When Kurt and Megan Kegler’s phone rang at their mobile home outside Detroit, the future looked grim.
When the mystery gambler was $35,000 up he quit the table, and handed the proceeds to the Keglers in a giant bag of hundred dollar chips .
Their three-year-old daughter, Madison, had been diagnosed with a brain tumour and they were $35,000 (£21,000) in debt.
But when they heard what the caller had to say, they broke down in tears, hardly able to believe their ears. He was a mysterious, high-rolling Las Vegas gambler who had been choosing needy families to give them his winnings. “You have been chosen,” the voice told the Keglers. “I’m flying you to Vegas, and I’m going to win your money for you.” What followed seemed like a dream. A stretch limousine to the airport, first-class flights and a Rolls Royce to their 8,000 square-foot suite in the Palazzo hotel. There, Mr Kegler, 48, and his wife, 29, were met by their benefactor, who promptly staked huge amounts of his own money in a marathon card session.
It wasn’t plain sailing on the blackjack table, despite his confidence: the Keglers saw him go down hundreds of thousands of dollars before he managed to hit a winning streak and recover.
When he was $35,000 up he quit the table, and handed the proceeds to the Keglers in a giant bag of hundred dollar chips. “It completely changed everything,” said Mrs Kegler.