Students hit the jackpot at Vegas Night

Jeff Russ

Lindsey Biltz, sophomore secondary education major, tries her luck at the slot machines Friday at Vegas Night. The event also contained card tables for games such as Texas Hold’em and blackjack for students to spend their chips. HEATHER STAWICKI | DAILY

Credit: Jason Hall

Students looking for a sample of the Las Vegas Strip went all-in to the Student Recreation and Wellness Center Friday for Vegas Night.

The 423 people who filled the gym for the center’s second late-night event of the semester were treated to pasta, entertainment and 12 casino games.

“It was a pretty fun and festive night,” junior biology major Kim Bean said. “It is a nice break from tests and school.”

Bean assisted illusionists Rick Smith Jr. and Michael Mage as they entertained the audience. Following Mage’s lead, Bean participated in a trick to the tune “Dueling Banjos,” putting a piece of toilet paper in her mouth and changing the color of the paper.

Smith also displayed his world-famous card throwing. He currently holds the Guinness World Record for distance in playing card throwing. He threw cards across the gym, into the upper level and tried to reach the track.

He threw one card and sliced a piece of celery in half.

An Elvis impersonator also entertained the crowd. He told the crowd Elvis was still alive, living at the retirement home in Stow.

While singing “Little Sister,” Elvis moved his way through the audience, serenading some of the guests.

“He held my hand, and he was sexy,” said Whitney Gray, sophomore fashion merchandising major. “I wanted to take him upstairs and marry him. He reminded me of the real Elvis.”

Those not watching “The King” were playing the 12 casino games scattered around the gym. All night, the tables were full, and groups of people stood around waiting for their turn with Lady Luck. The games included blackjack, Texas Hold’em poker, roulette, baby craps and slot machines.

“I won the jackpot, so I am excited,” said Sarah Czaplicki, freshman early childhood education major. “I know I wouldn’t win any card games, so I’m glad I won at the slots.”

While some won pulling the slots, others won throwing the dice.

A group of four students won big while playing craps.

Bryant Williams, senior sports management major, said the group was “trying to win half the rec,” and he joked that he won the chain around his neck playing the game.

Some were not surprised with their winnings.

“When you’re from where I’m from, you’re used to winning money,” said Jack Williams, senior sports management major, whose shirt read “Virginia is for hustlers.”

While students didn’t win any actual money, they did have chances to win prizes, which ranged from a fish tank to a vacuum cleaner to Kent State clothes to gift certificates for area stores. The prizes were raffled off with tickets won at the casino games.

“I’m trying to win the iPod alarm clock,” Williams said.

Jason Hawk, student marketing coordinator for the center, helped organize the event and enjoyed what he saw.

“What I liked about the event was that it was unique and allowed for people to participate as much or as little as they wanted to,” Hawk said.

Paula Murray, assistant director of marketing and recreational services, was pleasantly surprised by highest turnout.

Murray said the center would like to make Vegas Night an annual event.

Contact student recreation and wellness center reporter Jeff Russ at [email protected].