When it comes to the best jackpot stories of all time, we’re talking about some of the biggest jackpots of all time and well, there’s been a good chunk in recent history.
Everyone loves an underdog story and when the guy in the other corner is the casino that we’re all playing to beat and take down – it makes it all the much sweeter. What’s better, the underdog isn’t always some high-roller or celebrity or professional with a winning system, just ordinary people – just like me and you.
That’s the true beauty of the casino jackpot wins – it’s a win for the people. From the anonymous winners and mystic gamers to die-hard gambling and WWII veterans – there’s plenty of stories out there that we all love to hear.
But for us, there are 5 personal favorites that form the go-to casino tales that I use to impress/annoy random people in bars, restaurants, bus stops… I hope you enjoy just as much as we do!
The young engineer – Excalibur (Las Vegas) – $39.7 million
One of the most famous and biggest wins in the history of Las Vegas comes from the 25-year-old engineer from Los Angeles and his monster win at Excalibur Casino.
The gentleman, who chose not to be named, but remember as the ‘young engineer’ was in town to visit his favorite basketball team and was killing time in the casino while waiting for the game to begin. He found his way to the slot machines and before long, he’d managed to reach a $100 before the ‘jackpot’ sign appeared and music began sounding.
The amount that popped out? A huge $39,713,982.25, a number so large than it equaled the average casino profit for the entire month. They say engineers are smart, so when the ‘young engineer’ asked the management to give him his winnings over a length of time ($1,500,000 per year) rather than in a single lump, it showed a clever thinking head on his shoulders.
Not bad at all for coming to watch the basketball.
Try, try and try again – Palace Station (Las Vegas) – $680,000 and $27 million+
They say perseverance pays off, but they also say to quit while you’re ahead – so which do you pick when you feel your winnings just aren’t quite enough?
One 60-year-old woman found herself in this situation after playing the Wheel of Fortune game in Palace Station, winning a cool $680,000 from the game. It’s a healthy chunk of change, sure, but she wasn’t done with her gaming days just yet.
The woman ‘invested’ her hard-earned winnings into more casino games, visiting the casino regularly. Ultimately, she fed the casino back almost all of her winnings, a story we hear all too often, but this one comes with a twist, towards the end of her mega-bankroll, she struck gold in a big way.
Her pot of change and countless hours spent on the gaming floor led to one of the biggest slots wins in the history of Vegas with a huge $27 million + jackpot on the Megabucks slot.
It’ll take some betting to ‘invest’ all of that back into the casinos…
Mystic Amy and the magic slot – Fremont – $8.9 million
Ever have those feelings where something just feels like it’s going to happen, almost as if you can predict the unexpected just before it occurs?
Although the best basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, may have felt he was destined for a big casino win, it was Amy Nishimura hows hunch paid off and led to a huge jackpot at Fremont. Nishimura, a 71-year-old from Hawaii had visited Las Vegas for a holiday and was passing through the casino before a game machine attracted her.
Nishimura said that she had felt the machine seemed alive and so began talking to the machine. She, with less than $100 in her purse, explained how badly he needed the money and requested luck from the machine. Without using any tips, tricks or hacks, she began playing. Cut to a short 3 hours later Nishimura has hit the jackpot and she won the grand total of $8.9 million.
It pays to talk to the machine, apparently.
Double jackpots for WWII veteran – Mirage (Las Vegas) – $21 million and $4.6
They say lightning never strikes twice in the same place, but the same can’t be true for winning a million dollars – not if the story of Elmer Sherwin is anything to go by.
Sherwin, a WWII veteran, was 76 years old when he visited the Mirage (10 hours after opening) and won his first $4.6 million jackpot. Needless to say, it was a huge day in Sherwin’s life, but it wasn’t to be the final big win of his gambling career.
Following the first big win, Sherwin frequented the casino twice per week until 16 years had passed, where he hit the jackpot at the exact same place. It’s this time that he won the $21 million jackpot that truly could change his life.
But Sherwin didn’t spend the majority of the winnings on himself, but rather on those affected by Hurricane Katrina. A true hero in every sense of the word.
The Killer from Atlantic City – Caesar, Borgata and Tropicana Casinos – $15 million
Don Johnson, not the Miami Vice superstar but the gambler, earned the nickname ‘The Killer from Atlantic City’ after his five-month stint and trio casino hit from his blackjack skills.
Johnson had managed the seemingly impossible and won $5 million at 3 different casinos during the period from December 2010 to April 2011. ‘It’s one of the most iconic casino stories of all time’ claimed Adrian Sireca of OnlineCasinoGems and with the specifics behind surrounding the wins – it’s hard to argue.
Sireca continues: “Johnson won $4.23 million at Caesar’s and $5 million at Borgata’s, but the most impressive was $5.8 million at the Tropicana Casino with each bet standing at $100,000 during the entire 12-hour sessions.”
It wasn’t without its criticisms though, and some suspicious observers claimed Johnson had used a banal card count to make his games a success. Johnson naturally denies it, but there’s really no telling. Only Don himself knows the truth.