How Blackjack Saved FedEx: The True Story

Sometimes the truth is more unbelievable than fiction but that is just life. Fredrick Smith founded the Federal Express as it was known back in the day at a personal cost of US$4 million dollars. And in 1971 this was quite a bit of money.  Since then the company has grown and even rebranded itself to the current FedEx Express we are familiar with.

Winning Streak in Vegas Boosts Company Coffers

The common advice is that never gamble what you are not willing to lose. This old piece of wisdom proved true as it powered Fred Smith to a winning weekend in Vegas that literary saved his company.

There could have never been a worse time to start an overnight delivery service than in the early 1970’s. Fuel prices were increasing drastically during this period, a phenomenon that forced FedEx to the brink of bankruptcy. The company was losing millions every month.

Down to Their Last US$5,000

US$5,000 might be a lot of money when you are playing casino games but it was hardly enough to fuel the Federal Express planes the coming week. Even the company’s competitors knew it had reached the breaking point.

With no one in sight to lend a hand, Fred Smith knew for certain that the company was gone. That is when he took the entire company bank account and turned it into his personal casino bankroll.

Gambling Strategy 101 to the Rescue

Instead of going home on Friday the founder of FedEx headed to Vegas where he hit the blackjack tables. This was clearly a risky business move but a well-calculated gambling strategy. Everything was in place to have a rewarding casino gaming session.

  1. Smith had already lost more than the money he was taking with him to Vegas. The entire company was going down.
  2. He knew the game that he wanted to play, Blackjack! It is one of the games that have a high Return to Player Percentage.
  3. As we mentioned before US$5,000 is a lot of money for someone who is responsive to statistical variance in games of chance. Statistical variance is the losing or winning streaks that upset the normal win-loss ratio of the game.

With the whole weekend to play, there was very little chance that he would have come out of the casino a net loser. All this while a lot of real money gamblers underestimate the value of a good gambling strategy.