In "The Bet" by Anton Chekhov, why does the banker call the bet "cursed"?

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kathik eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "The Bet" by Anton Chekhov, the banker calls the bet "cursed" because when he originally made the bet with the lawyer, he was extremely wealthy, and now he no longer is. He had millions of dollars fifteen years ago when he and the lawyer bet two million dollars, and that two million was nothing to him. However, during the ensuing years, the banker has spent frivolously, made bad investments, and lost money due to poor decision making. If he pays the lawyer two million dollars, he will be bankrupt because he has little left from his original large fortune. He never even considered the possibility that he might lose his money when he first made the bet, and now that the reality of the bet is upon him, and the lawyer has held up his end of it, the banker feels that the bet is cursed. It will surely be the end of his wealth.