see more in the Facebook caption to the right.

I think that she should’ve split the jackpot with him 50/50, if nothing else. Even better is if Navarro would’ve given Flato the entire amount and let him decide if he wanted to be generous.

But there’s another side to all of this, and it has to do with the random number generator (RNG).

marina-navarro-slots-jackpotAs I’ve discussed in the past, a slot machine RNG cycles through millions of number combinations within seconds. Any millisecond extra that you take before pushing the spin button will produce an entirely different result.

In Flato’s case, he asked Navarro to make the first spin for him for “good luck.”

If Flato had just gone ahead and pushed the button himself, it would’ve occurred seconds before Navarro and not resulted in the $100,000 jackpot. Even if he’d pushed it close to the same point, it still would’ve been off by milliseconds, which is just enough to produce different results.

Does this clear the morality of Navarro not giving Flato any money?

No, absolutely not. But the $100k jackpot also never would’ve happened if Navarro hadn’t pushed the spin button at the exact time she did.