Chilean Miners Play Blackjack at Florida Coconut Creek Seminole Casino
Feb 6, 2011
After spending 69 days trapped in a dark underground mine shaft, thirteen of 33 Chilean miners have come to Broward, Florida to play blackjack at the Coconut Creek Seminole Casino and promote a fundraiser for American miners.
The 33 miners shot to international fame in November 2010, when after 69 days of being ensnared 2,000 feet underground in a gold and copper mine, they finally emerged, all unharmed. During their capture, they performed different functions such as drafting poetry and leading prayers. The rescue operation was dramatically broadcast over television worldwide, transforming the miners immediately into celebrities who have subsequently been inducted into multiple Mining Halls of Fame.
Since being rescued, they have received invitations from all over the planet to receive honors and elaborate on the tips and tricks they used to survive. This time miners came to be honored at the “Tribute to Heroes and Miracles” fundraiser being held at the casino to benefit not only the United Mine Workers of America, but also the American Casncer Society and Disabled American Veterans. Other heroes in attendance include two Bay County School Board officials who thwarted an insane gunman on a shooting rampage during a Board meeting in December.
Mario Sepulveda, nicknamed “Super Mario” for his humorous transmissions from the mine, elaborated “People are always asking us how our lives have changed…. We’re still the same people, but this experience has made it possible for us to feel the warmth of strangers from all over. It deeply touches you, and makes you realize that humanity is all connected.”
While the men awaited the ceremony, they pushed their luck playing blackjack card games. Recognized, a crowd gathered. Though security tried pleading with other people to maintain some distance, quite a few miners posed for photographs and exchanged handshakes with the well-wishers.