The Idaho Lottery is an absolute blast to play. All of its games are fun, cheap thrills that sometimes turn into a big win. The scratchers are my absolute favorite. I just won $15 after spending $20. So really I made up $15 but am still down $5. Still, it was fun. But if you're going to lose, might as well make a whole weekend out of it where the stakes for winning are higher and if you lose at least you got all the drinks in a party atmosphere.

Maybe the thought is to fly out to Vegas for such a weekend. But flights from Boise to Vegas aren't always cheap and you're at the mercy of when flights are available. What you can do is hop in the car at any moment and drive two hours to Jackpot, Nevada for a stay at Cactus Petes Resort Casino. And if you're worried it's not as fancy as a Vegas casino, you're actually wrong.

I've been to almost every casino on the strip, and unless you're staying in one of the fancy suites, rooms are comparable in a good way. Clean, nice and simple furniture, big screen tv, and a bathtub shower combo with excellent water pressure. There's not a big fancy lobby with sculptures and art, but who is spending their time in the lobby? The casino floor is where it's at.

The variety of slot machines is impressive, from old school machines to tv and movie themed ones. They also had a renovation earlier in the year where they added newer slots. From experience, those seem to be the looser ones, whereas new machines in Vegas tend to be tighter. And if table games are your thing, they have those too. The cafe with cheap yummy food and gift shop with ridiculous but cool items can also go toe to toe with most Vegas casinos. And of course the cocktails servers bringing free drinks while you play is a must (just be sure to tip).

So when scratchers and Powerball aren't scratching that itch, Jackpot, Nevada is just a good playlist away.

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