When it comes to Vegas slots, most can empathize over how they've sat at a Megabucks machine already imagining how a win could change their lives. After all, Megabuck's slogan is Dream Big, Win Big. Who are you to argue!
Three crisp dollars are inserted into your Megabucks dream machine. It's glistening and calling out to be spun. You reach out for that button that could change everything. It's pushed now, and all there is to do is watch all the little logos on the wheel take off and spin their hearts out. Tick, tick, tick… before they all line up for the magic moment it either makes a new multimillionaire or a broke ride home. Winner!!! For the lucky, that dream has come true, sometimes even twice.
IGT‘s Megabucks, which are a series of linked slot machines across the state of Nevada, has almost two decades of making millionaires with their gigantic jackpots that start at $10 million.
Players can start their bets at $1 a spin for a slot jackpot of thousands, but it will cost $3 a spin to be eligible for the multi-million jackpot amount.
Of course, with prizes like that, it's no wonder that some of the largest jackpots in Vegas history came out of Megabucks slots. Here are the top ten largest slot jackpots in Vegas history:
1. The King Of Slot Jackpots
In March 2003, an anonymous software engineer won $39,710,826.36 from Excalibur. He was just 25-years-old when he played $100 on a Megabucks slot machine and became the anonymous guy from Los Angeles who holds Vegas's largest slot jackpot payout. He continues to hold his crown.
2. A Close Second
Cynthia Jay-Brennan surely doesn't mind her silver place finish of $34,959,458.56.
She won Jan. 26, 2000 at the Desert Inn on a Megabucks slot. The 37-year-old cocktail waitress certainly isn't relying on tips to pay the bills anymore. However, she and her family had a bad turn of events just six weeks after her big win. She and her sister, Lela, were hit by a drunk driver. Lela did not survive the tragic accident and Cynthia's injuries left her paralyzed for the rest of her life.
3. Ignoring The Budget Can Pay Off Big
In third place is a November of 1998 Megabucks jackpot of $27,580,879.60 at the Palace Station. This retired 67-year-old Vegas flight attendant only allowed herself a $100 budget that fateful night. Lucky for her that she wasn't so good at sticking to budgets. She decided to put in another $200. She most likely isn't worried about budgets these days.
4. Just A Little Jackpot Pitstop
74-year-old Johanna Heundl of California might've been a little late for her breakfast run on May 27, 2002, but she was right on time for a $22,621,229.74 Megabucks slot jackpot at Bally's. Who said pitstops are a bad thing when it comes to Vegas slots. Not, Johanna.
5. Anyone Have 10 Seconds And $10 To Spare?
On June 1, 1999, a 49-year-old Illinois man walks up to a Megabucks machine in Caesars Palace. He plops a $10 bill into it, spins, and walks away with a $21,346,952.22 jackpot. One spin, ten seconds, and this self-employed business consultant is a multi-millionaire. Not bad.
6. Lucky Times Two
Most people can't fathom actually winning a jackpot once, much less twice. So, Elmer Sherwin only won a measly 4.6 million in 1989 at the Mirage. Clearly, not good enough. At the Cannery Casino Hotel in 2005, Mr. Sherwin became a multimillionaire for the second time at age 92 when he won a Megabucks jackpot of $21,147,947.
7. She Can't Say No One Ever Gave Her Anything
The Las Vegas resident that used her free play credits at the M Resort in 2012 certainly can't say that. She turned some dining rewards and play credits into a Megabucks jackpot of $17,329,817.80. Yep, that's a 17,329,817.80 profit.
8. Charity Pays Off
Charity is about giving, and what better way to give than to win first? Rampart Lucky Local, a nickname, wanted to help out his local church that had been operating out of a high school gym. He did just that after hitting a $14,282,544.21 Megabucks jackpot in 2014 at the Rampart Casino. Way to pay it forward, Mr. Lucky.
9. Attention Tourists: Please Don't Break The Machines
When a Megabucks jackpot of $12,769,933 showed up on this woman's machine on January 21, 2011, at the Aria, her initial reaction was that she must've broken the machine. No, dear, that was just the sound of $6 being turned into almost 11 million. Ironically, the Aria saw another Megabucks jackpot hit just four months later.
10. Diligence Wins The Big Apples
In 1997, Suzanne Henley got $12,510,549.90 of those apples when she hit the Megabucks jackpot at the then recently opened New York-New York in Vegas. Henley wasn't a happenstance of luck story either. She was on her way home from work and had a notion she should stop by the newly opened mega-resort. Once there, she set her sights on a machine in particular and waited in line an hour before she could even play. $100 dollars later, at 1:44 in the morning, and she became the tenth largest Megabucks jackpot winner in Vegas history.
No worries! These lucky folks haven't taken all the Megabucks winnings. A portion of every bet made on every Megabucks slot goes toward the jackpot. Megabuck's players can watch multi-million dollar slot jackpots actually increase right before their eyes each second, building off a base of $10 million. When someone wins, the new jackpot starts over at $10 million. Pretty amazing, right?