How do Carnivals make money?

Back in the day when I was growing up, going to the carnival was the thing to do. I vividly remember going there and walking around with my father, looking at all of the games, and hearing the carney’s pitch on why you should play their game. Of course, you’d pay them cash and they’d let you throw baseballs at beer bottles. If you broke a bottle with the ball, then you win.

There’s one problem with this though – most carney’s are felons, criminals, shady characters, who likely can’t work anywhere else but the carnival for obvious reasons.

The logic works out like this if you are the owner of the carnival: (1) I have a carnival and want to make money, (2) I have all of these cool games that people will pay me cash money to play, (3) I’ll hire felons, criminals, shady characters to run these games and trust them to give me a fair accounting on the total amount of money they earn at the end of each night.

Ok, this is just stupid. But it was exactly like this when I was growing up! Incredible. I believe things have since changed and carnivals now use a token system rather than cash so as to hinder the money problem discussed above.


P.S. I definitely got thrown out of several carnival’s and for the same reason each time – I’d jump up onto their game and ask the onlookers what prize they wanted, they’d then call out a prize, and I reach back into the booth and pull it off the wall and throw it into the crowd. Yes, I was young and dumb once. I working on the dumb part.



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