Slot games have changed the fortunes of many players. Generally, factors like low stakes, immediate payoffs, and ease of playing attract casino players to slot games. However, trendy and creative themes, bright colours, flashing lights, and a psychedelic mix of sights and sounds have become somewhat equally responsible for bringing in more casino players.
It is pertinent to note that some of the biggest casino wins in history have come from the slots and the subsequent introduction of progressive jackpots has helped maximise the number of slot wins. In case you need an if-they-can-win-so-can-you dose of motivation, read about the biggest jackpots won on casino slots below.
Both online slots and slot machines offer a chance to win multimillion-dollar jackpots. So, let us start with listing the biggest slots wins in the history of casino gaming.
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The story of the suitcase man
Urban legends are fairly common in the world of betting, but none are as seemingly evergreen as the story of the “Suitcase Man.”
In 1980, William Lee Bergstrom came with two suitcases to the Binion’s Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas. One suitcase was empty, and the other had $777,000 in it. He put the entire amount at stake and doubled his money on a solo dice roll. He then drove off with both his suitcases filled with the prize money.
But that’s not it!
In 1984, Bergstrom returned to place a $1 million bet, which he ended up losing. To this day, this has been the largest bet someone made against a casino.
Megabucks machines in Las Vegas
John Tippin, a postal worker, went on a holiday to Vegas and won $11 million at the Megabucks Slot Machine in 1996. These slots are state-operated, and there are over 700 in operation around Nevada.
In 1998, the Megabucks jackpot crossed over $20 million for the first time, when a retired flight attendant gambled more than the total amount that could be put at stake ($300) at Palace Station Hotel and Casino. It fetched a whopping $27.5 million jackpot.
A year later, a single $10 spin paid out $21 million in the Megabucks at Caesars Palace.
The double winner
Another well-known Megabucks story is that of Elmer Sherwin, who played and won twice — once in 1989 when he won $4.6 million, and then again in 2005 when he won a massive $21.1 million at the age of 92.
The breakfast win
In 2002, a 74-year-old woman named Johanna Huendl of Covina, California, stopped to enjoy some breakfast and casually put about $170 into a Megabucks slot machine. She ended up winning $22.6 million. What a delightful start to a morning!
The biggest slot winner ever
In 2003, a software engineer in Los Angeles wagered $100 on Megabucks at Excalibur and won $39.7 million, the biggest win in Vegas’s casino gaming history. The money had to be paid out in 25 annual instalments of $1.5 million each.
Now that online gambling has taken over traditional gambling, it is indeed fascinating to know how these tech-driven casino games have turned the wheels of fortune for many. Some of the major wins that are still remembered include the Beach Life jackpot.
Starting from 2011, the jackpot meter went past first $5 million, then $6 million and eventually even $8 million – much more than what the game had ever offered before.
So, who won? The name of the winner was not released when they cracked the right grouping of symbols and took home a prize of more than $8.2 million on 12th February 2012. It was one of the biggest wins ever seen in online gambling in those days.
Online progressive jackpots
The amount of progressive jackpots grows every time the slot game is played without anyone winning the game. A part of the money from each spin is put into an online jackpot. When won, the jackpot retunes to a predefined amount and slowly increases again.
Many machines can be used to play collectively to make for higher jackpots. So, when there are no winners, the moolah grows to an amazing amount attracting people from all over the world.
What’s up now?
There are no two ways about the fact that online casinos are a direct competition to Vegas and similar other land-based casino gaming cities. It is because the former offers the same scale of prizes as the latter, combined with progressive jackpots available across several online slots.
The highest amount won in online slots till date is £13.2 million (approximately $20 million). Registered in the Guinness Book of World Records, Jon Heywood won it in 2015 on the Mega Moolah slot.
In another place, an anonymous Australian player received a colossal $10.4 million (AUS) on the Dark Knight slot, a game which has now been withdrawn due to licensing issues.
PokerStars Casino has also introduced several progressive jackpot slots with minimum prize money of more than $1 million. Since January 2017, there have been 12 players who have won over $23.6 million in progressive jackpots.
Do these stories inspire you to play more to try your luck at the next big win? Let us know your stories in the comments below.
Note: While all the payout figures in this article are validated, there could be a discrepancy in terms of current values, due to currency exchange rates and inflation and deflation over the years.