Did Affleck hit $800,000 jackpot?

Columnist reports that troubled Ben won big bucks in Vegas. Plus: "Survivor's" Probst stung by a jellyfish in his "nether regions"!

By Amy Reiter

Published August 8, 2001 4:11PM (EDT)

Ben Affleck may admit to being an alcoholic and a gambler. But call him an alcoholic gambler and his people may have a few choice names for you.

The actor's publicist has hit out at a report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal alleging that Affleck was on a "boozy gambling binge" in Vegas in the days before he checked into rehab last week.

Columnist Norm Clarke reported that, with good buddy Matt Damon by his side, Affleck amassed $800,000 in wins at the Hard Rock Hotel by playing three $20,000 blackjack hands at once. And Affleck, a serial big tipper, subsequently distributed about $150,000 in gratuities.

That sounds rather sweet to me, but Affleck's flack, David Pollick, has called the report "inaccurate and irresponsible."

And while the actor's Hollywood friends are coming out of the woodwork to swear they never saw ol' Ben sip anything stronger than iced tea, Damon has reportedly already schlepped out to the tony Promises rehab center in Malibu to pay his troubled friend a visit.

Good karma hunting?

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That certain sticktoitiveness

"I like taking chances. I like pushing buttons. I like Krazy Glue. I like being someone who will do just about anything for the sake of a laugh."

-- Jason Biggs, who made his reputation bonking a pie in "American Pie," on his masturbatory run-in with a tube of fast-acting glue (hand sticks to penis, hilarity ensues) in "American Pie 2."

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Thrice bitten nice guy

Is it me, or is "Survivor" host Jeff Probst taking his dimples-in-the-face-of-adversity routine just a little too far?

It seems that while shooting the third "Survivor" series in Africa, Probst was faced with an immunity challenge of his very own.

"I got stung by a scorpion," he cheerfully reports to Entertainment Weekly. "Fortunately, the bite was a bit lower on the body. He crawled right up my boot and planted one on my Achilles' heel. He was about an inch and a half long and stung like a motherf---er."

But Probst says that he's no stranger to pain "Survivor"-style. On Pulau Tiga, he says, he was stung by a jellyfish smackdab in his "nether regions." And he suffered an unfortunate injury out front in the Outback -- something that might have led to his proverbial torch being, like, permanently extinguished.

"During 'Survivor 2,' I peed on an electric fence and it sent a shock back to the point of origin," he tells the magazine, before offering his own chipper spin. "Now I feel authentic."

If he feels anything at all ...

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Another injured party heard from

"I have three children and one on the way and raising a good Christian family where the father is home is more important than any position. I want to be certain I'm doing the right thing for them."

-- Former "Survivor" contestant and burn victim Michael Skupin on why he's dropping his bid for the U.S. Senate ... at least for now. (I guess a month in the Outback was one thing ...)

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Juicy bits

While his D12 buddies were allegedly breaking noses and rupturing eyeballs backstage at the Warped Tour, Eminem was apparently saving a life. A British woman has told her local paper, the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, that her 12-year-old daughter, in a coma for 11 days after suffering a head injury in a car accident, came to after she listened to an Eminem tape through a set of headphones. "Eminem is helping to save her life," Karen Armstrong said of her daughter Karen. "The minute I put on that music she was moving her hands." A real No. 1 fan.

Less lucky: Eminem's mom. Debbie Mathers' $11 million defamation suit against her son has netted her a whopping total of $1,600. That's how much of a $25,000 settlement a Macomb County, Mich., judge says she's entitled to after she pays her lawyer onaccounta the terms of the deal she made with him entitle him to far more than the standard one-third. Mathers tells the Detroit Free Press she's stepping up work on that book about raising her son she's been talking about, which is good because $1,600 won't even pay to get the wheels rotated on her mobile home ...

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Miss something? Read yesterday's Nothing Personal.

Amy Reiter

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