Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Features

November 22, 2013

Holtel favors slots, cards and traveling

Anna Holtel always enjoyed going to the casino.

“I started going years ago and went to Hollywood Casino (Lawrenceburg). My niece works there. She’s one of the hostesses,” says the 88-year-old. “I have a nephew who works there, too. He’s a security guard.”

When she went gambling, family members, including her niece, sister-in-law and brother, would go with her. “We went whenever we had a chance.”

What was the attraction of spending time on the boat? “Pulling those levers” on the slot machines. “I played the penny slots, the 2-cent ones, quarters. Sometimes I played 50 cents, but never a dollar. I like the quarter ones the best. When I ran out of money, I was out .... I never spent more than $25-$30 because I always said, ‘If I can’t win on that, I wasn’t supposed to win.’

“Then we would eat at the buffet, and I would always eat too much,” says the former Oldenburg resident who now resides at St. Andrews Health Campus.

Even though she never won huge amounts of money, “I did win $100” on one excursion.

Holtel admits, “I never did play blackjack,” but she knows it’s similar to “when we used to play 31.” She also played other card games, including pinochle, euchre and solo. In addition, she counts bingo and going on bus tours and cruises as some of her other hobbies.

Since she has moved to the long-term care facility nearly two years ago, Holtel has been unable to go to the casino. However, recently, the casino came to her. Two Hollywood Casino workers arrived with some games. She enjoyed an evening with family and friends and had a chance to test out her gambling skills again.

“I was a little surprised they were having a party for me because I don’t deserve one,” she points out.

Diane Raver can be contacted at diane.raver@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.

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