The Biggest Slot Machine Wins of All Time

Over many decades, we have seen the slot machine become the go-to game for literally millions of players around the world. It's not just that it offers easy gameplay along with funky lights and sound effects to keep players entertained. It's also the fantasy of winning some of the largest prizes available in the whole casino.


If you know little about casinos and their games, you might assume that the big money is to be made at the craps table, a high-stakes poker game or at the roulette wheel and though technically you wouldn't be wrong, there are still many examples of the slots showering lucky winners with life-changing payouts.


To whet your appetite, let's take a look at some of the largest slot wins in history. Keep in mind that the numbers shown will not necessarily be the amount the player receives, as the winnings are taxable in many countries and jurisdictions.

Online Gaming, NETENT – €17.8 Million


Way back in 2013, one lucky player from Finland spun the Mega Fortune slot machine and managed to bag themselves €17.8 million. Probably the most amazing part of the story is that they managed to win this massive amount of money by only spending the equivalent of 25 cents.


The winner of the jackpot was playing at, which is an online casino in Scandinavia. Not only does the company run this online venture, but they also specialise in manufacturing and distributing physical slot machines to land-based casinos and cruise ships.


Caesars Palace, Las Vegas – $21.3 Million


In 1989, at the world-famous Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, a very fortunate business consultant from Illinois landed a whopping $21.3 million. He was playing on the Lucky Wheel featured in the Megabucks slot machine.


Like many of the players on this list, he chose to remain anonymous. Before striking it rich, he had played only $10. If he has just sat on his winnings since 1999, then the inflation-adjusted total would amount to over $35 million dollars today. But then again, why would anyone do that?


Rampart Casino, Las Vegas – $14.3 Million


Another Megabucks slot machine winner, who also chose to remain anonymous, scored a huge hit in 2014 at the Rampart Casino in Las Vegas. The player was visiting the casino with an out-of-town friend. After parting with around $20 in total, and spending about 5 minutes at the slot machine, he landed a jackpot payment of $14,282,544.


Not a bad return for just a few minutes of work. What adds to the story is that the lucky winner donated virtually all the prize money to charity, including his local church.


Desert Inn, Las Vegas – $35 Million


In 2000, a lucky 37-year-old, Cynthia J Brennan, managed to win $35 million. She was playing a slot machine at the Desert Inn Casino in Las Vegas. Like many other winners, the giant prize came from a Megabucks slot machine. What’s sad about the story, is that in spite of the fates favouring her financially, she was involved in a car accident shortly after her win and left paralysed.


M Resort, Henderson – $17.3 Million


How many players receive free casino credits and yet never utilise them? This was not the case for one lucky winner. Playing at the M Resort in Henderson, Nevada, she decided to make use of her outstanding free casino credits. Popping these into the statewide Megabucks progressive slot machine, she bagged $17.3 million. This is actually the 9th highest-paying slot machine record in history.


Deciding to remain anonymous, we know nothing about her intentions with regard to the winnings. The takeaway here is that no matter how useless or meaningless you think free casino credits might be, don't be afraid to play them. After all, luck can strike at any time.


Online gaming, Betway – £13.2 Million


You don't necessarily have to go to a land-based casino to find the big bucks. Sometimes it's enough to have a spin at an online casino and bag a massive payout. For example, in 2013, one lucky player managed to win roughly $20.8 million playing at an online casino.


A 26-year-old soldier from the UK called John Haywood was playing the popular online Mega Moolah slot machine. After spending just 25p, he landed this life-altering amount of cash. In spite of his youth, he kept his cool and hid the news of his amazing win from everyone. He even went to work over the following days and said nothing, letting his life carry on as usual. Haywood would later state that some of his winnings went to pay for medical procedures for his sick father.


Cannery Casino & Hotel, Las Vegas – $21.1 Million


It’s said that lightning doesn't strike in the same place twice. Well, Elmer Sherwin, a retiree and fan of casino games set out to prove this wrong. Some years ago in 1989, he was playing a slot machine at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. There he managed to win $4.6 million playing on a Megabucks slot machine.


Then 16 years later, he found himself in the Cannery Hotel and Casino, where he managed to win an additional $21.1 million. Once again, the game he was playing was a Megabucks slot. As far as we know, he's the only person to win so much on two separate occasions.


$22.6 Million – Bally’s, Las Vegas


A retired printer called Johanna Heundl was playing at Bally's Casino in Las Vegas and she managed to win $22.6 million in 2002. The 72-year-old Heundl said she was walking past the casino on her way to breakfast. For some reason she decided to give the Megabucks slot machine a whirl.


First, she dropped $100 but quickly ran out of dough. Even though she considered moving on to enjoy her waiting breakfast, intuition told her to grab another $100 bill. Before she was yet halfway through it, she hit the jackpot.


$27.6 Million – Palace Station Casino, Las Vegas


After setting herself a gambling limit of $100, an anonymous woman from Las Vegas managed to win $27.6 million on a Megabucks slot in 1998. She was a regular at the casino and often dropped around $300 a night.


The rules at the time stated that a winning player could not take all their winnings in one go. To that end, she receives $1.1 million every year for the next 25 years. This means she is still being paid today.


Excalibur Casino, Las Vegas – $39.7 Million


We’ve seen some pretty big numbers so far, yet nothing compares to the $39.7 million won at the Excalibur Casino Las Vegas. This turned out to be the largest slot machine win of all time. The lucky winner was a 25-year-old man who was visiting his family.


As the March Madness College Basketball Tournament was in town, he decided to bet on the sport. At the same time, his uncle encouraged him to make a small bet on the casino games. So he decided to try his hand at the Megabucks slot machine. He had barely worked his way through $100 when he won the jackpot of $40 million. We all could do with an uncle like that!


Related Articles