Say I was playing a game. The odds of winning were always 1:10. It would cost me €1 to play and if I won I would win €5.

Pretty terrible game, right?

However say recorded myself playing a winning round of game. "See? I place a bet, roll the dice, and win! Profit!"

Except it's not profit. Placing a €1 bet on 1:10 odds to win €5 is not profit. It's a short term gain. The quality of my decision here is not determined by its outcome.

Is there a word for this? An expression? an idiom?


3 Answers 3


In your example interjection “Profit!” isn't a description of the specific outcome, it's an allusion to the PROFIT! meme, where one presents a facetious strategy that leads, against expectation, to profit.

  1. Do something stupid
  2. Do something stupider
  3. ...
  4. Profit!

The meme became comical through repetition on the old Slashdot, but apparently is based on the South Park ”Underpants Gnomes' Plan” from 1998.

Contrast with Sidney Harris's cartoon ”I think you should be more explicit here in step two”


Certainly "got lucky" applies here.

In that vein, we have:

  • Blind/pure luck
  • Luck of the draw
  • Luck of the devil (for extreme cases)

If you're referring to the action itself of choosing to play such a game:

  • Take a gamble
  • Roll the dice on

(Win on a) long shot specifically refers to a bet with bad odds.

long shot

A bet in which the chances of winning are slight but the possible winnings great m-w

For example, the gambler may get much more joy as he walks away from the betting window out of the $10.00 he won on a long shot than from $10.00 earned by working, or even from $10.00 won on a pretty sure thing. The American Economic Review, Vol 43, p. 416 (1953)

He's a fellow with only $2 to win on a long shot that will pay 20 to 1 if he should win. Dirty Red; A Bucket of Blood

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