Ya Li, a 28-year-old woman from Qingyuan city in northern Guangdong province, China, owns around 7,000 stuffed toys that she won from claw machines, earning her the unofficial title of “Queen of the Claw Machine”.
At first, Ya wasn’t very interested in claw machines, until one day in 2016 when she saw a particularly cute stuffed toy that she wanted, according to Shanghaiist via Medium. So she tried her luck and eventually won the toy as a prize.
Over one year later, she’s already won some 7,000 stuffed toys, spending about 40,000 yuan ($6,256) in the process.
She committed a lot of time into her hobby, watching other people play claw machine and even looking up tips online on how to hone her skill. Ya even bought her own arcade machine to practice at home.
Ya discovered one surefire method that wins her almost every time she plays. In the interview with Pear Video, she developed this “swing and clutch” technique that almost always gets her a prize stuffed toy.
“I would use the controlling stick to make the claw swing in the air while moving towards a prize. Then I would try to grab the prize with the claw and use the momentum to drag in into the exit,” she said in the interview, as translated by Daily Mail.
Each round of game costs her 2 yuan ($0.31), and this means that she have probably played for about 20,000 times since she started in 2016. Shanghaiist via Medium reported that she most likely spends less than 6 yuan ($0.94) for every stuffed toy – if she has a 35% chance of winning.
Her amazing winning streak in claw machine came with a setback, though. After winning that much, Ya was eventually forced to move to a much bigger apartment. It took her two weeks to pack and fully move all of her stuffed toys to her new place.
Since her prizes take a lot of space in her home, Ya reached a decision to sell of her toys and donate the profit she will make to charity.