congratulations:
what you say to someone when something good has happened to them

casino:
place where people go to play games for money



Clint van Loggenberg (easy version)

In December 2003, Clint was living in Port Elizabeth, a city in South Africa. He was working in a hotel. He was living with his parents and helping them with money from his job. His girlfriend, Tracy, was going to have a baby soon. And before the baby was born, Clint and Tracy were going to get married.

On December 14, Clint took Tracy to a ‘casino’. They put 100 Rand, about $16.00US, on a card. Then they began to play.

Clint said that a few minutes after he began to play, the lights on his machine started going on and off and music suddenly started playing. Then, the machine showed a message. It said “Congratulations, you have won a million Rand.”

Clint said that, when this happened, a woman beside him shouted, “You’re rich!” He also said that many other people ran up to him and congratulated him.

For a few minutes Clint and Tracy were very happy. They were thinking about how much money they would have when they got married. They would be able to have a big party. They would be able to buy lots of things for their new baby.

Then one of the casino workers came and put a key into Clint’s machine. After he did this, he told Clint that the machine wasn’t working properly. The message had been a mistake. Clint hadn’t won any money at all. Clint told the worker he wanted to see the manager. He waited, but the manager didn’t come. After a while, Clint and Tracy went home.

The next day, Clint was angry. He phoned the casino and talked to one of the managers. The manager told him that he hadn’t won any money. It had just been a mistake.

Clint didn’t agree. He was sure he had really won a lot of money . He thought the casino just didn’t want to pay him.

Clint went to a lawyer. He and his lawyer went to a sort of court that controls casinos. Clint told the court his story. And the casino’s managers told the court their story.

The casino managers said that Clint’s story wasn’t true. They said that Clint had pushed the wrong button on the machine, and that was why the machine had shown him the message. They said the message was a mistake. It should not have said “Congratulations.” They said the message would be changed.

The managers said the lights on Clint’s machine hadn’t gone on and off. They said that music hadn’t come out of the machine. They showed the court pictures from the casino cameras. They said the pictures showed these things had not really happened.

Clint and his lawyer decided to give up. They saw they were not going to win. But Clint still thinks he really won a lot of money. He says the film doesn’t show what really happened.

- information from: The Sunday Times, (Johannesburg, South Africa), 03.12.28 (Nick Padayachee); The Herald Online, (Port Elizabeth, South Africa) ) (04.02.02) (Mawande Jack); The Herald Online, (date unknown) (Sam Mkokeli)