Rare Orange Lobster Beats Vegas Odds at Downtown Steakhouse

Barry’s Downtown Prime at Circa Resort & Casino won the lobster lottery this past Saturday. The downtown Las Vegas steakhouse announced that it found an orange lobster, the chances of which are widely reported to be about one in 30 million.

“As soon as I saw this beautiful, bright lobster in the box that was delivered to me, I knew it was the motherlode,” Barry’s Downtown Prime chef/owner Barry Dakake told Casino.org. “I’ve never seen anything like it!”

Orange lobster Barry's Las Vegas rare

An rare orange lobster named Rio Orange is shown at Barry’s Downtown Prime at Circa next to a doomed, ordinary-colored lobster. (Image: barrysdowntownprime.com)

The lobster — which Dakake named Rio Orange after the Orange River in Africa — got pretty lucky, too. Instead of getting boiled to death, he will be on display at the SeaQuest Las Vegas aquarium at the Boulevard Mall, where he will live out the rest of his natural orange life.

“People are on overtime, building him a huge tank,” Dakake said. “I’m taking him over there right now.”

Not So Fast, Barry…

Just in the past month, Red Lobster announced that it saved two orange lobsters from the pot. On July 12, staff at a Hollywood, Fla. location found one in a shipment. They named it Cheddar and had it transported to Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, SC. About a month later, staff at a Red Lobster in Meridian, Miss. found another orange lobster, Biscuit, who now resides at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, Tenn.

Lobster production statistics are figured by the pound, so we can’t say for sure. But there certainly aren’t 90 million lobsters served each month in the US.

How Rare Are Orange Lobsters?

Bill Murphy, a lobster specialist at New England Aquarium, told The Takeout that the rarity of orange lobsters has recently been downgraded three-fold. It is now only a one-in-10-million lobster. According to Murphy, the odds of dinging a blue lobster (one in 2 million), or a yellow or calico lobster (one in 30 million), and a white lobster (one in 100 million) remain the same.

“Orange lobsters are uncommon, but perhaps not as rare as we first thought,” Jared Durrett, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies director of husbandry, said in a statement regarding the controversy.

Durrett explained: “Lobsters obtain their color through the pigments they ingest in their diet. If these orange lobsters are being harvested from the same region, perhaps their localized diet contains a pigment that, when paired with the lobster’s genetics, creates the orange coloration we are seeing.”

So Does Rio Orange Go in the Pot?

“No, he’s still gonna be donated,” Dakake said. “Whatever the figure is — one in 10 million or one in 30 million, that’s still a rare lobster. It’s like winning the lottery.”

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