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This St. Louis man wrote the book on how to beat the claw machine

"There’s something really neat about the claw, the challenge of it"

ST. LOUIS — Have you ever wanted to do something so badly that it seemed to occupy your headspace? St. Louisan Brian McKanna feels your pain.

He has been obsessed with a particular arcade game.

“There’s something really neat about the claw, the challenge of it,” he said.

The claw machine first got his attention as a little boy.

“I won my first claw when I was five, I won on my first try,” he told 5 On Your Side.

He confessed to having spent a lot of money on his passion.

“I’ve probably spent near $10,000-plus on claw machines in my lifetime,” he said.

McKanna is so into the game these days that he trains at getting better.

“If you don’t practice, you’re not going to get better,” he said.

He is reaping the benefits of his efforts as he snags prizes at will.

“The feeling you get when that prize comes across and drops down and you’re holding it, wooo,” he said with a smile.

Now he wants to help others conquer the claw. He wrote a book about how to do it.

“I wrote this book thinking it was going to be an online course. And so in the book I playfully refer to it as claw school. A lot of really good tips and tricks that are going to make you a better claw player. But you still gotta get out there and put the work in,” he said.

McKanna somehow finds the time to do just that. Besides playing the claw machine, he is also part owner of Center Ice Brewery in midtown St. Louis. He has a day job as a salesman and he’s also writing a series of children’s books.

McKanna’s obsession could also be a greater lesson for us all. If you are willing to work hard enough and long enough at something, you’ll improve your chances of conquering it.

“I love the fact that the claw machine isn’t always a guaranteed win and is difficult. And whenever I win, I’m always like yes, I got ‘em,” he said.

If you would like to order McKanna’s book, click here.

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