How to Catch Money in a Money Blowing Machine

By Eirik Ott

Visitors to trade shows and conventions can often be found gathered around a little box containing a person snatching at seemingly hundreds of flying dollar bills. Money-blowing machines may look like easy money, but they are much more difficult than you would think, plus the operators of the money-blowing machines impose all sorts of rules to make money grabbing even harder. Some might limit you to using one hand. Some might give you a pouch in which all bills must be stuffed. With a little advanced preparation and observation, learning how to catch money in a money-blowing machine is easy.

Ask for the rules, but do not offer any suggestions. For example, don't ask, "May I use both hands?" This will give them the opportunity to say, "No." Simply ask for the rules, and if they do not mention that you cannot use both hands, then it is allowed.

If you have time to prepare beforehand, apply hairspray to your hands and allow them to dry. This will make them slightly sticky, which will make snatching dollars from the air a bit easier. It also might be construed as blatant cheating — which it is — so keep this to yourself.

Target one bill at a time. You will be tempted to make a mad grab for every bill in the entire money-blowing chamber, but this will only make catching the bills harder.

Use both hands, if you are allowed. Spread your fingers wide for maximum money grabbing potential and also to allow air to pass through your fingers without pushing away the bills. Keep your hands about a foot apart in front of your face ready to clap a bill between them. Focus on one bill, then clap as fast as you can to capture a bill.

If you are only allowed to catch bills with one hand, make sure to spread your fingers wide for maximum coverage. Use your hands in concert, thrusting them together into masses of dollar bills. Focus on one bill at a time. Keep snatching constantly until you get a bill. Another good one-handed technique is to slam your hands into your body to trap bills or slam them against the walls of the chamber. (Just make sure this is not against the rules, or you will be disqualified.)

Stuff the bills into your pockets or whatever pouch the operators have given you immediately before focusing on another bill to snatch. Remember, you will only be allowed to keep the bills you have stuffed into the provided container, so don't hold onto bills too long. The quicker you can empty your hands, the faster you can snatch more bills.

Scoop dollars from the ground. Most operators will tell you beforehand that you must snatch bills in flight, but if they have not specified this from the beginning, look down and see if there are clusters of bills at your feet. If you are not allowed to scoop these bills with your hands, then kick and shuffle your feet to scatter them into the air so that you may snatch them.

Scoop dollars from the ceiling. The hardest place to snatch bills is while they are rising or falling, but once they hit the ceiling, they hover for just a moment before falling back down. Sometimes the best place to find and focus on easy-to-catch bills is directly over your head.

Money-blowing machine operators will force you to wear "safety glasses" that are meant more to hinder your peripheral vision than to protect it, so make sure you swivel your head around to get the best view of the flying bills. Don't focus only on the bills in front of you.

Keep in constant pursuit of flying bills. Don't allow yourself to celebrate your victories or mourn your misses. Continue to snatch and grab until the operator makes you stop.

Tip

Money-blowing machines are made to dazzle you with all the flying money, but they are actually quite challenging, so don't be disappointed if you come out with less money than you imagined you would. You are pretty much guaranteed to walk out of a money-blowing machine with more cash than you walked in with, so have fun.

Warning

Money is dirty and touched by countless hands, so don't stuff bills into your mouth unless you want to get sick. It is also a good idea to apply anti-bacterial lotion to your hands once your leave the money-blowing machine just in case.

About the Author

Eirik Ott is a professional performance poet, freelance writer, graphic designer, Apple Computer enthusiast and photographer. Since graduating from Chico State University with a degree in journalism in 2000, he has written for newspapers and magazines such as "The Reno Gazette-Journal," "The Austin American-Statesman," "Bust Magazine" and "Poets & Writers Magazine." He is based in Austin, Texas.