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It’s Not Your Imagination, Claw Machines Are Actually Rigged

Don’t you think it’s strange how claw machines always seem to “drop” the toy right before it gets to you? Sometimes it feels like the entire world is against you when playing a claw machine. Well, as Vox found out, the world isn’t really against you… but the owner of the claw machine is.

This may come as a surprise to none of you, but Claw machines are rigged. What should come as a surprise is how it’s rigged. Here’s what Vox found out:

The claw machine is programmed to have a strong grip only part of the time.

The machine’s owner can fine-tune the strength of the claw beforehand so that it only has a strong grip a fraction of the time that people play.

The owner can manually adjust the “dropping skill,” as well. That means that on a given number of tries, the claw will drop a prize that it’s grabbed before it delivers it to you.

The machines also allow the owner to select a desired level of profit and then automatically adjust the claw strength to make sure that players are only winning a limited number of times.

The owner of the claw machine can literally set a profit margin that says, “I want to make this much, so don’t let anyone win until I’ve made this much.” How screwed up is that?

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