Incredible Casino Stories from Yesteryear

One of the first things we think of with casinos and sportsbooks is that they win regardless of what happens to players. There are loads of jokes, fallacies, and misconceptions doing the rounds such as How Not to Lose to a Casino? – Don’t Play! or the age-old aphorism The House Always Wins. If these things were always true, players would stay away and casinos would fold en masse. The thing is, players do win and casinos can lose, big time. But not all the time!


  • According to the iconic Guinness Book of Records, the largest slot machine win amounted to US $39 713 982.25 on March 21, 2003 when a 25-year-old software engineer from LA, California deposited $100 into a Megabucks slot game. The player at the Excalibur Hotel & Casino never looked back. The casino certainly didn’t have a good day, but that’s the name of the game. You win some, you lose some. 
  • On October 6, 2015, Jon Heywood from Cardiff, Wales, won an incredible €17,879,645 in the largest-ever online slot machine payout, courtesy of Mega Moolah by Microgaming. This 5-reel slot features 25 pay lines of wild, jungle-themed entertainment. The progressive jackpot game holds multiple records as one of the biggest paying slots games in the world.
  • Naturally, it’s not only slot machine games that pay big money to players, it’s casino table games too. Legend has it that an engineer from Yorkshire named Joseph Jagger went to play roulette in Monte Carlo and broke the bank. His roulette winnings were so incredibly impressive that he retains the title of biggest ever roulette winner to date. Born on September 2, 1830, in England, this working-class lad was keen to provide for his large and growing family. 


So, he used his knowledge of roulette wheel imperfections to place bets on faulty roulette wheels. By eliminating randomness from the equation, he determined that it was possible to place bets on numbers 7, 8, 9, 17, 18, 19, 22, 28, 29 which appeared with tremendous frequency. In Monte Carlo, he managed to win $375,000, and he broke the bank. Today, there aren’t any biased roulette wheels that we know of!


  • Speaking of casino table games, there is one winner who comes to mind time and again. Her name is Patricia DeMauro of New Jersey, USA. In 2009, she went to the Borgata Hotel & Casino, and rolled the dice for an incredible 4 hours 18 minutes without sevening out. To put that into perspective, she rolled 154 times – that’s the amount of time she won playing craps. 


On average, a typical craps player can expect 8 rolls before sevening out. In craps, the house edge is approximately 1.4%, and no skill is required. Of course, there are craps aficionados who believe that dice control is a real thing, but most folks simply disregard it. If she played her bets right, experts predict that she won hundreds of thousands of dollars, but nobody knows… 


  • Blackjack is another game that routinely attracts the attention of high rollers at the casinos. According to the Suffolk Gazette, Kerry Packer won $40 million playing blackjack at the MGM Grand back in 1995. It took just 40 minutes to win $40 million. Each of the dealers at the casino was tipped $1 million for their efforts. While he certainly had his fair share of mega losses, he came out ahead overall. 

We all know that the biggest wins were those by the MIT Blackjack Team between 1980 and 1990 in New Jersey. Nobody knows the exact amount of money that these professionals scooped up, but it is estimated somewhere in the region of $50 million – $100 million. Given what we know about big winners, casinos don’t always win and that’s why we play.

Many of today’s big wins come from online casinos. The comfort and convenience of online gaming makes this the go-to alternative for scores of players. Records are being broken all time, and players can scoop up huge wins on PC, Mac and mobile.