The Best $100 I Ever Spent

by Thom Hiatt

I lost a $100 bet today. Here’s how…

To celebrate Columbus Day, I took my daughter to the San Diego Zoo to purchase a one-year family membership pass. During the visit, my daughter wanted to take the Skyfari tram to the Polar Bear Plunge on the opposite side of the park. We soon found ourselves in gondola/car/bucket #25 and made our way to see the polar bears.

When it was time to leave we got back in line to take the sky tram back toward the entrance. There were AT LEAST 70 people in front of us. For fun, I said, “If we get into the same car #25 to go back, I’ll give you a hundred bucks!” Of course I knew that the chances were slim at best.

Standing in the wheelhouse with only eight people in front of us, I looked up to see the oncoming gondolas. I could see that #25 was only four away. I sized up the people in front, guessing who was with whom. I soon realized I was doomed…

Moments later, my daughter burst with excitement. She must have described $100 about ten different ways.

So, later in the afternoon I produced a fresh one hundred dollar bill and presented it to her. She was over-joyed. I was happy for her, but more important to me was for her to know that I did what I said I was going to do. It was the best $100 I ever spent.

I take a lot of pride in knowing that people can trust me. If I tell you I am going to do something, in a certain way, or by a certain time, I do it.

I also don’t gamble very often. And now you know why.