Britain's Isle of Man might lack the lights and sound of Las Vegas, but this tiny island is home to one of the casino industry's biggest developers, Microgaming.
If you don’t know that name already, you have probably heard of games the company has made, hits like Thunderstruck II, Immortal Romance, or the piggybank of the gods, Mega Moolah. Microgaming has been making casino software since 1994, making them a certified pro when it comes to reels.
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Today, we’re going to look at Microgaming's extensive offering of games to learn more about how their progressive jackpots work. Let's take a look.
Microgaming's progressive jackpots have undergone a significant change lately. The developer's games have had a four-tiered jackpot system for a while, but a brand new way of doing things - WowPot - was introduced in Wheel of Wishes back in 2020.
If that sounds complicated, don't worry, there's nothing new to learn. Pre-2020, Microgaming had Mini, Minor, Major, and Mega progressive jackpots. Post-2020, it simply ditched the Mega prize for the WowPot. Either way, there are still four tiers.
As with most progressive jackpots, the Microgaming network serves as the ultimate prize for a raft of casino products, many of which we'll discuss below. All of these slots are connected together with cables and tape behind the scenes, with a portion of each player's stake helping to fund the progressive jackpot. Put another way, the more people play Microgaming's progressive jackpot slots, the greater the eventual prize will be.
Microgaming's progressive jackpots are listed in the game window if they're active on any particular slot game, usually at the top or on the left-hand side. They're all seeded, or begin, at a predetermined figure, which means that the prize fund never runs dry. Once a prize is claimed, it simply resets to the original amount. In ascending order of value, here is Microgaming's quartet of treasures.
The Mini Jackpot is the smallest prize offered by any progressive game, beginning at 10. Despite its bite-sized look, the Mini Jackpot can increase during gameplay just like any other progressive prize.
Upping the stakes rather quickly is the Minor Jackpot. This will net the player the minimum 100 - yet we're only halfway up the prize ladder.
The Major Jackpot is seeded at more than 50,000. This prize is rather enigmatic, as it's sometimes used in place of the Mega Jackpot or the WowPot. A good example is Microgaming's African Legends, a slot we'll talk about in detail shortly.
This is one of the biggest jackpots out there. It has sat at 2 million since 2020 but it's more than capable of climbing into the tens of millions. Microgaming claims that their progressive network has already given out more than a billion in prizes (70m from WowPot).
Games with a progressive prize tend to be the oddball of the casino family. For instance, they might not bother with casino tradition at all, giving out their prizes at random (like Mega Moolah does) or via a minigame. However, generally speaking, Microgaming's progressive prizes are usually associated with a wheel of fortune style feature.
Be aware that there can be a minimum bet and payline requirement to play for any progressive jackpot. Make sure you read the game rules if you're going for the big one(s)!
We will cover WowPot games in later articles, so we're only going to discuss the pre-2020 version of Microgaming progressive jackpots. Of course, as the new version of Microgaming's progressive jackpot begins to take over the internet, you're likely to see the WowPot cropping up more frequently. Here are a few games to get you started:
While it's known throughout the casino world for its massive payouts (it actually has a Guinness World Record for the largest jackpot payment ever - £13.2m), Mega Moolah is safari-themed slot featuring imagery from the African savannah.
You'll find a host of smiling animals in this Microgaming slot, including an elephant and a giraffe. You can also catch a glimpse of all four progressive jackpots, but you'll need to spin the Mega Moolah Jackpot Wheel for a closer look. This battle-worn lion, the very first Mega Moolah title, was launched in 2006.
Stand at attention for this mission into Microgaming's retro collection. Major Millions is a 5x3 reel slot launched in 2009. It's a cartoony game featuring oversized, even plump, planes and tanks, and it's equipped to cause chaos across 15 different paylines.
Remember earlier, when we said that progressive jackpots can pay out in unusual ways? Well, to win the main prize in Major Millions, you'll need to get five Wild symbols on the 15th payline. Reports online suggest the progressive jackpot in this slot pays out every two months or so.
Somebody clearly got over excited with the spelling on this one. Like its grandpappy, the original Mega Moolah, Absolootly Mad Mega Moolah highlights a striking theme, namely, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. This particular storm in the Mad Hatter's tea cup has all four progressive jackpots available.
Absolootly Mad Mega Moolah includes the now-familiar jackpot wheel, but you'll need to collect Wild symbols and fill up the aforementioned teacup before you'll be able to escape Lewis Carroll's nightmare with the loot. Mind your sanity on the way out.
A lucky cat is your mascot in this spin-off of the popular Japanese game Pachinko. Played extensively in street parlors, Pachinko is a peculiar mix of pinball and casino slots. Microgaming has taken this experimental ethos to heart in creating a pachinko game that looks (and plays) more like bingo.
You'll be rolling with a 90-ball version of bingo in Pachinko, with 19 different patterns to find on your bingo card. While there's no progressive jackpot to win, you'll still be able to grab a grand prize of 5,000x your wager.
As we discussed above, Wheel of Wishes is the game that changed everything. Across five reels and ten paylines, this Microgaming slot has echoes of mystical Arabia. Perhaps inevitably, there's a genie’s lamp to wish upon.
Get in the genie's good graces and gain access to all four progressive jackpots in the Microgaming network. All you need to do is spin the fabled Wheel of Wishes to win. This is one of the more attractive and colourful slots out there, despite the desert setting.
Continuing the pattern set by Mega Moolah, African Legends is another game that takes in the sights of Africa. So, you'll be able to get up close with stylized depictions of a warthog, rhino, and elephant without the risk of becoming acquainted with a lion's mouth.
In this 5x3 reel slot, you'll have a pathway to the Major Jackpot, which is worth a 174,000 and still growing!. Simply get eight Rolling Reels rolls in a row to trigger bonus features. These appear every time you win.
Another Microgaming title that has the entire progressive network in its grasp is Mega Moolah Goddess, a game dedicated to the Egyptian goddess of healing and magic - Isis. This is a straightforward 5x3 game that has 25 paylines.
The progressive jackpot in Mega Moolah Goddess is triggered by, you guessed it, the jackpot wheel. You'll have just one chance to snag the Mega prize, three for the Major, six for the Minor, and ten for the Mini, based on the number of coloured quadrants on the wheel.
Everybody loves vampires (except for their victims), so it was perhaps inevitable that the popular Immortal Romance slot would form an unholy partnership with Mega Moolah. The jackpot wheel is a grisly surprise in this Microgaming slot - it's triggered totally at random.
The details of Immortal Romance Mega Moolah will be familiar to anybody who has played any other Mega Moolah title. It's another 5x3 slot game, but it distinguishes itself with the Chamber of Spins bonus round. It also has brooding artwork from Immortal Romance.
Spandau Ballet's favourite metal, the Gold Factory, in this Microgaming slot pumps out gold non-stop. While this 5x3 game has fewer special features than the original Gold Factory, its progressive jackpots are worth singing about.
You can trigger the free spins feature in Gold Factory Jackpots Mega Moolah by collecting three symbols of the industrialist. Play for gold and glory just by spinning the reels. The jackpot wheel triggers at random, just like in Immortal Romance Mega Moolah.
Read more about jackpots in our guides: