I say Jagger; you say Mick. You say Jagger; I say Joseph. Why, you might ask? Because the failed businessman from Yorkshire, born in September 1830, deserves his status as a massive winner in Casino roulette folklore. Let me explain…
Joseph Hobson Jagger broke the bank in Monte Carlo. He experienced one of those ‘sombre moments’ when the croupier had to place a black cloth over the wheel. Mr Jagger must have been rocking his socks off! On the other hand, the owner of the Beaux-Arts Casino frequented by the rich and famous, surely didn’t share his ‘joy moment’. He must’ve got the proverbial jitters…scratched his head, inwardly screamed…every time the chap from the UK entered his esteemed establishment.
Did he want to broadcast to all and sundry Jagger’s good fortune? Not a bit of it. His nightmare scenario would be a long line of mechanical engineering geniuses knocking on his door, looking for a blip or a flaw in his roulette wheels. They could then take advantage of their edge; now that wouldn’t be good for his profit margins! So, information was not forthcoming…and that suited Jagger as he did come from a Methodist community that disapproved of gambling…Oops!
So how did Jagger do it? Obviously the man must’ve had some strategy to rock the Casino. Seemingly, he took two relatives with him to Monte Carlo. As I said before, he was a failed businessman, married with four kids. So, in a last ditch effort to keep his kin out of the workhouse, he borrowed money to finance the trip. It must’ve taken years to accumulate the finances. Furthermore, he must’ve had so much confidence in his ability because that was an awesome, gutsy thing to do, fraught with risk. But the man, who taught himself to read and write, had guile and he used it effectively.
Textile wheels he knew like the back of his hand; maybe for him Roulette wheels would be a piece of cake! He realized that no Roulette wheel could be mechanically perfect and, as an experienced engineer, he would have concluded that there would be a tendency towards certain numbers coming up. I’m sure him and his posse watched the wheels to see if there was any kind of pattern. Now, for obvious reasons, these guys didn’t have a pen and paper to write the sequences down; they had to mentally remember the numbers. If the Casino got a whiff of anything untoward, they would’ve been shown the door, and pronto!
Anyway, to cut a long story short, Jagger started winning. Alarm bells rang loud and clear for the house boss. Shades of paranoia; they changed the wheels on different tables. The house did everything to try and alter the wheels so they didn’t give an advantage at anytime. But the meticulous, eagle-eyed Jagger knew the winning wheel as he had noticed a minute scratch on it.
Now comes the good part. The man was on a mission to save his family from destitution. He won an exceedingly large amount of money. Mission accomplished, and went back home with no fanfares or marching bands…I bet his missus was well pleased! He paid off all the good people who he owed money to, bought 30 properties, kept his head down, lived his life and died in 1892.
So now you know a little more about Joseph Hobson Jagger…and as you may have guessed, rumour has it, he is slightly related to the one and only Mick!