Everett Hanson was a wealthy man. He was also celebrating his birthday. At the stroke of midnight, Everett was going to turn fifty. Everett was the world’s most successful gambler. He could never lose. Normally, Everett would be in a splendid mood. However, Everett was about to face his greatest challenge. He had a date of destiny with the Devil.
“Hello Everett,” said the Devil. I’m here to collect your soul. You do remember our little contract from twenty years ago?”
“Yes I do,” responded Everett. “You were going to give me the gift of always winning in gambling in return for my soul when I turned fifty.”
“Very good. You are so smart. I see that life has treated you very well. Too bad that you are about to lose everything,” chuckled the Devil.
“Not yet,” remarked Everett. It is 11:45. I have fifteen more minutes to go before I turn fifty. I have a proposition for you.”
“I am in no mood for propositions. I just want what is mine.”
“Ah, but wouldn’t you like to have an advocate. I could be one of your top recruiters. I am offering you a deal. I wish to have one last gamble. If I win, I keep my soul. If I lose, I will gladly become your best supporter. What do you say?”
“Your offer is intriguing. I say yes, but on the following conditions. One, I choose the gambling format. Two, there is no turning back if you lose. You must be my complete loyal subject. Three, you must go first.”
Everett quickly nodded in agreement. “Let’ do it!”
The Devil took out a pair of hot, glowing, red dice. “I call these the Devil’s dice.”
Everett looked at the time. Five minutes to go before the clock struck twelve. Everett shook the dice and he rolled an eleven.
“Very good,” said the Devil “You really know how to shake them bones. Now it’s my turn. Remember our agreement.” The Devil gripped the dice firmly in his harsh, red hands. He threw them on the floor. The time was now 11:58. The dice rolled and rolled until they finally stopped. “Ha,” shouted the Devil. “Twelve. I win!”
“No,” said Everett. “You have lost.”
“What?” bellowed the Devil. “Impossible! I have never lost in a gambling game.”
“Ah, but this time you have. You made me an offer. I was to become the world’s greatest gambler. I could never lose. Your contract states these exact terms. I have lost. The contract is invalid.”
“But, but, but…Twelve o’clock, twelve o’clock.”
“You made the bet prior to the clock turning twelve. The gamble was completed prior to twelve. If I had won the game, you would have lost the bet. If I had lost the game, I would have won the bet. Either way, you end up being the loser.”
The Devil’s eyes burned a fiery red. “You tricked me.”
“Ah, but you planned to trick me by playing in a game that could never be won by a mortal man. Goodbye Devil.”
The Devil flicked his fingers and instantly vanished into thin air. Everett had won the bet of his life. “Life certainly begins at fifty,” thought a bemused Everett. “Now I’m really ready to party.”