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By Steve Bietz

Burke Countysteve bietz Burke County


He was born Dimetrios Georgios Synodinos in 1918.  He is better known as Jimmy “the Greek” Snyder and was an American sports commentator and Las Vegas bookmaker.  He was a regular contributor to the CBS program The NFL Today.  Snyder predicted the scores of NFL games, which sports bettors used to determine the point spread.

But it was a wager Snyder made, long before he was Jimmy the Greek when he was 30 years old in 1918 that put his name on the map.   Snyder bet on the 1948 Presidential election between the challenger, Thomas Dewey, and sitting President, Harry Truman.  All the predictions said that Dewey would win in a landslide over Truman.  Snyder recounted that he decided to vote for Truman to win because he had determined that women were distrustful of a politician with a mustache.

The odds were set at 17-1 for Dewey to win the election of 1948.  Snyder put a $10,000.00 wager on Harry Truman to win.   On election day, November 2nd, 1948, Harry Truman shocked the world and won another term and Jimmy Snyder had turned a $10,000.00 wager into a $170,000.00 payday.   We would consider that a very good exchange.  Seventy-five years later in today’s value, Snyder’s winning total would be over 2 million dollars.

Now I must admit that I don’t gamble.   I don’t even play the lottery which actually means my chance of winning a jackpot is just about the same as someone who does play the lottery.  But I am aware of what Jesus said about a very important wager.  “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”  (Mark 8:36, 37)  What is the exchange rate for eternal life through faith in Jesus?  What on earth would we be willing to exchange for eternal life?   The answer is obvious.  There is nothing worth forfeiting eternal life in Christ Jesus.  There is no adequate answer to the question proposed.

As we begin a new year, may you and I make sure that we are not gambling with our eternal future. May we realize that the lifestyle that scripture promotes is not only best for us here on this earth today, but it’s also what’s best for receiving God’s wonderful gift of eternal life.


Steve Bietz is the pastor at Morganton Seventh Day Adventist Church. You can read more good Christian news from Pastor Steve Bietz HERE.


Blue Ridge Christian News covers Burke County, McDowell County, Mitchell County, Yancey County, Madison County, in North Carolina, and Christian news from around the country.