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Boban Marjanovic exposes a classic con at the State Fair of Texas

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The Midway is full of deception.

Dallas Mavericks v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

It’s not every day that you have an “ah-ha!” moment. That’s especially true if you’re being scammed. Thankfully, one man is here to help. In his recent trip to the State Fair of Texas, Dallas Mavericks center Boban Marjanovic uncovered one of the most devious schemes ever played on the fun-loving people who flock to Dallas yearly for the event.

For those who aren’t familiar with the State Fair of Texas, it’s an annual festival that takes place over the course of three weeks, beginning at the end of September and lasting into October. It’s held within the confines of Fair Park, the worlds largest assembly of Art Deco architecture, which was built for the Texas Centennial celebration in 1936.

The Fair is what you expect from a state fair, except Texas-sized. It’s full of fried food, music, multiple car shows, pig races, a bird show, rides, and games. The Fair even sports a pretty shady past and to this day the Fair’s board practices questionable accounting. It’s the games, though, that continue to dupe unsuspecting fair-goers.

Along the Midway, the Fair’s illuminated main promenade of rides and games, you can find any number of ways to win a large plush toy. Some of the most popular are the basketball games. Make a bucket, win a prize. It seems easy enough. Surely, an actual NBA player would have no problem draining a shot or two. Not so, apparently.

In his recent visit to the State Fair, Marjanovic came face to face with this time-tested carnie con. Time and again, he lofted a basketball at the rim at one of the gaming stalls and watched ball bounce away. Eventually, he became frustrated and stepped over the partition to inspect the rim for himself. That’s when he made the discovery that will change fair-going experiences forever.

“Ah, you have two rims here,” Marjanovic exclaims after examining the basket. (1:30 mark of the video.)

A double rim. And it’s not even a dastardly double rim like you find at the playground. It’s one hidden inside of the primary rim and out of sight from the shooter. It’s widely understood that the games at the Fair are like a casino. The house is set up to win. How they win is another story. Now we know one of the Midway’s dark secrets thanks to Boban’s investigation.

Fair-goers now know the truth and are better for it. Rather than wasting time and money shooting hoops on impossible rims, they can look elsewhere for entertainment—and there’s plenty to go around at the Fair. Save your tickets and move on next time a carnival-barker has you in their sights. You’re just a walking wallet to them. Go grab a Fletcher’s corny dog, instead. It won’t con your stomach.