What are the biggest slot machine wins ever? The answers – and the amounts – are astounding. From total accidents to incredible luck.
They pay off in small victories, in bonus formats, and occasional jackpot bonanzas.
For some people, slot machines are a fun way to pass the time. But for others, they can provide life-altering wins.
We know the stereotype of the old woman sitting at the slot machine with some loose change while others hit the tables. But for some lucky gamblers, slot machines changed their lives permanently. These are the biggest slot machine wins ever.
What’s the Most Money Ever Won on a Slot Machine?
Would you believe $39 million?!
Sure, most people associate the slots with modest wins. You put in a quarter, you win a dollar, etc. But don’t tell that to a young software engineer who visited the Excalibur Casino in Las Vegas 20 years ago.
The then-25-year-old took a seat at the Megabucks machine. It’s estimated he played about $100 worth on spins before seeing the three straight “Megabucks” symbols that indicate a jackpot.
The payout of some $39 million and a little extra change is still the largest slots machine win of all time.
So who is he? Well, unfortunately (for us – maybe not for him!) the big winner has managed to remain anonymous for the past two decades. All that’s known for sure is what’s above – he was 25 years old and working in the L.A. area as a software engineer.
Sound like anyone you know? Anyone whose lifestyle took a decided turn for the better about 20 years ago? It might be time to ask whether they visited Excalibur in 2003!
Biggest Jackpot Wins on Slot Machines
The second-largest win is a somewhat ominous tale of how fickle luck can be.
Cynthia Jay-Brennan worked as a cocktail waitress in Las Vegas and one day after work, she stopped by the Desert Inn & Hotel reportedly to attend a birthday party for her soon-to-be mother-in-law.
Cynthia’s main focus at the time was saving for that wedding, but she didn’t let that stop her from spending about $20 at the good old Megabucks machine. Yes, the same game that changed our anonymous software engineer’s life.
Betting the maximum $3 per spin, Cynthia burned through her $20 (or $21, perhaps, if you do the math) quickly… but kept playing. Only a couple spins later, she cashed in big-time with a jackpot totaling just under $35 million!
It sounds like a happy ending, but less than one month later Cynthia and her sister were in a horrific accident with a drunk driver. Tragically, her sister perished, and Cynthia was left paralyzed by the crash.
Since the tragedy, Cynthia has reportedly spent a large portion of her winnings on helping people with disabilities through charitable donations.
Biggest Slot Machine Wins – The Happy Accident
This next story has some more strange details, this time about lightning striking twice.
A flight attendant from Las Vegas (again, those are the only details available) ‘accidentally’ played $300 on the famous Megabucks machine. This time at the Palace Station Resort in 1998.
Was it really an accident? The winner claimed she only intended to spend $100 in the machine, but as her gambling approached the $300 mark, the bells and whistles sounded to indicate a jackpot victory. One worth over $27.5 million, to be exact!
So why are we so suspicious of her ‘accident’ story? Well, while the winner managed to remain anonymous, someone knows her name… and she’s the same person who’d taken an almost $700,000 victory on a Wheel of Fortune slot machine months earlier! What are the odds?
Biggest Online Slot Machine Win – What’s a Quarter Worth?
A 40-year-old poker player from Finland was passing the time between tables when he chanced 25 cents on an online slots machine.
His single spin earned him a bonus round that, when all was said and done, yielded him a record-setting prize of over $24 million. This was the largest recorded slots victory on an online platform!
Biggest Slots Machine Wins – The Luckiest Player Ever?
Finally, meet Elmer Sherwin, a World War II veteran and unofficial luckiest gambler ever.
Sherwin lived to the ripe old age of 93 before passing away in 2007. But that’s only the start of his tales of good fortune.
In 1989, the Mirage Hotel and Casino opened in Las Vegas. About the same that Sherwin was in the process of enjoying retirement, travelling cross country with his wife (or ex-wife, as reports vary).
Regardless, within days of the Mirage’s opening, Sherwin, a lifelong lover of the casinos, took home a $4.6 million jackpot on the Megabucks machine!
Some conspiracy theorists maintained the win was a publicity stunt perpetrated by The Mirage to garner attention after their opening. This was proven to be false, but Elmer Sherwin proved his win was no accident 16 years later.
Second Time Lucky for Sherwin
At 92 years of age, Sherwin visited Cannery Casino and Hotel, an off-strip casino, and hit Megabucks big again, this time for an astounding $21.1 million.
As amazing as the second victory of a lifetime was, Sherwin’s quote to reporters was even more enduring.
“I’m glad I finally hit,” he said to an incredulous crowd. “I’ve been saying I was going to try to do it again.
“I’m gonna go for a third win on Megabucks. Maybe I’ll try the Wheel of Fortune slot too.”
He would pass away less than two years later. But any gambler who has hit the Wheel of Fortune jackpot can thank Elmer Sherwin. Given his track record, that big win was probably meant to be his!