Tales From An Elevator – It Could Happen To You (Part One)

Winning things can be the most fantastic thing world and can bring us untold wealth that change lives forever but in some instances, it can lead to dangerous and unpredictable circumstances.

“Good evening,” he began, taking to the stage, “and welcome to The Accumulator, where people can amass a great fortune or lose it all. When we left, David Barrows had seen off his opposition and decided to risk his £25,000 for a chance to play for our £500,000 jackpot in The Final Five. Good evening David.”

“Good evening Bryon,” David replied in a cold steely manner.

“You must be really nervous tonight,” Bryon asked.

“Not really,” David exuded confidence in his response, “I’ve been practicing and readying myself for this.”

“So, what would you do if you won the half million tonight?”

“Y’know Bry,” David smiled, “I really haven’t thought about that.”

The audience chuckled as Bryon raised his eyebrow. David stared back with a determined expression as if to say let’s do this.

“Ok then,” he said, “let me remind everyone and you, how you stand. David, you have answered four out of The Final Five correctly bringing your total accumulations to £250,000 and you still have your Swap. Now, you can always walk away with that… but you could decide to go for the final question and potentially win £500,000. Two people have gone for it and sadly, they lost all but £75,000.”

“Right… okay,” David nodded.

“I can only say be really sure before you give me your decision.”

“Okay.”

“Are you ready?”

“Okay Bryon,” David said, “ask me.”

“David…” Bryon stared at him, “risk… or reward?”

David could feel an internal conflict between his brain and his heart; the brain was pleading with him to do the logical and rational by saying Reward, but heart was telling him to go for it and say Risk, who to follow?

David was locked in a stare with Bryon, unable to speak. After what seemed like a very long five minutes, he eventually said, “Risk.”

The audience cheered and applauded boisterously while David remained locked in his stare with Bryon. Once they had calmed down, Bryon spoke. “You’re a very brave man David Barrows,” he said. “Okay, you’ve decided to take the risk on the final question. Just remember, you’ve got a guaranteed £75,000 no matter what happens. So here it is, the final question for £500,000.”

The spotlights went down, the audience was in total darkness and Bryon and David looked up at the screen. Bryon read out the question. “Although he appeared in earlier cartoons, what year is considered by many to be Bugs Bunny’s official debut? 1938… 1939… 1940… 1941.”

David stared at the screen and stroked his chin. “Mmm,” he said, “that’s a tough one.”

“Do you like Bugs Bunny at all?”

“I do but this would be before my time, I am only 32 y’know.”

The audience chuckled. “Well, you still have your Swap if you’d like to get rid of that.”

“I’d eh… I’d like to play this one.” A collective gasp followed David’s statement.

“Okay then,” Bryon acknowledged. David stared at the question on screen and he mentally played a game of eeny-meeny-miny-mo with the answers. To him, the money was incidental and playing the game was more important. After reaching his final decision, he said, “Okay, I’m ready.”

Bryon stared at David. “David…” he began, “for £500,000, your answer is…”

“1940.”

“Computer, please lock that in.”

1940 was highlighted in blue. “Are you still happy with that?” Bryon asked.

“Yes,” David replied.

“I hope you’re right. Was Bugs Bunny’s official debut in 1940?”

Everyone held their breath as they waited for the correct answer to be revealed. The studio went so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. Eventually, 1940 became highlighted in green. There was cheering, screaming, the confetti fell down onto the floor and the celebratory music played, David grinned broadly as Bryon hugged him. Eventually, the studio fell silent and Bryon went back to his mark.

“Wow,” he said.

“Exactly!” David responded, which garnered a huge laugh from the audience.

“For so long, we hoped that this would happen but we had convinced ourselves that this would never hsppen.”

David continued beaming and said, “Well, now it has.”

“I have to ask,” Bryon asked, “what was going through your mind at the last question?”

“Well, staying calm was the prevalent thought in my mind and I suppose the rest was down to luck.”

“Was there any gut instincts involved in the decision making process?”

“Oh yes, guts were involved… as well as some other body parts.” More laughs followed.

“Well, that combination just netted you a half million pounds. And now, here is our executive producer, Melinda Sunderland, to present you with the cheque.”

To David, it felt like a real Wimbledon moment as a smartly dressed Melinda walked up to him and handed over the much sought after cheque. She stepped back and applauded, as did everyone else.

He held it up above his head and screamed “WOOOOOOO!”

Bryon turned to face the camera. “And so David Barrows, architect from Yorkshire, walks away with the half million jackpot. Join us again next week to see if we can do it again, good night!”

***

Later that night, he arrived back at his hotel. He walked up to the reception desk and rang the bell. “Good evening Mr. Barrows,” she smiled.

“Hello,” he said, smiling back, “can I get my room key off you?”

“Sure.” She turned around, took a keycard from the shelf and handed it to him. He looked at it.

“This isn’t my key,” he said.

“It is now,” she said.

David was slightly confused. “I don’t understand.”

“No we didn’t, but Ms. Sutherland called and asked us to upgrade your room.”

“Oh,” David said as he took the keycard, “thank you.”

“I have to say Mr. Barrows, congratulations.”

“Thank you.” David nodded and walked toward the elevator. He pressed the button and boarded the elevator. Inside, he pressed another button and the doors closed and the elevator went up. The doors opened and he went into corridor and searched for the door to his room. He found it and inserted the keycard into the slot. Opening the door, he said “Woah!”

Everything in the room was luxurious and clearly, no expense was spared. On the table was a bottle of champagne in an ice bucket and a card that read: Compliments of the staff. Many congratulations.

He picked up the bottle and poured some into a glass. He picked up the glass and walked to the window. Pulling back the curtain, he took a sip and sighed as looked out into London’s night sky.

***

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