How I lost €50 on an impulsive street-side bet in Paris

The summary of the story is: Everyday we see people around us making impulsive decisions in the stock market.



3 years ago | 2 min read

I was once visiting Paris as a student in my early 20s. Had limited amount to spend per day, because I wanted to maximize every Euro I had in doing touristy things (and that meant even cutting down on transportation cost, food bills etc., so I could save enough to spend on experiences, like going on top of Eiffel Tower.)

One day I was crossing one of the lovely bridges in Paris and saw a group of people playing some game in a corner on the bridge. When I got closer, I saw it was one of those games where you have 3 glasses and 3 balls, and the moderator moves around those balls covered in glasses quickly, and then asks you the glass which has ball hidden inside. The stake was 50 Euros and if you got it right, you would get 100.

That really caught my attention. I observed for some time, and in one of those turns, was very sure which glass had the ball. It looked too easy and I had seen it close enough. I trusted my eyes.

There were people around me who cheered me to put my money. I had 50 Euros in my pocket, meant to be spent towards climbing on Eiffel, doing a river cruise etc. I didn’t think for a moment and put my money in, hoping I am going to double my money.

And then in a flash of moment, it was all gone. The glass I picked did not have the ball. Before I could open my mouth and question the authenticity, the game moved on and someone else took my place. I walked away and could not believe it happened. Went back to my hostel, slept, and cut down on my experiences over next few days to try and compensate for the loss.

The summary of the story is: Everyday we see people around us making impulsive decisions in the stock market. And a lot of them loose money. Everyone hopes that they are going to have massive return in a single bet and become rich overnight. I am sure it happens for some (the probability is not 0), but a lot more end up on the losing side in this approach (Probability is far away from 1).


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I am a business person with strong consulting, sales and operations background, and high affection for technology. I also provide advice / consulting to small / startup companies on request.







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