We all know playing slots to win is not easy. Given the high odds of a massive payout or a jackpot, a handful of people have shown everyone that the dream of a small fortune is within their grasp. In this article, we go through ten people who won the biggest slot machine payouts.
Dropping a credit, hitting the spin button, and hoping those symbols stop at the right pay lines are the quintessential slot experience. Everyone’s hopes and dreams of seeing those high-paying symbols stop at the right spot are often shattered after spending massive amounts of money without a win.
|Amount (in USD)
|Resort World Casino, Las Vegas
|Excalibur Casino, Las Vegas
|Cynthia Jay Brennan
|Desert Inn Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
|Palace Station Casino, Las Vegas
|Mega Fortune, NetEnt
|Bally’s Casino, Las Vegas
|Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas
|Cannery Casino & Hotel, Las Vegas
|Mega Moolah, Microgaming
|Aria Resort, Las Vegas
You may notice how most of the winners in our list won the jackpot prize of Megabucks from IGT. Megabucks features a progressive jackpot where its highest payout rate grows each time someone spins the reels.
And at the time of publishing, we even noticed a new winner in Las Vegas for an amount of $15,500,000 at Boyd Gaming’s Suncoast Hotel & Casino.
With the collection of multiple machines and online games around the country, Megabuck’s progressive jackpot can grow to heart-pounding amounts as you can see with the below lucky IGT Megabucks winners…
1. $43,000,000 on Sphinx (Resort World Casino, Las Vegas)
Katrina Bookman took a trip to Resort World Casino located in New York in August 2016. She took the Sphinx slot for a spin, but the game took her for a wild ride. After one heart-pounding spin, the screen displayed “$42.9 million jackpot win”.
She would have walked home with millions of dollars, but the resort staff said that the top jackpot payout is only $6,500. To compensate, they offer a consolation prize of $2.25 and a free steak dinner. Bookman was not having that as she took Resorts World Casino to the courts to get the full $42.9 million jackpot prize.
2. $39,000,000 on Megabucks (Excalibur Casino, Las Vegas)
At the Excalibur Casino, one of the highest paying casinos in Las Vegas, a 25-year old software engineer from LA made his way to a Megabucks cabinet in 2003. With a $100 at stake, he spins the reel one afternoon. At some point, he struck gold with a whopping $39 million jackpot prize.
Hitting the massive jackpot set off bells and whistles across various officials, including ones from the Nevada Gaming Control Board who needs to verify the winner. Despite being young, officials verify that the software engineer was 25 and of legal gambling age. Officials also set the jackpot to be given in increments of $1.5 million per year.
3. $34,900,000 on Megabucks (Desert Inn Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas)
Cynthia Jay Brennan was making ends meet as a Las Vegas cocktail waiter and is willing to take more shifts to fund her wedding. In January 2000, she was joining a birthday celebration for her boyfriend’s mother at the Desert Inn Hotel and Casino. She decided to hit the casino floor with her significant other who will make sure she does not spend more than $100.
Among the slots on the floor, she happened upon Megabucks, wagered $3 a spin. While staying within her spending limits, she kept on spinning until the three jackpot symbols lined up and awarding her with a $35 million payout.
4. $27,580,879 on Megabucks (Palace Station Casino, Las Vegas)
“Stopping while you are ahead” is good advice for anyone looking to make a tidy profit during a visit to Las Vegas. However, a retired flight attendant did not take that advice when she played Megabucks in November 1998 and took home a massive profit instead.
Like most people on the list, she was planning to spend only $100. After several spins, she exhausted her set bankroll and decided to play with $100 more. Spending twice the limit would have made anyone cut their losses, but she persisted and spent $100 more. After more than $300 worth of spins, her persistence paid off as she wins the jackpot prize of $27 million.
5. $24,000,000 on Mega Fortune (Online)
An unidentified Finnish player tried the Mega Fortune online slot game. Take note that he is mostly interested in poker games than slots. He likely tried to diversify his gaming experience with what is available to him in the Scandinavian based online casino.
With just 25 cents and on his first spin, he managed to line up the Bonus Game feature, which involves three spinning wheels. Players can achieve higher payouts and a chance for the jackpot prize when they reach the third wheel. Somehow, the Finnish player managed to win a significant amount on the bonus rounds to keep playing long. At the end of his session, he got $24 million on a 25-cent spin.
6. $22,621,229 on Megabucks (Bally’s Casino, Las Vegas)
In May 2002, Johanna Heundl was at the right place in Bally’s Casino when the Megabuck jackpot reached $22 million. With the jackpot growing three times its base rate of $7 million, most Las Vegas slot enthusiasts are gunning for the massive payout. Johanna decided to hit the slot floor right before breakfast, which was just the right time for the RNG to have the jackpot symbols lineup in front of her.
Megabucks gave a whopping $22 million to Johanna on that faithful morning as well as a thrilling story to tell anyone over breakfast or on the dinner table back in her home state of California.
7. $21,346,952 on Megabucks (Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas)
June 1999, a time when the Y2K scare was everywhere and many were preparing for the end of the world, except for a business consultant who visited Caesar’s Palace. He puts a $10 bill into a Megabucks slot to get some moment’s diversion from the end of the world.
On that first day of 1999 summer, the 49-year-old man from Illinois was about to get a wild experience as the Megabucks slot gave him a jackpot of $21 million. Whether he spent the fortune to retire early or simply continue with his consultation career, his world just began and is continuing strong past 2000.
8. $21,147,947 on Megabucks (Cannery Casino & Hotel, Las Vegas)
While most of the biggest slot jackpot winners have bigger payouts, Elmer Sherwin is one of the few who took home the jackpot payout more than once. Sherwin loves casinos and is a frequent visitor ever since he reached the legal gambling age. In 1989, he took home 4.6 million dollars from a slot game at the Mirage.
While the first win may have satisfied most players, Sherwin was not satisfied. He went to the Cannery Casino & Hotel and took the Megabucks slot for a spin. Lighting struck twice when the slot awarded him $21 million, resulting in a total jackpot amount of nearly $26 million from his first win two decades ago.
9. $13,200,000 on Mega Moolah (Online)
Jon Heywood was working a minimum-wage job to make ends meet after completing a tour of duty. He was watching a documentary about World War 2 tanks when he thought about making money through an online casino. Jon has a solid plan, play the ones with progressive jackpots and be conservative on the spin amount to increase his chance of winning it.
With a plan all set, Jon clicked on the spin button while watching the documentary. To his surprise, the screen was showing a large money wheel with the arrow pointing at the jackpot. Jon won a life-changing amount of $19 million from just a single spin of 38 cents.
10. $12,769,933 on Megabucks (Aria Resort, Las Vegas)
An unidentified woman was visiting her niece in Las Vegas and happened upon the Aria Casino and Resort in January 2011. Being out of town and with $6 in her person, she took the opportunity of trying the slots to get the most out of her visit.
She happened upon the Megabucks slot on the casino floor and gave it a shot. To her surprise, she got the massive jackpot prize of the slot game without going over her $6 pocket cash. While she did not share any information about herself, she and her niece have the cash to enjoy the reunion visit.
Progressive jackpots or even the highest possible payouts have eluded so many casino players over the years. Fortunately, the top 10 winners in the list show that anyone has a chance of taking home a life-changing fortune from slot games despite the voodoo magic of RTP and variance as key differentiators in the different types of online slot games.
This article was published on December 30, 2020, and last updated on October 26, 2022.