How a Gambling Grandma Broke the Record

It sounds like a homework problem out of a high school math book: What is the probability of rolling a pair of dice 154 times continuously at a craps table, without ever throwing a seven? The answer is roughly one in 1.56 trillion. On May 23, 2009, Patricia Demauro, a New Jersey grandmother, beat those odds at Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino. Her 154-roll lucky streak, which lasted 4 hours 18 minutes, broke the world’s record for the longest craps roll and the most successive dice rolls without “sevening out.” The chances of that happening are smaller than getting struck by lightning, being hit by a fly ball at a baseball game, or winning the lottery. Demauro declined to reveal how much money she won, but gambling experts estimate that if she made good bets, her winnings were in the hundreds of thousands, perhaps even a million.