They offered everyone hats and horns and beads, but the party hats don't fit Kuma Bear, so he had to make due with beads and using his horn as a sort of headgear.
The free-play luck was not with us, and Lisa's own money started to drain away quickly when I tried playing video blackjack with it. We thus switched to video poker at minimum stakes (five cents per hand), which is much better when you're trying to play slowly waiting for the prize drawings without being totally obvious about it. In the end, we were down $15, but Lisa says we may have drank at least that much complimentary hot cocoa and cafe mocha, one of the cups of which is visible next to Kuma in the photo above.
The odds on winning the big prize were pretty good in my estimation, as you had to be present to win, and I reckoned there weren't more than about fifty people tops in the casino when the drawing happened (fifteen minutes into the new year). The first three people called didn't respond (are are likely to be kicking themselves if they ever learn that they shouldn't have bailed out early), but the fourth person called (not me) was present, so we didn't win a stock of liquor for use in Tonopah.
We did not hang around much thereafter. While Lisa has been sleeping days at the moment, it was more than three hours after my normal weeknight bedtime, so we went home. Waiting twenty or so minutes after midnight seemed like it was long enough to not worry about yahoos shooting guns into the air to celebrate the new year without much consideration of "what goes up must come down," while also probably avoiding most over-indulgent drivers.
It was a sign of just how tired I was that despite consuming cafe mochas at the casino, I was asleep within about five minutes of my head hitting the pillow.
Despite not actually drinking anything, I woke up this morning feeling groggy with a slight headache. Not a terrible hangover, but with no up front "fun" before it. I set off for breakfast at the Wigwam. (I felt better with a couple of cups of coffee inside me.) Waiting to be seated, I could hear my server trying to understand someone calling in apparently trying to order a meal for home delivery (which they do not do). As she put it while seating me, "He's was apparently still celebrating."
After breakfast, I used my newest free-play coupons, and was within $1 of winning two free breakfasts. I really should have quit while I was that far ahead, but I pushed my luck and ended up with nothing. However, all I lost was the "house money" and what I'd initially won playing with it, so I'm not actually out anything, and as usual, the breakfast was worth it even without the promise of winning it back on what amounts to a coin flip of playing video blackjack.