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Jun 6, 2015
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Remember when you were at the arcade, tirelessly trying to get that cute little stuffed toy for your crush via the claw machine, only to fail every time, leaving you frustrated and a few bucks poorer? Yeah, we've all been there.

We often charge this one to our lack of skill or the surrounding noise that distracts us from our goal (yeah, sure), but deep inside, we could almost swear that the infernal machine is absolutely rigged. We usually let it slide though because we don't want to be branded as sore losers.

claw machineGIF via Ign.com

Here's the thing: our skepticism might be justified

Phil Edwards, a history writer for news site Vox.com, did a little bit of research to bring vindication to all claw machine haters. He studied the user manuals of some of the most popular claw machines, and made a WTF discovery: Unless the device's going to make a profit, you'll lose each and every time.

Here's the nitty-gritty: Apparently, claw machines keep track of the money you spend on it. It also knows the average cost of the prizes within it. If the cost exceeds the cash the device has taken so far, it will only partially power-up the claw, resulting to a much weaker grip (and broken hearts).

claw machineGIF via Buzzfeed.com

And how many attempts do you need to go "full claw"? An average of 21. Going to a gift shop to buy a small plushie instead doesn't sound like a bad idea now, does it?

And to make us hate the money-stealing contraption from hell even more, it's been revealed that it's also programmed to have a setting that makes you look like you almost won (a.k.a. the muntik na effect). You know, so that you will feed it more coins/tokens just because you think you almost had it.

Here's the full, eye-opening video:

Video via vox

This is not to say that all claw machines employ these devious tactics, but it somehow feels good to know that our fears are, possibly, not baseless. Well at least we know those mini hoops stations are legit and rely solely on our talent to make buckets.

Feature and thumbnail image via Shirtoid.com