Who doesn’t want to be an exception? In the depths of our hearts, we all tremble at the idea of breaking a pattern. That’s, actually, the psychological basis of gambling – reward uncertainty. This little monster makes us place bets on black 13 and forget to breathe in a couple of times before the ball drops.
Is there even a chance if the House always wins? Definitely, yes – statistics will tell you. It will also smile sarcastically, thinking of those 1 to 14 million chances and watching you pick up your wallet and head off to a casino.
But today’s tale is all about those who could: the rare exceptions and biggest casino wins of the virtual and physical worlds. If you are ready for an energizing cocktail of thrill mixed with bitter-sweet jealousy, here we go.
The House sometimes pays
Let’s start off with the stories from traditional casinos. You know: flashy halls, joyful coin jingles, smartly-dressed dealers with reserved expressions, and gamblers’ eyes full of hopes…
$38.7 million for killing the time
A spring day in Los Angeles, 2003. A 25-year old engineer came to town to watch an NCAA match. The sports fan was heading to the stadium when he realized that there was plenty of time to kill. He dropped by the Excalibur hotel and played a few rounds on a Megabucks slot linked to the progressive jackpot pool. The man left the casino with one of the biggest payouts in history: $38.7 million…
Although the winner wanted to remain anonymous, the only thing we wonder is if he managed to make it eventually to the match and support his favourite basketball team or chose to celebrate, LA style.
Once is happenstance, twice – coincidence…
As we’ve already mentioned earlier, the statistics paint a rather gloomy picture when it comes to gambling winning odds. While a single Roulette bet always provides you with the same chances: 37 to 1 (or 38 to 1), the opinions on slots differ: the jackpots might pop up once in 5,000 to 34 million spins. Dare beat these odds? And how about doing it twice?
November 22, 1989. A nice evening at The Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip. Elmer Sherwin, a 76-year old WWII veteran, hit a $4.6 million Megabucks jackpot having placed a $3 bet. He had already been playing for about an hour and spent $100 before setting the record: at that time, it was the largest slot payout in the history of Las Vegas casinos.
Elmer Sherwin kept on playing slots, and 16 years later, snatched another big win: he took home $21.1 million from the Cannery Casino on the night of September 16, 2005.
White streak – black streak
One of the most unbelievable stories happened in 1997 to an Australian billionaire who travelled to Vegas for business. Playing Poker and Baccarat, Kerry Packer won an unknown amount estimated between $20 and $40 million. Rumor has it: his lucky doorman received a $1 million tip, and just 2 years later, the gambler lost $28 million at a London casino.
Biggest online catch
Many people debate whether online gambling can be compared to everything you get from a land-based casino. Well, let’s hear from those who didn’t even have to leave the houses to make their experiences incomparable.
The biggest online jackpot in history went to a gambler from Finland: he won $24 million on the legendary Mega Fortune slot in 2013. The life-changing bet cost him 25 euro cents.
Better than counting sheep
One September night of 2011 was peaceful and quiet, but a young Norwegian couldn’t sleep. After the number of phantom sheep reached another thousand, he decided to spin the reels of the Mega Fortune slot online. The ending of the sleepless story is happy, as you’ve probably already guessed: the young man hit a $13.8 million progressive jackpot. A night to remember, indeed.
Progressive jackpots: why so generous?
As you’ve seen, the most impressive payouts come from the so-called progressive slots (pokies). They share a jackpot pool across different casinos or online platforms all around the globe, and the real-money prizes grow with every bet made on the game. That is how the jackpots reach millions of dollars.
To be eligible for a progressive game, a player usually has to place maximum bets. In addition, using various promos at online casinos like welcome bonuses or free spins casino might offer won’t probably allow gamblers to fight for the biggest prize.