We map the past of life-changing video slot wins, from the largest online slots jackpots to mega land-based progressives.
For a few decades now, egalitarian jackpot slots have been around. They give a shared reward to a lucky player gambling on a network of computers, or a share of one.
But the jackpots have risen and grown as the number of online slot games has increased, and more players are taking to the casinos. Let’s take a look at five of the biggest jackpots ever for a video slot…
1. The soldier who took home a winner
And when: 2015
Won amount: £ 13.2mm
Game: Super Moolah Mega Moolah
In 2015, when former soldier Jon Heywood took down the big one on Mega Moolah, the record for an online slot jackpot was smashed.
When he triggered the Mega jackpot for a whopping £ 13.2 million, the 26-year old was playing at 25p coins. The prize pot has just beaten the previous record set by Mega Fortune when translated to Euros.
The jungle-themed slot features four incremental jackpot stages, seeded at £ 1 m with the top Mega jackpot. Also lower-stakes gamblers will pick up a payout, though, with the lowest Mini jackpot seeding at 10.00.
Amazingly, in 2017 alone, Mega Moolah paid out over EUR 4.5m. What are the odds of Jon winning in 2018?
2. The record is taken by Mega Fortune
When: in 2013
Won amount: €17.8mm
Game: Super Wealth of Mega Fortune
NetEnt’s Mega Fortune slot held many world records for egalitarian online jackpots prior to Jon Heywood bringing down his Mega Moolah jackpot. And in 2013, in the money-themed slot, an anonymous Finnish gambler won €17,861,813.
The anonymous winner was stated to be a mature student, but maybe he was owed a heavy tax bill under Finnish law.
Obviously, Super Fortune records go in loops. In 2011, when a Norwegian student won € 11.7 million playing the game, the previous record for his online progressive jackpot arrived.
Mega Fortune, like Mega Moolah, features multiple progressive jackpot stages, each seeded at a different number. Two are “local” to the game, the “Rapid” starting at 50 euros, and the Main at 5,000 euros. The Mega Jackpot is pooled through all casinos involved and can comfortably hit an estimated value of 4 million euros.
3. Again Megabucks pays out
Won Amount: $38.7mm
Location: Excalibur, Las Vegas
The Game: Megabucks
Since the mid-1980s, IGT’s land-based Megabucks video slot has been making millionaires. While slot themes for Megabucks can vary, several branded machines are connected across multiple casinos. This can mean just one thing, as with online casinos: huge payouts.
A young software developer deposited three $1 coins in the Megabucks video slot at the Excalibur casino in Las Vegas in 2003. To win a jackpot of 49,836,032/1 chances of winning, he reached the top payline.
In general, Megabucks jackpots are paid out for 25 years. But the engineer will always be set up for the rest of his life, even with the IRS taking a good slice of US income tax off the top.
4. The two-time champion at Megabucks
When: In 1989 and 1995
Amount won: $4.6m and $21 million respectively
Where: Casino Mirage, Las Vegas and Cannery, Las Vegas
The chances are equivalent to 50,000,000/1 for one Megabucks jackpot to land. Our calculator just split the odds of reaching two. But over a six-year stretch, that’s what one lucky American gambler accomplished.
At the newly-opened Mirage casino in Las Vegas in 1989, Elmer Sherwin managed to win $4.6m. Incredibly, Sherwin won the IGT related jackpot again just six years later, now 92 years of age. That time around, the Cannery Casino & Hotel was the place of choice for World War II veterans. And Sherwin won $21.1m on the second occasion.
Famously, a significant portion of his winnings were donated by the double winner to support the Hurricane Katrina victims. But time waits for no-one, not even slot millionaires, and Sherwin passed away two years after his second win.
5. Online casino games are in the act of getting in
When to: 2017
Won amount: EUR 8,012,153.353.35
Game: Super Moolah Mega Moolah
Players not only earn life-changing sums of money online and in land-based casinos. Mobile casinos are steadily dishing out six-figure jackpots, too.
A few years ago, a Canadian player won what was the biggest smartphone jackpot ever at the time. The anonymous player’s win of C$7.5m on The Dark Knight (USC$6.02m) did not quite equal the sums seen by the sister slot of The Dark Knight, Mega Moolah, but it showed how far in such a short period of time mobile casino slots had come.
More recently, on their smartphones, Mega Moolah players have enjoyed success. In 2017, for just over EUR 8 million, a Super Moolah gambler grabbed the game’s Mega jackpot, the biggest mobile jackpot win in history.
The sum was paid out in one lump sum, like all Microgaming progressive slot jackpots.