It’s a common belief that no-one ever wins big at casinos but whether it’s luck or just pure recklessness, some people still risk big sums of cash on the chance of winning the jackpot. And for these people, their lives were transformed in just moments with some of the biggest payouts ever recorded.
MGM Grand – $20-40 million
Australian billionaire Kerry Packer chose to play baccarat and blackjack one evening at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, but it was a decision that changed his life. While the exact sum he won is unknown since there were several big wins for him in Vegas, it’s believed that he won up to $40 million that night. From the moment he won big, he began splashing the cash at the casino straight away, tipping waiters and waitresses as much as $1 million.
Two-Time Megabucks Winner – $21,147,947
Elmer Sherwin is largely considered to be the luckiest man in Las Vegas – a two-time Megabucks winner! He won a whopping $4.6 million in 1989 when the Mirage opened on the Strip and then in 2005, the 92-year-old war veteran sat down at the Megabucks slot machine and won the staggering $21,147,947. He didn’t keep that money though, generously donating it to the Hurricane Katrina relief fund.
Wheel of Fortune at Palace Station – $680,000
A stubborn mindset worked off for a 60-year-old woman when she was playing a Wheel of Fortune machine that paid out $680,000. But despite a big win, she continued to play at casinos regularly and actually invested much of her jackpot into gambling. It appeared to work out for the best when she yielded a massive profit of over $28 million when she won the Megabucks slots!
The Young Engineer at Excalibur Casino – $39.7 million
In 2003, a 25-year-old engineer from Los Angeles made his way to Vegas to show support for his favourite basketball team and while waiting for the game, he dropped in at the Excalibur casino. It was the best decision he ever made, as he headed to the slots and had only spent $100 when the jackpot sign appeared, and he won an unbelievable $39,713,982. It’s such a big amount that it actually compared to an average month’s profit of the whole venue! The winner remained anonymous and asked the casino to transfer $1,500,000 into his account each year instead of giving him all of his winnings in one go.
Ashley’s London Win – £1.6 million
Multi-billionaire owner of Newcastle United Football Club, Mike Ashley, won big betting on lucky number 17 when he was playing roulette in a London casino. Over the course of three hours, he won £1.6 million, after which he decided to call it a day. The chances of winning on 17 are slim and even Ashley knew that luck rarely strikes twice. However, in 2011, he lost £1 million in just two hours, proving cash can be lost just as quickly as it’s won.