Las Vegas is easily one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States for travelers of all adult ages. Whether it’s a 21st birthday celebration, a ‘last hoorah’ bachelor party or a couple of seniors dipping into their retirement savings, the Vegas Strip offers every form of entertainment one could possibly dream of. The biggest draw, however, is the fact that visitors have a chance to strike it rich at any of the plethora of casinos across the state map. That’s exactly what one couple did when, to their ultimate surprise, the notorious Lions Share progressive slot machine tolled its bells for the first time in its 20 year history to the tune of more than two million dollars.
The Lions Share slot has been a staple of the MGM Casino in Las Vegas since the 1990’s, and is reported to be the last remaining progressive machine on the 171,500 square foot gaming floor; the largest in all of Clark County, Nevada. The casino’s management said it has become the most popular slot machine in the establishment, which isn’t surprising when you consider its history. For two decades, players have been spinning the reels on Sin City’s most unrelenting progressive, to no avail. That is, until last month.
On Friday, August 22nd, 2014, Walter and Linda Misco of Chester, New Hampshire were vacationing in Las Vegas when they found their way to the infamous Lions Share slot machine. After inserting a $100 bill into the fabled one-armed bandit, they began to play through the credits. Just five minutes into their venture, the bells and whistles ignited, notifying the couple and the entire population of the casino floor that a jackpot had been struck.
After 20 years of never once releasing the jackpot, which had been building higher and higher all that time, the married couple found themselves the proud recipients of a colossal $2.4 million payout. Walter Misco, a 66 year old retiree, was invited to a news conference to discuss the enormous jackpot win. “I had seen a story about the machine online and my wife and I walked by the machine when we arrived. She said, ‘You have to play this machine and win on this machine’. So I was just following orders from the boss,” quipped the new-found millionaire.
Perhaps even more amazing was the casino management’s enthusiasm towards finally parting with the decades old slot machine. Managers of the MGM told reporters that they are considering allowing the lucky winners to take the famous progressive back home with them to New Hampshire. Surely the casino would have liked to dispense of the slot machine much sooner, back when the rest of its progressives were abolished, but having failed to ever pay out its exponentially growing progressive, it simply wasn’t a feasible option.
For the record, the way a progressive slots’ RNG is programed, they are guaranteed to pay out a predetermined percentage of their intake. For example, a machine could have a payout percentage of 90%, meaning that for every $1 it takes in, $0.90 will be paid out. But it could take as long as 25 years to reach that goal. The jackpot on a progressive slot machine can strike twice in the same week, or even back to back for that matter, or as was proven in this case, only once in 20 years. Either way, the paying percentage will eventually equal out over time.