Since 1986, Megabucks has been disbursing multimillion dollar payouts to Nevada citizens. Megabucks is a progressive slot machine game that is designed, manufactured, and distributed by International Game Technology, or IGT. In addition to the Megabucks slot machine, IGT also produces popular machines like Cleopatra, Kitty Glitter, and Sex and the City. Megabucks has earned the reputation as a huge Nevada moneymaker with a long history of multimillion dollar payouts. The most recent payout occurred on April 10, 2013. Some of its other gigantic jackpots are described below.
Excellent Winnings at the Excalibur
Gamblers come to Las Vegas in hopes of winning hundreds, even thousands of dollars. It is also possible to win millions of dollars, and that's exactly what happened on March 21, 2003 when a man won $39 million on a Megabucks machine at the Excalibur. After depositing only three $1 coins into the progressive slot machine, stars aligned just right for the 25-year-old Los Angeles citizen who won himself a life-changing fortune.
About Excalibur Resort
Located on the Las Vegas Strip, the Excalibur is shaped like a castle with colorful red, white, and blue turrets. The hotel and casino facility is owned by MGM. Gamblers at the Excalibur can wager money on races, sports tournaments, slot machines, and table games.
Dynamite Dollars at The Desert Inn
On January 26, 2000, Cynthia Jay-Brennan won almost $35 million on a Megabucks machine at the Desert Inn in Paradise, Nev. Six weeks after her slot victory, Jay-Brennan, a former cocktail waitress, was sadly paralyzed by a drunk driver in a tragic car accident. In that same accident, her sister was killed. Because of Jay-Brennan's bad luck, rumors about other ill-fated Megabucks winners have circulated ever since.
About the Desert Inn
The Desert Inn operated for 50 years before finally closing its doors just seven months after Jay-Brennan won her jackpot. Entrenched in Las Vegas history, the Inn was the fifth casino on the Strip to open its doors. Back in the 1960, it served as the set for the original version of the movie "Ocean's Eleven", one of the best gambling related movies of that time. Today, Wynn Las Vegas stands where part of the now-demolished Desert Inn used to be.
Tremendous Take at Terrible's
On April 12, 2009, a woman won a $33 million jackpot at Terrible's Rail City Casino after playing for only about 10 minutes. It took a while for the 38-year-old mother of four, stunned by her extreme good fortune, to register the events that had just befallen her. Only after a Terrible's staff member explained it to her did she truly comprehend the magnitude of her mind-blowing acquisition.
Located in Sparks, Nev., Terrible's Rail City Casino is part of a chain of the same name. Standard entertainment options are offered, including slots, gaming tables, and several restaurant menus. Terrible's is a free-standing game center with no attached hotel. The town of Sparks, Nevada is just a 5-mile drive from Reno. Sparks has several other gambling facilities as well.
Pretty Profit at Palace Station
On November 15, 1998, a retired flight attendant won $27 million from a Megabucks machine at Palace Station in Las Vegas. Interestingly, the woman had encountered good luck a Palace Station before, winning almost $700,000 on a Wheel of Fortune Machine. The flight attendant's win marked the first time since the machine's advent in 1986 that the jackpot ascended above the $20 million mark. It was, however, not the last such occurrence.
About Palace Station
Formerly known as Bingo Palace, is located near Chinatown and features a huge draw for Asian populations: 12 baccarat tables. Owned by Station Casinos, the downtown hotel and casino combo is just minutes from the Las Vegas Strip.
Bountiful Bucks at Bally's
On May 27, 2002, a 74-year old woman who had almost given up on her Megabucks machine suddenly found herself the winner of a $23 million jackpot. Johannah Heundl had vowed to quit after losing her first $100, but for some reason decided to stay on and invest another hundred in the machine when she won. Heundl, who had family in Austria, told the press she planned to use some of the money to visit her siblings who lived there.
Surrounded by a neon-lit, moving sidewalk, Caesar's-owned Bally's is a longstanding fixture on the Las Vegas Strip. Once known as the MGM Grand, Bally's suffered a devastating fire in 1980 in which 84 people died. Today, the refurbished hotel and casino facility is home to thousands of guest rooms, slot machines, and table games.
Bonanza at the Bonanza
Las Vegas isn't the only city in Nevada with profitable casinos. Reno, located near the western border of the state and just north of Lake Tahoe, offers numerous gambling houses to patrons and can be just as lucrative, if not more so, than Las Vegas.
On April 10, 2013, a woman at Reno's Bonanza Casino watched in disbelief as the symbols on her slot machine lined up to the tune of a $11,798,517 jackpot. Helena Stencil, 81, had wagered just a little over $100 on her Megabucks slot machine when she won the money. Stencil's jackpot is reportedly the biggest payout in Bonanza's history. While some people prefer the glitzy excitement and entertainment of Las Vegas gambling, others, like Stencil, enjoy playing their games in the less-crowded Reno setting.
About Bonanza Casino
Bonanza looks like a standard casino on the inside, with several hundred slot machines, a smoke-free room, and four different restaurants available to diners. In contrast to some facilities, it offers only six table games. Reno casinos are different than those found in Las Vegas in that they often tend to be less crowded inside.
For over 20 years, ITG's Megabucks has tantalized gamblers with the prospect of winning millions of dollars. Nevada gamblers looking to get their piece of the pie often try their luck at Megabucks progressive slot machines. The odds of winning millions aren't high, but when someone does hit the jackpot, it's always a life-changing experience.