We’ve all dreamt of winning the big one – taking home a jackpot so huge, we can quit our job on the spot and disappear over the horizon. But how often do these fanciful fairy-tales actually come true? Turns out one such mega win took place just a few years ago. Behind the win, as you may expect, lies a great story, involving a married couple from the US and one very old slot machine…
Walter and Lina Misco of Chester, New Hampshire stepped into the MGM Grand in Las Vegas one Friday afternoon looking for a bit of fun. They were in town for a slot tournament taking place a few days earlier and just wanted to unwind on their holiday. By the time they walked out of the casino, they were $2.4m better off and world famous.
Walter, at the behest of his wife, had approached a particular slot machine called Lion’s Share. Installed when the famous casino was first built, the machine had recently become the most popular on the floor, with punters from across the globe wanting a shot at its juicy jackpot. You see, over the 20 years it had been in operation, Lion’s Share hadn’t once paid out a jackpot, instead it slowly accumulated a whopping £2.4m (£1.45m) prize. At its most popular, Lion’s Share was being played once every 5 seconds, yet still no one could claim that elusive prize.
So when Walter made his $3 bet and saw the green symbols align, he couldn’t believe it. He’d only been playing for 5 minutes and immediately called his wife over to double check if what he was seeing was real. Crowds of people gathered and cheered as Lion’s Share finally gave up the goods.
In truth, MGM Grand were glad to see the jackpot finally reached. Lion’s Share was the last of its kind in the casino and was taking up valuable floor space. They even shipped the old one-armed bandit to the Misco’s holiday home in California, for him to keep as a souvenir of the momentous occasion.
Selflessly, the Misco’s pledged to use the pay day to put their grandchildren through college – a lovely end to an extraordinary tale. But of course it’s not the end. There are still giant jackpots out there, just waiting for someone to claim them. Who knows, you too could be a few bets away from your own huge win!