Everyone say claw machines are programmed to prevent users from catching a prize, but there is a 35-year-old Chinese man seems to have learned their secret. He managed to collect over 15,000 toys with a claw machine in just one year and is rightly known as the claw machine master now.
About a year ago Chen Zhitong was famous personality in China when he collected over 3,000 toys by controlling the claw machines in his hometown Xiamen. You are considered lucky if you manage to catch over one in your entire life. His collection over the year has grown to 15,000 which might even be a record.
Chen told local media. “I saw the machine in the entrance of a supermarket. I didn’t think much of it, it was just a way to kill time.”
Chen’s reputation as a claw machine master has now transcended Chinese borders, and he was recently featured in a short documentary by Great Big Story.
He talks about how he chooses the claw machines he plays at, his relationship with claw machine operators and what he does with all the toys he wins.
Chen Zhitong first played claw machine a couple of years ago, as a way to kill time at the local shopping mall. He liked it, and whenever he visited the Xiamen mall, he would play a few rounds of claw machine.
In just a few months, he got so good at it that he cleared one of the machines of toys, and people started gathering around whenever they saw him play.
The 35-year-old IT worker says that there are two types of claw machines – ones that actually requires skill to beat, and others that are programmed and are impossible to beat, no matter how good you are.
Obviously, he only uses the former, but even then he keeps an eye out for certain factors that influence the chances of successfully catching a toy.
“First is the claw’s holding capacity. It needs to be tight enough,” Chen says. “Second is the angle of claw rotation. Third is the layout of toys. These parameters decide whether you are able to get a toy out.”
Even when he had just 3,000 toys collected from claw machines, Chen Zhitong complained about lack of storage space in his home, but now, with over 15,000 prizes under his belt, things are really getting serious.
The claw machine master told Great Big Story. “I realized that I should give these lovely toys to people who need them, so last year I donated about 1,000 toys to schools for the deaf and the blind.”