Slot machines have been a hallmark of casino gaming for over 120 years. The first slot machine emerged from the American West Coast back in the late 1890s, and it has since become the pillar of a multibillion-dollar online casino sector. Slot machines have also been the catalyst for some of the largest casino wins of all time. If you discount lottery winning tickets, the biggest ever gambling wins are almost exclusively in slot machine gaming. Today, we will be dissecting the biggest wins in more detail.
Casinos announce colossal wins at their online casino site or land-based slot machine to plant the idea in the minds of slot machine players that their casino has a better chance of netting them a fortune. Gambling venues, both online and traditional casinos, are happy to bring new customers through the door in a bid to recoup some of their losses.
Just because a casino has a big win doesn’t mean it’s more or less likely to be the home of another jackpot win. However, some of the biggest slot machine winners have won the jackpot more than once, but this is a rare occurrence. Ensuring you have fun while playing instead of viewing it as a potential source of income is the best way to enjoy these games.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the biggest-ever slot machine win in the dazzling and eventful history of Nevada’s most populated city. For the millions of people who flock to Las Vegas every year and collectively spend billions of dollars, the idea of winning a multimillion-dollar jackpot after just a few spins on a slot machine sounds like a Hollywood movie.
However, two decades ago, a few spins totaling $100 returned a win of $39.7 million at the Excalibur Hotel in Las Vegas. Megabucks slot machines are renowned for their outrageously high jackpots, making it their main selling point. Given how much notoriety it has brought them over the years, we imagine they’ve recouped the losses tenfold. This particular jackpot had been accumulating for over nine months, so it was due to pay out big at some point. However, the game designers stated that it is incredibly rare for it to pay out in one go.
The algorithmic software that slot machines use can occasionally trigger these enormous wins, and even though the odds are very slim, they do happen for a tiny minority of lucky gamblers. You could count on one hand the number of people who have managed to walk away from one of these machines with a giant jackpot win.
Information regarding the win is still fairly secretive; there’s no confirmation of the individual's name other than that he was a 25-year-old software engineer from Los Angeles who was in town to watch a college basketball tournament. After spending a few moments in the Excalibur Hotel, he walked out of there a multimillionaire, so it was not a bad weekend for him overall!
Unfortunately, not many of us will be able to say what we would do with a $39.7 million win or whether we would keep it a secret. Most of us would probably let our family and friends know, but for most people, remaining secretive is perfectly understandable. While the identity of the mystery software engineer remains sealed, all these years later, we do have the name of a fortunate Floridian woman who won the jackpot, not once, but twice, in the span of nine days!
The lady, who identified herself only as Gloria from Florida, won a jaw-dropping $1.2 million on her first attempt on Aristocrat Gaming’s Dragon Link slot machine. Seemingly not satisfied with the measly seven-figure sum, she returned nine days later to play the same game at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and somehow managed to win a second jackpot of just over $1 million.
While this might not break records in terms of the amount won, the fact that somebody managed to win two consecutive million-dollar jackpots on the same game within nine days is mind-blowing. It’s likely that the game designer was contacted to ensure there was nothing in the algorithm that would make this a frequent occurrence.
Sin City has long been the destination for gamblers worldwide, drawn by the allure of tapping into the potential riches of the Nevada desert. With numerous slot machines themed around historical figures, ancient Roman, Greek, or Egyptian mythology, it's no surprise that the Excalibur is one of the most popular hotels in Vegas.
Back in early 2020, an unnamed gambler sat down at a Wheel of Fortune machine at the Excalibur Hotel & Casino and won just over $5.4 million. Like many other winners on this list, they remained anonymous and disappeared into the sunset. The win was confirmed on the Excalibur Hotel Twitter account, but the identity of the winner and their decision regarding their newfound wealth remain shrouded in mystery.
The Wheel of Fortune slot is a simple three-reel game, and when the unnamed millionaire landed three flaming 7's, the maximum jackpot dropped, much to the astonishment of both the player and the Excalibur staff.
It seems that the biggest slot machine wins of all time have occurred almost exclusively in Las Vegas. This shouldn't be too surprising, considering that Las Vegas has held the title of the world's gambling capital for nearly a century.
Despite the rise of online slot machine gaming, one might presume that online players have broken these records multiple times. While there are a couple of notable online wins, the overwhelming majority of the largest slot wins have been celebrated on the famous Las Vegas Strip.
In 2002, Megabucks was responsible for yet another enormous payout. This time, the winner decided to reveal her identity. She was a 74-year-old woman named Johanna Heundl, who took a trip to the casino floor one morning in May 2002. Before she had even had her first meal of the day, she decided to spin the reels on a Megabucks machine, resulting in a win slightly north of $22.5 million. We can only imagine she treated herself to a nice breakfast after that one!
In 2013, a player in Finland placed a $0.25 stake on the Mega Fortune slot game, completely unaware of what was about to happen. The resulting jackpot of €17.8 million, roughly $23.6 million at the time, marked the largest online slot machine win ever recorded. Even ten years later, no one has managed to surpass this remarkable achievement in online slot gaming.
Nonetheless, records are meant to be broken. With millions more people now favouring online slot machines over their land-based counterparts, it's only a matter of time before a colossal online jackpot sets a new record for the largest online jackpot win.
This monumental payout from the Mega Fortune slot catapulted the iconic game designer NetEnt into the spotlight. Although they had already established a solid reputation in the industry, news of this massive win further increased their visibility and popularity among slot machine players.
The final significant win on our list was another massive online jackpot, this time claimed by a gambler in the United Kingdom named Jon Hayward. In contrast to many of the payouts on our list, Jon chose to make the news public. One can only imagine the sheer exhilaration he must have felt when his $0.25 spin resulted in an astonishingly large £13.2 million win, equivalent to over $20 million at the time.
The lucky game that granted him this fortune was Mega Moolah, a name that certainly lives up to its reputation. Jon was playing online with a prominent UK-based casino company called Betway, turning a minimum spin into a maximum win—a goal cherished by all slot machine players. As Jon watched his online balance on Betway skyrocket from £0.25 to £13.2 million, he must have thought he was dreaming. As for what prompted him to go public, perhaps it's his claim to fame, a way for people to search for it on the internet and discover articles like this one that he can proudly point to, proving that he's not joking around.