Three-Year-Old Boy Fulfills Every Child’s Dream By Getting Trapped Inside A Claw Toy Machine

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This story starts out with an “OH HELL NO” and concludes with a strangely happy ending. After a three-year-old boy’s mother discovered that he was missing from their Nebraska apartment at 5:30 PM, she called the police. Police were dispatched to search the neighborhood, and I’m sure, like me, you hate where this story is heading.

Oddly enough, the toddler was found inside a local bowling alley. And when I say inside, I mean he was really inside the belly of the beast—deep in the heart of the claw toy machine:

Rachel Hildreth, an employee at the bowling alley, said they believe the boy climbed through the prize door, which even has a safety stop, and then up into the toy machine.

Employees called the vendor of the machine after the 3-year-old was discovered by patrons, who brought a key to open the game and let the boy out.

The 3-year-old boy was apparently not distressed and hadn’t even noticed the more than 20 patrons that had gathered around the toy machine to watch.


This is so typical toddler I don’t even know where to begin. I have a two-year-old who loves to wander off and slip out the dog door if I take 30 seconds to myself to go to the bathroom. (That, or he pushes his baby brother out the dog door instead, which is a whole different set of problems.)

If my two-year-old was missing from my house, I would probably shit a brick, vomit all over myself, and shit a brick again. That would be my worst nightmare realized. I’ve watched enough 20/20 to scare the pants off me.

THANK GOD this story has a funny, quirky ending. I feel terrible for the mother because of all the bricks she must have shat, but I have to laugh when I imagine what this toddler was thinking. In his innocent little mind, he probably thought he had wandered into heaven. No one was around, his mom certainly wasn’t there, and there was a whole mess of toys that he could climb up into and play with.

This stressful story ends with an AWWW and a happy ending: “In the end, the boy was even given a stuffed animal by the vendor.” Hilarious and cute and a great story to tell in 20 years, but DON’T YOU EVER DO THIS AGAIN, YOU HEAR ME.

(Image: Suzanne Tucker/Shutterstock)