The Biggest Wins in Casino History
Written by Phoebe
Published date · March 30, 2022 |
Last Updated · Dec. 14, 2022 | Read Time: 5 mins
Whether you want to admit it or not, there is a high chance that you have walked into a casino wishing that you would leave the place with a barrel full of money. The amount where you could retire and live carefree on a beach somewhere. Just how many times have you logged into an online casino hoping to win big? Sadly, meteoric wins are rare. It takes skill, experience, and of course, luck. Because of this rarity, famous casinos like the Excalibur Casino happily offer very high payouts with the knowledge that they are financially prepared to deal with the possibility of such a big win.
Although all games have been designed to offer the house an edge (meaning that the odds are in the casino’s favour), some actually favour the player more than others. Games like blackjack offer the best odds at winning, with a house edge of 1% in the majority of casinos! Nevertheless, some lucky players have seen small amounts turn into millions. In this article, we feature some of the most extraordinary wins in history ever witnessed at a casino!
The man who got lucky on the Megabucks slot, not once but twice! Elmer Sherwin stepped into the Mirage Las Vegas casino only a few hours after its launch and went home with a whopping $4.65 million from a mere $3 stake. A spokesperson for the Mirage revealed that Sherwin was playing for an hour and a half. He had reinvested around a hundred dollars of his initial winnings before winning what seemed to be the largest jackpot win on a slot machine in Vegas. The second time around i.e., sixteen years later in 2005, he won another $21.1 million. By then, he had donated a considerable portion of his previous winnings to charity.
Mike Ashley was already a billionaire at the point of his win and was the owner of the English football club, Newcastle United. When Ashley hit his jackpot in 2008, he would soon become one of roulette’s biggest winners of all time. He stepped into the Fifty St James Casino in Mayfair, London, deciding not to spend any more than fifteen minutes on a game of roulette. Those fifteen minutes proved enough for him to win $1.83 million, pocket change for the billionaire. After his winnings were paid out, he humbly thanked the casino staff and then left to enjoy the rest of his evening. Fun fact, his favourite number of the night was 17, which turned out to be lucky for Ashley.
A seventy-one-year-old woman named Amy Nishimura had been vacationing in Las Vegas in 2003, and this trip turned out to be her luckiest one yet. Every time she would stay at the Freemont Hotel in Vegas, she would play at the exact same machine each time. She had felt as if the machine had come alive and began conversing with it as well! Nishimura had under $100 on her that day, and after three hours, her favourite machine hit the jackpot. She won nearly $9 million that day.
One thing about roulette is that it can be purely a chance game. Ashley Revell reportedly put everything he had on the line on a single roulette wheel spin at the Plaza Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas. While this is not recommended it worked out for him in the end! Everything changed for him in 2004 as the ball landed on red, doubling his fortune to $270,600 in seconds. Revell took great advantage of this incredible stroke of luck. Instead of blowing away all that money, he saved a large portion of his winnings, eventually settling down and starting his life with his new fortune.
Charles Wells is best known for “breaking the bank” at the Monte Carlo Strip, Europe’s betting hub. After playing roulette for several years, he took out a loan from a bank in 1891. He then went on to play roulette for eleven consecutive hours, breaking the bank a total of twelve times! He played until he had run out of chips to continue playing, taking home a million francs. Although Wells had a rather unscrupulous reputation for trying to scam casinos, even independent investigation and his admission many years after his win leave his big win as nothing more, nothing less than an incredible lucky streak. Even though this occurred some time ago, this story is often recounted as being one of the greatest examples of extraordinary luck.
Kerry Packer was an Australian billionaire tycoon and an avid bettor. Packer was famous for his many business exploits, including founding the World Series Cricket. Besides his impressive businesses, he was well known for his betting ups and downs. In 1997, Packer happened to win between $20 and $40 million in baccarat and blackjack during a Vegas trip. Unfortunately, his luck didn’t last forever as two years later, in 1999, he lost $28 million at a Casino in London. Just goes to show that sometimes it is best to walk away when you’re up.
Cynthia Jay worked as a waitress in Vegas and in January 2000, she decided she would stop by at a Desert Inn casino and try her luck. She only had $27 at the time, but still gave it a go with the Megabucks slot machine. After losing most of her cash, just as she decided to give up, she was notified that she had won the jackpot. Winning almost $35 million, Jay had won the biggest jackpot at the time. Unfortunately, she was involved in a car accident soon after and lost her ability to walk. This became one of Vegas’ most infamous urban legends, spreading a myth that bad things happen to jackpot winners in Vegas.
Lotteries are infamously hard to win. But lucky individuals like Larry Ross would beg to differ. In 2000, two men from the US won $363 million in a lottery. Interestingly, one of the men, Larry Ross, had zero experience playing the lottery. Talk about beginners’ luck! Furthermore, he had not intended to buy his ticket in the first place. He had to buy his ticket since he did not have spare change to buy a hot dog. After all the tax deductions, the two men were left with a “mere” $90 million each.
Miracles do happen from time to time! After all, it is stories like these that leave betting enthusiasts wanting more. The winners mentioned above are solid proof that sometimes, a game of chance is all you need to change your life. While your chances of joining these big winners might not be the greatest, you could improve your chances by researching land-based and online casinos with high pay-outs – the rest is up to your skill and luck. You can also try your hand at higher-payout games like blackjack, although you may need some practice! Remember, these biggest winners’ exceptional luck should not encourage you to bet all your money away recklessly. We all know what happens when luck turns the other way. Check out our guides for useful tips, tricks, and strategies to improve your casino experience and focus on having fun!