Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Vegas, Baby!

Just got back from a quick trip to Las Vegas, where my wife and I stayed at The Wynn. We got an offer in the mail for a discounted room rate plus $100 in money to gamble with. In order to maximize the value of the free $100, we decided to play the dollar video poker machines, rather than the quarter machines we normally play. Good thing we did! From the $100 they gave us, we won $80. As my wife was playing through that, she hit a royal flush! That's a $4,000 payout! And it came within the first hour of us being there!

We spent the rest of the day and all of the next day playing dollar video poker, with some blackjack thrown in to break up the monotony. On our last day there, we played more dollar video poker, but were losing big time, so we switched to quarter video poker machines with a progressive jackpot. Believe it or not, my wife got ANOTHER royal flush! This one netted us $1066!

We didn't get a picture of the first royal, unfortunately. At the other casinos we've played at, they take a picture of the jackpot for you. They apparently don't do that at the Wynn and by the time I thought to take a picture, the jackpot had been paid and the screen cleared. However, I did remember to get one of the second jackpot.

So after years of going to Las Vegas and never hitting a royal flush, but seeing every other person she went with get one, my wife finally got not one, but two in the same trip! Awesome! And we also ended up getting one of our nights comped because we played so much, so between the $100 they gave us to gamble with and the one free night, our room for the trip was free!

Because her first jackpot was over $1,100 dollars, the casino must report the winnings to the IRS and give us a W2-G form, Certain Gambling Winnings, for us to report the income on our 2008 tax return. Luckily, the IRS allows you to deduct gambling losses against gambling winnings (only up to the amount of your winnings), so after a quick phone call to my CPA to find out the documentation requirements, I spent the rest of the trip keeping track of all our losses to help offset her winnings. Luckily, her second jackpot was under $1,100, so there was no W2-G generated for that.

I'm attending a presentation today on a potential multi-unit property investment. I should have more info to post about that tomorrow.

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