But who are the biggest ever casino jackpot winners, and what have they managed to scoop from their gameplay? Let’s take a look at these millionaire players.

The Near $40 Million Win at Excalibur Casino, Las Vegas

In March of 2003, a man who chose to remain anonymous after his win decided to play the Megabucks Jackpot slot machine at the Excalibur Casino in Las Vegas. Visiting from Los Angeles, the player inserted three $1 coins into the machine and began spinning its reels. 

An enjoyable time was likely being had, but nothing could prepare the 25-year-old software engineer for what came next. Following his third dollar coin, he managed to hit the jackpot payout of the game. And what was that jackpot? $38.7 million altogether!

The progressive jackpot that is incorporated in the Megabucks Jackpot game generally gets paid out in equal amounts over a 25-year period, according to a spokesman for the International Game Technology (IGT) brand, which created the slot. This still remains as the highest jackpot win at a casino, which had been building up since 2002 when a woman won $22.6 million at Bally’s Hotel Casino in Las Vegas.

The Megabucks Jackpot Slot Machine Pays Out $35 Million in 2000

In 2000, the Megabucks Jackpot slot from IGT had already made headlines when it paid out just under $35 million to a woman. 37-year-old Cynthia Jay-Brennan was visiting the Desert Inn in Las Vegas – a casino that was closed later in the year and demolished to make way for the Wynn Las Vegas establishment – and chose to have a few spins on the Megabucks game. 

She deposited $27 into the game, utilising bets of $3 per spin on it. It was then that she hit the jackpot victory, receiving a wonderful payout of $34,959,458.56 from the game.

Jay-Brennan was actually a very careful gambler, infrequently using such machines in her lifetime. After her big win though, she married her boyfriend, and the pair had a honeymoon in Fiji. Unfortunately, just two months later, while Jay-Brennan was visiting her family in Las Vegas with her sister Lela, their car was smashed into by a drunk driver. Lela died instantly at the scene and Cynthia was left paralysed after the devastating incident.

A Retiree Gets the Better of the Megabucks Jackpot, Scooping $27 Million

Everyone dreams of retiring from their job and being able to live their life without work restricting them from doing so. That was certainly the case for a flight attendant, who had retired from her job and decided to visit the Palace Station Casino in Las Vegas towards the end of 1998. 

Her intention was to play no more than $100 on the slot machines there, but she ended up going through her budget, as is often the case for some people when it comes to enjoying slot machines online or offline. As it happens, she ended up using a total of $300 on the slots.

Normally, this would be a bit of a surprise considering the budgeted amount was tripled in the end. However, this woman remains as the third-largest jackpot winner in a casino, as she won $27.5 million on the Megabucks Jackpot release. Doubtless, that was an even bigger surprise for her to experience – and likely dismissed any potential issues she had with spending $300 on the slot machine in the first place.

An Online Treat of €17.8 Million for a Finnish Gamer in 2013

Deviating away from the Megabucks Jackpot slot, the PAF.com online casino was responsible for providing a wonderful payout of €17.8 million in 2013. At this time, a player based in Finland was spinning the reels of the Mega Fortune online slot game from Netent. 

This game has become quite famous for its progressive jackpot rewards that have been paid out over the years. So, the Finnish player had certainly chosen well with the game.

As it stands, he had only spent a total of 25 cents on it before it provided him with the colossal reward. That’s quite the stroke of luck, and the player exclaimed that “it was completely unreal…” when he saw the victory. 

His first thought was to help his family with the money he had won, and then said he would seek out a nicer car for himself. Having played at PAF.com for 2-3 years before his huge win, the player spoke highly of his experience at the online casino.

The Megabucks Slot Strikes Again with a $23 Million Win in 2002

Johanna Heundl, a retired printer and California native, opted to visit the Bally Casino in Las Vegas in 2002 for her birthday. Waking up one morning during her visit there, the 74-year-old was making her way down to breakfast in the hotel when she decided to stop and have a go on the slot machines in the casino. 

The Megabucks Jackpot game was the one that caught her eye, and her hope was that she could win the smaller $3,000 progressive reward. Heindl started out with a single $100 bill, but she wasn’t so successful with it, winning a few spins but ultimately losing the lot.

A second $100 bill was inserted into the machine, and she continued with her gameplay. After spending $70 of that second $100, Heundl managed to hit the big one. Initially, she believed she had won the $2 million prize, but the game had actually paid out $22.6 million, providing her with a birthday treat for the ages. That marked the first jackpot payout from Megabucks within a Bally’s resort, but the 57th payout for that specific slot. Her intent was to use some of the money to visit her family in Austria.

The Megabucks Jackpot Makes Another Appearance in 1999 for a $21 Million Reward

Just before the dawn of the new millennium, an unnamed business consultant took a trip to Caesars Palace Casino, again located in Las Vegas. As one of the most famous international casino online, it was quite the celebration when this player managed to scoop a huge jackpot payout from the slot machine. 

The player had only wagered a total of $10 on the slot game before it released its massive jackpot reward. In total, it provided him with a $21,346,952.22 payout, giving him and his 49-year-old life a big boost.

The man, who requested to remain anonymous, returned to his home state of Illinois much richer than before. He was the 48th jackpot winner in Nevada at the time of his victory, and the IGT machine soon became the slot of choice for many people to try and win on afterwards. Its first winner was crowned in 1987 when a jackpot of just over $1 million was paid out from it. 

Also, IGT is making some of the highest payout online slots.

Following his jackpot win, bells began ringing in the casino and a crowd gathered around him and his machine. He was then isolated from the machine and the other gamers before being provided with a cheque for his huge jackpot win. With the money, the Illinois businessman said he was intending to pay off his credit card debts.

Giuseppe Faraone

Giuseppe Faraone

Author & Online Gambling Expert

1251 Articles
Being so close to the action in iGaming, Giuseppe is on top of any new developments the minute they come through the door, as his book is testament to. Published in October 2022, his first book; The Untold Story of Online Gambling is available on Amazon.
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