Or, well,I will be. Soon.
We got a new soda machine at work recently. That’s a pop machine to those of you who think two word phrases should be abbreviated using the second word rather than the first. You’re wrong, but I know you exist, so I threw you a bone here.
Anyway, this soda machine is quirky. A frosty beverage costs 65 cents, unless you pay by credit card, in which case it’s 75 cents. Ok, so there’s a discount for cash, that’s pretty common. But it doesn’t stop there. A soda is 65 cents, but only if you put in exactly 65 cents. If you put in three quarters, you get a soda and a quarter back in change. So in that case, the soda only cost 50 cents. Similarly, if you put in a dollar, you get a soda and 50 cents change. However, if you put exactly 50 cents in, the machine will not sell you a soda, because sodas, as you will recall, definitely cost 65 cents.
So basically, you’re a chump if you put exact change in. But that’s difficult to do anyway, because the machine doesn’t take dimes. Quarters and nickels work fine, but dimes fall right through the machine every time.
You’re probably thinking “This is interesting, you found a quirk to get discounted sodas, how is this going to make you rich?” Ah, well, let me continue. The machine doesn’t take dimes, but it will, under the right circumstances, give dimes in change. I attempted to put exact change in once, but since it wouldn’t take my dime, I ended up with 55 cents in the machine. I hit the coin return, and the machine spit out two quarters and a dime in change. Do you see where this is going now? To test this further, my friend put just a nickel in the machine. The digital display said five cents had been inserted. Then he hit the coin return… and a dime came out.
Tomorrow,I’m coming to work with a hoard of nickels. I’m going to put them into the machine one by one and get a dime for each of them. I’m going to do this until the dimes in the machine run out. I don’t know exactly what will happen then, but I’m hoping once all the dimes are gone, the machine will start giving me a quarter for each nickel I put in!
And I’m going to keep doing this one simple trick until I’m RICH.
UPDATE: I just tried another test. The nickel trick is no longer working. Putting a nickel in the machine and hitting the coin return gives you your nickel back. Bummer. However, when I put a quarter and nickel in the machine and hit the coin return, I got a nickel and a dollar coin back. A dollar coin!!! WTF? I tried again, with two quarters only, and got a quarter and another dollar coin back.
Bizarrely, the machine accepts the dollar coins. If you put it in, it registers that you’ve put a dollar in the machine. However, if you then buy an item that costs a dollar, you get fifty cents back as change. Because you should definitely always get change back from any purchase.
Finally, I put the dollar coin in and immediately hit the coin return. Can you guess what I got back? If you guessed a quarter and three dollars, you’re right!
I’m going to be rich faster than expected!
SECOND UPDATE: This morning the guy who services the machine visited the office. I gave him back the four dollars I’d gained from the machine (as, all joking aside, I wasn’t trying to get rich, I just had a burning need to figure out the extent of the machine’s brokenness) and explained what had been happening. He said the machine was programmed incorrectly and money was being put into the wrong bins, and immediately called a technician to come and fix it.
About an hour later, I went and got a Diet Coke. I put three quarters into the machine, and got a soda and a dollar coin in change. The machine paid me twenty-five cents for the soda!
I’m keeping this one.